Life On Mars: Coming This Fall

THERE are many things that keep me awake at night.
The heat, the cold, taxis dropping people off at 4am after a night out, taxis picking people up at 4.05am for the airport.
Last night – or was that this morning? – it was this trailer (below) for the American version of Life On Mars.
(Click on pause if you want to read this first)
Hour after hour I awoke with a start, wondering what I could say about it.
It seems a long time ago that I was on the set of Life On Mars in Manchester being told about a possible US version.
The talk then was of Ally McBeal creator David E Kelley coming to visit The Railway Arms as part of his preparation.
I’m not sure he ever made it.
But he did go on to create and produce the American pilot.

Now US TV network ABC has given the go-ahead to a full series, which will air “in the fall” – at 10pm on Thursdays, to be precise.
As the LA Times reported here this week, Mr E Kelley has given up his rights to the format.
“Josh Applebaum, Andre Nemec and Scott Rosenberg (October Road) will take over the production of Life on Mars, which will have a different mythology at its core than the original version.”
Set in 1972 Los Angeles, the American take on Life On Mars stars Jason O’Mara as Sam Tyler and Colm Meaney as Gene Hunt.
After a sleepless night, I find myself strangely attracted to the Ronan (You Say It Best) Keating School Of Blogging.
Perhaps it’s better all round if you check out the ABC trailer for yourself and then, if you be so minded, leave a comment below.
Me? I’m off to hail a cab.

Life On Mars Blogs
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
The Railway Arms Mars & Ashes Forum


Filed under Life On Mars

8 responses to “Life On Mars: Coming This Fall

  1. Lyregal

    As an expat who used to work for Disney (who owns ABC) and dealt with all the new pilots, I’ve been waiting to see what they would do with/to this series. As a fan of Life On Mars all I can say is, “WTF have they done!?” It reminds me of the Eddie Izzard sketch about the difference between UK and US movies.

  2. Loz

    Ian, this is the first time I’ve commented even though I read your blog avidly – but I finally have to say it – you are brilliant.
    Of course, just because you choose to use the soft and silent approach, doesn’t mean I have to. This trailer makes the show look like a half-bit parody and even though it will never impact on the wonderfulness of the original, it is sad to see Matthew Graham’s nicely nuanced pilot maimed in such a way.

  3. aphyde

    Going shot-for shot like that with the original puts the actors in a really bad position.
    It looks like a lame parody or a … high-budget fan vid. Yeah, that.

  4. I may be firmly in the minority but I am looking forward to this. But ‘different mythology’ sounds a tad worrying—perhaps this a white lie so Americans don’t conclude what happens to Sam?
    And does ‘Back in the nick of time’ mean the same thing in American?

  5. Sarah

    No!!! I don’t mean to express my lack of faith in television and i will digress that i usually watch american television because it is more easily available to me (i’m canadian), but I discovered Life On Mars not too long ago and I love and am loving it! I really am a little annoyed that the US takes shows that are awesome and changes them and remakes them. leave it alone! whatever, i’m getting the real LoM on dvd.

  6. Sasha Loncar

    Hi Ian,
    Long time no see. Things like this puts me totally out of balance. They did this with the Office now they are doing with the LOM….why? Why they cannot just buy the serial and play it? It is English language after all. Do you think that we should start doing the same with the American serials? Redoing it with our actors and a proper and much funnier English?!?
    I would really like them to explain why they keep doing this? If they think that American public is not capable of understanding English humor then why bother on the first place with the serial whose whole point is about “English humor” and English way of life. If I am the American citizen I will be deeply worried about this sort of assumptions that American Television are making. America closed so many doors already, but if they start filtering and making art, cinema, tv, culture acceptable and “easier” for Americans, if they start “chewing everything before they feed them”, just because THEY think (not the public) that original form is “to…whatever”……..speechless
    There is only one Gene Hunt and Sam Tyler and Annie, they are CULT…and nothing will change that! Fact!

  7. Tanya

    To Sasha: Alas, British TV is also “filtering and making art, cinema, tv, culture acceptable and “easier” – for Brits.
    When was the last time you saw a subtitled film on British TV?
    Back in 1973, Little Sam and I were watching semi-dubbed or narrated children’s programmes from France, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Japan – White Horses, the Singing Ringing Tree, The Flashing Blade, Belle and Sebastian, a few years later, Monkey. In the evenings, big Sam will be able to find subtitled films from all over the world… not just Europe but Africa and the Middle East and Asia.
    Now all we get are imports from America with a few shows from Australia and New Zealand.
    Now language teaching is disappearing from our school. No wonder so many British Holiday makers are clueless about the cultures they roll drunkenly through – until they end up in jail.

  8. Lesley

    FYI, the first episode of the American “Life on Mars” was almost a virtual copy (my husband and I kept saying, “OK, next this is going to happen” and it did), only with poorer acting and none of the style and chemistry that made the real LoM so great. Trust us Americans to ruin another great thing…😦
    Lesley in Pennsylvania

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