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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Life on Mars (The TV show, not the course of human-history-altering discovery)

   
Author Topic: Life on Mars (The TV show, not the course of human-history-altering discovery)
Raymond Arnold
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Anyone see the premier of Life on Mars?

I'm not entirely sure what I think of it. It seems like it's primary purpose is to replace Journeyman as TV's bizarre time travel show starring a not-particularly-likable protagonist with a series of mysteries that make no sense and probably never will.

But the soundtrack makes me inexplicably happy, so I guess I'll keep watching it.

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Stephan
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Downloading it now. I think we all agreed the original pilot left a lot to be desired, but the BBC series was truly amazing.
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Raymond Arnold
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I didn't know anything about it until this week. This is a remake of a BBC series... or what?
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ClaudiaTherese
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It's a remake of a fantastic BBC series that has 2 seasons out.
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Raymond Arnold
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(Mild Spoilers)

Based on the pilot, does it look like it's going to roughly follow the original's plot? (A more useful question might be, did the original have the same bizarre communication via radio and tv thing and was it ever actually explained?)

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mr_porteiro_head
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The BBC series really is fantastic.
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TL
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I actually thought they did a good job with the first episode. But the guy playing Sam Tyler in this version is a charmless, lifeless stiff. Everybody they cast around him was so good, it really pained me to watch... Missed opportunity for greatness? Perhaps. If only they had cast somebody even slightly in the mold of the original guy.

Sorry to any fans of the actor. I'm not familiar with him.

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Stephan
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The original pilot (with Colm Meaney rather than Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt) had the exact script as the BBC pilot episode. You can find both the original US pilot and the BBC series on torent sites. The BBC series actually had a sequel called Ashes to Ashes about a modern female cop going back to the 80s. Gene Hunt was still in it to.

quote:
Originally posted by Raymond Arnold:
(Mild Spoilers)

Based on the pilot, does it look like it's going to roughly follow the original's plot? (A more useful question might be, did the original have the same bizarre communication via radio and tv thing and was it ever actually explained?)


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Lisa
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Ashes to Ashes was okay, but it wasn't nearly as good as Life on Mars. For those who are interested, Life on Mars ran for 2 seasons of 6 episodes each. And it had an ending, so there won't be more of it. It was simply out of this world fantastic. Ashes to Ashes ran a single 6 ep season and was good, but not great.

They clearly won't copy the original for the US version entirely, for many reasons, among them being that they won't want to limit themselves to 12 eps. But if the original pilot was any indication, 12 eps is a pipe dream for this thing.

They replaced half the cast after that original pilot was leaked, but they didn't replace the worst of the worst, which was the lead. John Simms as Sam Tyler was amazing. He was brain; not brawn. He was a thinking man faced with brutal 1970's police. Jason whatever-his-name-is is a beefy guy who has the emotional range of a pet rock. Maybe they figured the pet rock thing would fit in well with the 1970's, but it does nothing for me.

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mr_porteiro_head
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Crap. I saw the original pilot, and the one thing I was hoping they'd change was the lead actor. [Frown]
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Troubadour
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Just watched it. I think I could possibly have liked it if I hadn't seen the UK version.

Not that I think that US remakes are inherently worse - I actually prefer the US version of the Office, for example.

As it is, the actors and writing seem to slap you around the face with 'look, this is the 70's' moments that seem much more subtle in the original.

But it's absolutely the US Sam Tyler who drags the whole thing down. I think it could work with a better actor and more attention to the spirit of the original without some of the slavish copying.

Pity - I would've loved a longer run of Life on Mars and I was hoping the US version would give it to me.

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Lisa
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quote:
Originally posted by Troubadour:
Pity - I would've loved a longer run of Life on Mars and I was hoping the US version would give it to me.

Same here. But I'm just going to think of the UK one as a maxiseries. Like Daybreak was here.
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Stephan
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Spoilers:


Ok, watched it last night. Definitely an improvement over the original pilot, but still not quite as good as the BBC series.

Sam getting hit by a car was FAR less dramatic. It actually seemed sort of silly this time around.

Annie is back to where she should be, putting up with sexism in order to fit in. Yet still turning her into a closet feminist to appease US political correctness.

Really confused as to why they turned Maya's kidnapper into a twin.

They completely dropped one of the most pivotal scenes, that of Sam threatening to jump off of a roof to get home. Annie stopping him was his first step to accepting this world he finds himself in. Maybe they will save it for another episode. Could be a great seanson finale cliffhanger.

Over all if felt sort of rushed, those extra 10 minutes the BBC gives its shows makes a world of difference in pacing.

I liked Harvey Keitel. I have a feeling this will be like Frasier and other shows where its really the supporting cast that will keep you coming back.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
The original pilot (with Colm Meaney rather than Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt) had the exact script as the BBC pilot episode.

Actually, there was one important change that really bothered me. When Sam got fed up and took a swing at Hunt, instead of Hunt physically dominating Sam as in the UK version, Sam's the one that won.

I really enjoyed the Sam/Hunt dynamic in the original. I liked that as much as I rooted for Sam and booed Hunt, I had to admire Hunt for his competence, his strength, his horrible chauvinistic manliness.

I didn't like that in the original US pilot Sam was superior to Hunt in practically every way.

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Raymond Arnold
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I just watched last Thursday's episode. I *think* the show is growing on me, although I won't be sure until it has finally attempted to deliver on the vague foreshadowing. The main character still doesn't do anything for me but I the rest of it seems solid.
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Lisa
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I've been watching it. It's much more like the original now, which I like. But... it pales. I love Harvey Keitel, and I'm glad for just about any reason to see him, but he's not Gene Hunt.
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Stephan
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Getting better, watched the 5th episode last night. I think Sam is starting to show a bit more emotion.

I notice this Sam is much more willing to let on that he knows people.

Anyone else catch a big anachronism in the 4th episode? The girl that drugged Sam was wearing those boy short cut of underwear that I am pretty sure was not around 35 years ago.

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Herblay
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Maybe they were boy underwear?

No, this "Life on Mars" isn't the same show. But it's better than if they tried to carbon copy the original. It's a fantastic show in its own right. It's taking a few episodes to go from "good" to "great", but the last two episodes show that it has really found its stride.

Jason O'Mara is doing a great job now, the cast's really fleshing out, and the production values are fantastic.

I was hoping that Fringe would be the best new show, but it's really coming down to True Blood and Life on Mars to carry the fall.

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Teshi
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Ooh. Comparative TV.
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Teshi
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quote:
Originally posted by mr_porteiro_head:
quote:
Originally posted by Stephan:
The original pilot (with Colm Meaney rather than Harvey Keitel as Gene Hunt) had the exact script as the BBC pilot episode.

Actually, there was one important change that really bothered me. When Sam got fed up and took a swing at Hunt, instead of Hunt physically dominating Sam as in the UK version, Sam's the one that won.

I really enjoyed the Sam/Hunt dynamic in the original. I liked that as much as I rooted for Sam and booed Hunt, I had to admire Hunt for his competence, his strength, his horrible chauvinistic manliness.

I didn't like that in the original US pilot Sam was superior to Hunt in practically every way.

Actually, there were a great number of changes like this. (My review of the old new version).

quote:
For example: Instead of the main character Sam Tyler being wrong, he is instead made right and the girlfriend (with the tinned characteristic of “spunky”) gets to be wrong. Instead of her getting herself into danger, he sends her into danger. Presumably this is intended to give the character more guilt over what happens, but him being right and then also being responsible for her wholly undermines her character.
quote:
And then there’s the modification of dialogue. Compare these two lines, occurring at the same point in the story, when seeing a familiar music store:

SAM TYLER: I used to come here. I bought my first… Gary Numan. ‘Cars’.

SAM TYLER: I used to get all my CDs here.

The first line is the UK pilot, and John Simm is peering through the stained record shop window in delight (the camera inside the store behind dirty glass, Annie in the background and records in the foreground visible). The second is delivered by Jason O’Hara while crossing the road after seeing the store.

I don’t even know where to start with these two lines. The first is precise, human, delighted with the memory, evocative, and harkens back to another era, if not quite this one. It reveals detail about the character.

The second is boring, entirely uninventive, vague, and perhaps refers to the very first years of the 21st century, when Sam bought ‘his CDs’.

This kind of thing happens again and again and again in the original remake. The thing was, in details, entirely different.

I'm excited to see how the remake of the remake stands up.

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Bella Bee
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Apparently this has been cancelled.

Seriously, ABC is getting worse than Fox.

Having said, that I've never actually watched this re-make. Was it a bit rubbish?

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The Pixiest
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Now that the ABC version is canned, can we get the UK version over here? That's the one I want to see....
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Ron Lambert
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I'm not glad they canned the series--it was one of my favorites. But I am glad they let them know in advance, and will let them finish the season. Hopefully they will be able to wrap up the story line and answer some questions for us.
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Stephan
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UK version is coming out on dvd according to tvshowsondvd.com.

Ashes to Ashes series 2 also finished filming last summer, and should be showing on BBC (and piratebay) very soon.

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Raymond Arnold
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So... that was kinda weird.
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breyerchic04
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So was the president Sasha or Malia?
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scifibum
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quote:
They clearly won't copy the original for the US version entirely, for many reasons, among them being that they won't want to limit themselves to 12 eps.
I kind of wish US networks would be content to end series when they are still good. It's something I admire about a few BBC series.
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Stephan
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Not the ending I expected, but definitely different.

For those that missed my other post, Ashes to Ashes Series 2 is back on this month.

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Lisa
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That was interesting. I finally finished watching it. The only thing I'm not clear on is the scenes where Sam wasn't there. Like where Annie was talking to Rose. How would that be in Sam's simulation?

I love that Gene Hunt/Tom Tyler turned out to be Sam's dad. But he still isn't Gene Hunt, as far as I'm concerned.

On another note, isn't it pathetic that it's way faster to use Google to find an old thread on Hatrack than the forum's search function?

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