When Life on Mars first premiered on BBC One in 2006, it quickly captured the attention of audiences around the world with its unique blend of science fiction, crime drama, and nostalgia. The show follows police officer Sam Tyler (John Simm), who is hit by a car in 2006 and wakes up in 1973, finding himself working as a detective in the same police force he used to work for.
The series explores the differences between the police force and society of the 1970s and the present day, as well as the possibility that Tyler is actually in a coma and the 1973 setting is a dream or a form of purgatory. The show’s creators, Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan, and Ashley Pharoah, have said that the series was inspired by the 1973 film “The Wicker Man” and the science fiction novel “The Long Earth” by Terry Pratchett.
One of the most striking aspects of Life on Mars is its attention to detail when it comes to recreating the 1970s. From the fashion and hairstyles to the cars and technology, the show’s production design immerses viewers in the era. The period-specific soundtrack, featuring hits from artists like David Bowie and The Kinks, also adds to the show’s atmosphere.
The series was also praised for its strong performances, particularly John Simm’s portrayal of Sam Tyler. Simm’s character must navigate the complexities of the past while also dealing with the confusion and disorientation of his sudden time travel. The supporting cast, including Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt and Liz White as Annie Cartwright, also delivered standout performances.
Life on Mars was a critical and commercial success, garnering several awards and nominations, including a BAFTA for Best Drama Series. The show’s popularity led to a spin-off series, Ashes to Ashes, which followed a similar premise and aired from 2008 to 2010. The show has also been re-made in several countries, including the United States.
If you’re a fan of science fiction, crime dramas, or nostalgia for the 1970s, then Life on Mars is definitely worth checking out. The series is available to stream on various platforms, and its unique blend of genres and attention to detail make it a standout in the world of television.