LIFE ON MARS: If You Haven’t Seen It, It’s New to You

In fairness, that was NBC’s misguided slogan once, and the remake of Life on Mars is on ABC. But I’m curious to hear what folks who aren’t familiar with the BBC original think of the new version, which is for about 75% of the pilot a shot-for-shot redo of the brilliant British show (the small deviations aren’t terrible, but they’re not impovements). For those of us who loved the original, there’s not a lot of fun to be found in intoning, “Annnnnnd now Sam realizes the fiber under the victims’ nails is soundproofing. Riiiiiight–there!” The mind-expanding moment when Sam starts to doubt that his injured brain could create so much detail to the strains of “Teenage Wasteland” loses a lot of its magic when it’s not new. The ABC version is servicable (although the cast has yet to sparkle the way the British thespians did, that may yet develop), but the fun isn’t as much…fun the second time around. And since the original filled out a well-rounded 16 episodes, we have to wonder what this show will turn into as it stretches through a full US season of several more episodes than that.

But what about for new viewers? We’re probably never getting the British version on Region 1 DVD because of issues with music rights, so is a one-off version actually a blessing in disguise, exposing a whole new audience to a clever premise, an emotional roller coaster, and a lot of classic tunes? Tell us how you felt about your first trip to Mars.

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2 thoughts on “LIFE ON MARS: If You Haven’t Seen It, It’s New to You

  1. Life On Mars – the ABC version

    ABC’s interpretation of LoM seems forced and labored, not organic like the original BBC version.
    While scenes and dialog are repeated from the original, they just don’t come across as naturally.
    Once again, another example of how American TV can really screw up a great and original UK TV premise.
    Note to US TV execs – leave the Brits series’ alone! Haven’t you learnt after how many different attempts at an Americanization of Fawlty Towers, among many others and doesn’t the phrase “Lost in Translation” ring a bell???
    BBC America should bring back the original LoM to run an hour before the ABC version, just to show discerning viewers what a great series should look and sound like.

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