Life on Mars
TIMESLOTThursdays @ 10pm on ABC.
SYNOPSIS“Life on Mars” is based on the BBC series created by Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah. The series revolves around Sam Tyler, a modern-day police detective who, after a car crash, mysteriously finds himself transported back to 1973 and still working as a detective.
“Life on Mars” stars Jason O’ Mara as Sam Tyler, Rachelle LeFevre as Annie Cartwright, Colm Meaney as Gene Hunt, Stephanie Jacobsen as Maya, Lenny Clarke as George Randall, Patrick Wenk-Wolff as Colin Raimes and Richard Benjamin as Milton Kornboll.
The series is produced by Twentieth Century Fox Television and ABC Studios. Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec, Scott Rosenberg, Jane Featherstone, Stephen Garrett and David E. Kelley are the executive producers. The pilot episode of “Life on Mars” was executive-produced by David E. Kelley, Tommy Schlamme, Bob Breech, Jane Featherstone and Stephen Garrett, and was produced by David E. Kelley Productions in association with 20th Century Fox Television.
REVIEWSPlease note that these reviews may contain spoilers.
|Gordon McDougall's Take|
|I have been looking forward to seeing Life On Mars, so perhaps I was a little impatient as I sat down to watch the first episode, but I found it to be a little slow. I felt as though I knew where they were going to go throughout the episode (right down to the distasteful use of the World Trade Center as a plot point), so I just kept wanting it to move along.
Now that I've gotten that out of the way, I enjoy the premise of this show. Sam Tyler is a New York cop in 2008, who has a bad day (let's say My Name Is Earl bad) and winds up mysteriously transported in time back to 1973. Before long, he discovers not just that everything has changed, but that the case he was investigating in our present has a connection to his newly-present past.
I enjoyed the cast. It's great to see Harvey Keitel in a series; it's good to see Lisa Bonet again (no matter how little she appears) and I got a real hoot out of Michael Imperioli dressed up as a 70s cop! He looks as though he belongs in Swingtown (or even the awful movie version of Starsky and Hutch!). Jason O'Mara is solid as the lead character of Sam Tyler, and he really should be a bonafide TV star. Of course, I felt that way when he was on The Agency, but it didn't happen then.
Now that the premise is established, I am hopeful that they will pick up the pace and the show might be fun. I was 11 in 1973, and I remember that time very well. They do a good job of bringing back that feeling. Other than a small continuity concern (William Conrad's nighttime detective series, Cannon, was on the TV in one scene when it was clearly daytime), they recreated 1973 nicely.
TV Gord's Verdict: Life On Mars will have to pick up the pace if they want to hold viewers that will increasingly be lured away by the stunt-casting final season of e.r. However, I'm curious about how and why Tyler has been sent back 35 years in time, and I am anxious to see how they weave Lisa Bonet (his girlfriend in 2008) into the show. Will she just be flash-forward memories (?), or will she be something more (as the final scene of the pilot suggests). I see a lot of potential in this show.
About TV Gord: TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com
TVGord is also an active contributor of our discussion forums.
|About Gordon McDougall|
TVGord is a radio host at 580 CFRA in Ottawa. He does a weekly segment about TV every friday which you can hear in MP3 in the '580 CFRA Interviews' section of their website, www.cfra.com