Life On Mars?

I checked out the first episode of the 2006 BBC series Life On Mars, which I missed on BBC America and had heard good things about. And indeed, I wasn’t disappointed: judging by the first episode, this looks pretty interesting.

The short version: a Manchester cop named Sam Tyler is tracking a serial killer. Unfortunately, his girlfriend (and fellow police officer) is captured by the killer, who strangles his victims a day after kidnapping them. Driving away from the scene, Sam begins to cry. He pulls over to the side of the road and gets out of his car…and is promptly hit at high speed by another passing vehicle.

He wakes up…only the freeway overpass he was under is gone. The road he was on is gone. He’s wearing a tight leather jacket and a shirt with a butterfly collar, tight bell-bottoms and some sort of ridiculous boots.

Oh, and it’s 1973.

He’s still a cop, and when he turns up at his station — only to discover it full of chain-smoking men with terrible haircuts who look like Monty Python extras — he also finds that his serial killer — the one he’s pursuing in 2006 — has killed a woman in 1973. So can he stop this guy, using the relatively primitive criminology of the time…and keep the killer from murdering his girlfriend, thirty years later?

Good stuff. Sam Tyler is played by John Simm, who did an absolutely kick-ass turn as the Master in last season’s finale of Doctor Who. All in all, this looks pretty promising.

Apparently this is being made into an American series as well, though I’d rather see this version out before checking out the American one. And there’s also a sequel series, called Ashes To Ashes, that’s running now on the BBC.

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  1. The Guv (as portrayed by Phil Glenister) became my hands down favorite character on TV after the second or third episode. “Drop your weapons! You are surrounded by armed bastards!” still makes me chuckle.

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