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Life On Mars: Series 1 (U.K.)
Life On Mars Series 1
Actors: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
NR     2009     7hr 46min

The time-warping detective series seen on BBC America Dreaming, delusional, or displaced in time? Police detective Sam Tyler (John Simm, State of Play) must decide which describes him in this intriguing twist on the police...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster
Genres: Drama, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Drama, Drama, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: Acorn Media
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 07/28/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2005
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 7hr 46min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaDVD Credits: 4
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 16
Edition: Box set
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Journey Back to 1973 Manchester
Kimberly | Philadelphia, PA United States | 04/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I am ecstatic to see this wonderful series from the UK come out on DVD for us Americans to own. Life on Mars is one of the best live action series I have seen in a long time with a combination of great drama, comedy, and superb performances by all involved. John Simm and Philip Glenister who play Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt are especially fantastic, their chemistry as a team is exceptional.

If you happen to have seen the US series please give this version a chance as well. While the premise is the same they are very different in tone. The original UK series is grittier and the 1970's Sam finds himself in is much more politically incorrect adding a bit more conflict and spice to the series. Sam and Gene's relationship is also more of a buddy cop type compared to the father/son type relationship you get from the US version. Even the ending is completely different and in my opinion much more emotionally satisfying than the US one. The UK series is really one of a kind and should not be missed.

Note: This DVD only has the first 8 episodes of the series. The DVD with the final 8 episodes will be coming out sometime in 2010.
Existentialist fish-out-of-water buddy cop show
Nicole Carlson | Los Angeles, CA USA | 12/11/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"One of the most unusual, subtle, and philosophically sophisticated series to grace the small screen!

Our first glimpse of DCI Sam Tyler isn't very promising. He's coolly efficient at his job, but doesn't seem to derive anything more than a grim satisfaction from it. He's dating a subordinate, which tells you everything you need to know about his social life.
Then he is thrust into a bizarre situation: after a near-fatal car accident, he finds himself in 1973. Why 1973? He doesn't know. Complicating Sam's already impossible situation is that some of his senses (especially sight and touch) indicate that he is in 1973, while others (especailly hearing) indicate that he is lying comatose in a 2006 hospital bed.
Lost, confused, and frightened, Sam attempts to work out what has happened to him... and how to get home to 2006. If he can't trust his memories or the evidence of his own senses, what can he trust?
Very slowly, Sam begins to change. He smiles. He rediscovers and reconnects with what he's lost--a family cat, football matches, then his mother and father. We see that 1973 Manchester is, economically, a much bleaker place than 2006 Manchester... but it's also warmer, more organic, all earth tones in contrast to sleekly modern 2006, which is filmed in cool blues and greys. Sam's 1973 bedsit is hideous, a garish riot of oranges and browns, but it's also more lived-in than his spotless white-and-chrome 2006 flat. But 1973 isn't a lost paradise, either; "Life on Mars" doesn't hide 1973's flaws or film it through a rose-coloured camera lens. It shows us what we have gained, and what we have lost along the way. We see that the reforms in policing that stifled Sam and his colleagues in 2006 are a direct reaction to the police abuses Sam sees in 1973.
Sam's 2006 knowledge and sensibilities are both boon and liability. He's had a thorough grounding in criminal psychology and modern forensics, and he's extremely well-acquainted with drug crime, which is only just beginning in 1973. But he never seems to realize the extent to which casual racism and sexism affect life in 1973. He treats WPC Annie Cartwright, the lone woman in the department, as an equal--which she appreciates--but doesn't understand why everyone else doesn't. He sees in her a talented cop being underused; he's right, of course, but he thinks that all he needs to do to further her integration into CID is to draw attention to her abilities. To no one's surprise except Sam's--certainly not Annie's--the men react with undisguised contempt.
It's this sort of subtle contrast between 1973 and 2006--the weaknesses inherent in being from the future, as well as the strengths--that really set "Life on Mars" apart."
John Simms is the best Sam Tyler
Jillian P. Phippen | Orem, UT USA | 04/20/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There is a one star review for this item from a person who has only seen the American version of Life on Mars. That review grouses about "only 8 shows" and that this is "only half a season."

This is NOT a short season. In Great Britain, seasons are 8 shows. If you watched it on BBC, you waited a year to see the next season. Doctor Who is the only current British show to have 13 episodes (like an American season). You end up with 16 total episodes, each a year apart.

As for PRICE: a full season of Doctor Who is between $65 and $75 per 13 episode season, so the price is absolutely in line with that. Judging the British counterpart by its American (failure) is a really poor idea by someone who doesn't *know* anything about the British season and has now artificially lowered the rating of this superior British piece.

BBC's Life on Mars was amazing as it came out. It really ignited my imagination. John Simms gives a stellar performance. If you like the American series, the British series is much tighter, has better symbolism, reminds viewers that the past is different than the present, and it puts into perspective modern detective work as it's performed without CSI and million-dollar-crime labs.

Another BBC show that's trumped its American re-shoot."
An Amazing Journey
Jen | Belgian Gardens, QLD Australia | 08/19/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The premise of Life On Mars sounds strange - a modern day cop has an accident and wakes up in 1973 - and it could have misfired very badly. It doesn't, though! John Simm is perfect as DI Sam Tyler, the modern cop who's suddenly policing a very different Manchester. He brings the right mix of vulnerability, confusion and depth to the character. Is he mad, in a coma, or has he gone back in time? he doesn't know, and neither do we.

Philip Glenister plays DCI Gene Hunt, Sam's new boss in 1973. He's crass, foul-mouthed, sexist, bigotted, and has an insult for everyone. He's also corrupt, but he's not the bad guy...everything is shades of grey.

Life On Mars is a fascinating show. On one level it's a cop drama, but there are a lot more levels underneath it. Add to that a fantastic soundtrack, and it's a show you will watch over and over again."