Life On Mars

Discussion in 'The Moving Picture' started by flat-top, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. flat-top

    flat-top My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Anybody catch this great new show?
    I've never seen the original BBC series, but the debut episode of the American version was pretty top notch.
     
  2. J. M. Stovall

    J. M. Stovall Call Me a Cab

    We watched it and really enjoyed it! Definitely into Tivo!
     
  3. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    I watched the BBC series with ocassionally flagging interest. I did love the music. I wonder if New Yorkers of 1973 were as interested in Bowie and the Who as the soundtrack would lead us to believe, or is that just an unreconstructed transfer from the original.

    The lead actor is pretty stinky, posey, wooden, passing pretty, kind of in the Julian McMahon mold, but the rest of the cast... like, wow.

    I dunno. I'll give it a chance, though I hope that, like The Office, it moves away from the British footprint to develop it's own way of doin' bidness.
     
  4. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

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    The first episode was nearly identical to it's predecessor from Britain. There were some minor differences but essentially it's the same storyline down to scenes and camera angles. On balance, I prefer the original but we'll see how it goes.

    Anyone going to be watching The Eleventh Hour on BBCA Sunday? Another British Sci-Fi offering, starring Patrick Stewart, that's being redone in the US.
     
  5. Nathan Dodge

    Nathan Dodge One Too Many

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    Haven't Seen the Show, but...

    I saw an ABC promo for this show and it was done "retro style", complete with vintage ABC logo and Ernie Anderson-soundalike voiceover.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_obJ-5gaoA
     
  6. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    I'm hoping that it makes it back over here, as I'd be curious to compare it. I have seen the trailer, and to be honest it really didn't work for me. That said, a big part of the fun with the show was the nostalgia for the period, both in the reflections of cop-shows such as The Sweeney and general nostalgia. My earliest memories stem from mid 1976, just a little later than the original LoM setting, and the general '70sness' rang very true to me. The US version just felt like Starsky and Hutch , but then given the nature of the show, to make sense for an American audience it would need to translate into their cultural frame of reference. I wonder whether there'll be a US version of spin-off series Ashes to Ashes? I have a feeling that, for some reason, that might translate a touch better.

    I'm a little sceptical about remaking shows like that in a way.... The US version of The Office was well put together and a decent show in its own right, but it just lacked something for me, some spark that the original had. Ultimately, I was never less than aware that I was watching a scripted performance, whereas the original was so wholly convincing it could have been a genuine documentary. I've also heard US folks think the same thing, but in reverse, so maybe again it's all about cultural reference points.

    In terms of the parody of 70s cop show element, you certainly have a very rich vein of stuff to choose from in the US, so it'll be interesting to see where they take that. :)
     
  7. Ace Fedora

    Ace Fedora Familiar Face

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    The BBC series is one of my favorite shows from the last five years.

    The American version... isn't.

    But that's not to say it won't be -- it's hard to get a good feel for it simply because it stayed very close to the BBC pilot. You couldn't help but compare actors and scenes directly, which isn't fair.

    I didn't see the original American pilot, which set the show in LA instead of New York, but I don't imagine that working at all. 1973 NYC is a fair analogue for 1973 Manchester, 1973 Los Angeles not so much.

    I'd call it more KOJAK than STARSKY AND HUTCH.
     
  8. J. M. Stovall

    J. M. Stovall Call Me a Cab

    Since I had absolutely no idea that this was a remake it's working for me, so far.
     
  9. flat-top

    flat-top My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Yup, and for me having never seen the original, it was all new to me!
     
  10. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

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    Although I'd seen the British Life on Mars when it was first shown on BBCA, I recorded the seven episodes they aired this past Sunday. Last night I watched the first episode back-to-back with the first US episode. Although strikingly similar, I do have to say that the minor changes as well as the 1973 NYC location do make for some interesting differences. If you've never seen the British version, I believe it'll be very enjoyable.

    I'm going to continue to watch the US and UK versions back-to-back. As long as each episode is in the same order (as was true yesterday), it should be interesting to see the differences and the similarities.

    I'm looking forward to new episodes of MI-5, Torchwood, and Hotel Babylon on BBCA. I hope they have them scheduled for later this year.
     
  11. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    I'm amazed at how popular British programmes are with US audiences!

    There seems to be a real following in the USA of British productions such as Dr Who, Torchwood, Spooks (about MI5), Life on Mars..etc, etc. I didn't think that British humour or British psyche travelled that well across the Atlantic (abit like Guinness not travelling well from Ireland to the UK!!;) ).

    So do Americans..."get it?" Do 'you' understand these storylines that can be 'very British' and does the 'humour' like for instance THE OFFICE work in the USA?

    (Is this underpinning a sadness that the RedCoats left in the first place in the 1770's? and do you want us back? :))
     
  12. carter

    carter I'll Lock Up

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    Descended from Yorkshiremen and Scots Borderers

    Well, Paddy, I'd say that the British sense of humor is much appreciated on these shores. Witness the popularity of programs like Fawlty Towers, Not Going Out, Monty Python, and others. Some of the references may be a bit obscure and the occasional accent nearly unintelligible but the gist of the programs seems to travel well. The British original of The Office, is, IMHO, much funnier, primarily because Ricky Gervais is absolutel hysterical. :D

    British Sci-Fi authors have a large readership in the US and I see the same fondness for British programming in this vein. Primeval, Torchwood, and Dr Who all have loyal fans. Dr Who has been around forever. Which incarnation are we on now? It even has it's on long-running FL thread.

    MI-5 is simply one of the best espionage/crime/spy programs out there.

    This is not to say that the programming coming out of the US and Canada is in some way deficient. There is a lot that is quite good and original just as there is a lot that is formulaic and run-of-the-mill. But it is interesting that successful British programs seem to do well when translated to a US version. We'll see if Life on Mars fares well.

    As for wanting the return of the King's Army and Navy, well, probably not. Personally, I prefer coffee. It's rather like cousins for which there is deep affection and genuine joy when we are together. It's grand to see them, break bread with them, and enjoy their company. This isn't to say one wants to share the same house on a daily basis. There are few truer words than, "absence makes the heart grow fonder". Cheers, Carter :coffee: :D
     
  13. Slim Portly

    Slim Portly One Too Many

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    The most jarring thing about the premier episode of Life on Mars was the continual use of trite time travel "jokes," a la Marty McFly. "I need to use my cell." "You need to sell what?" "Just give me a Tab." "Look buddy, you want a tab you need to buy something first." Etc. They weren't funny the first few dozen times they were used and they just elicit a groan from me now.

    Other than that I found myself liking the show almost against my will, in no small part due to the always amazing Harvey Keitel. What a casting coup to have acquired such an actor's actor for this series.
     
  14. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    Keitel is another thing that would encourage me to watch it if it airs over here, as I've always been very impressed with him in anything I've seen him in.
     
  15. PADDY

    PADDY I'll Lock Up Bartender

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    Just seen the US version...

    Seen the opening episode. It works fine. I liked it.
     
  16. flat-top

    flat-top My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    Another great episode. I like the combo of gritty 70's cop show, and the Sci-Fi elements that they throw in every so often.
    I hope this series survives!
     
  17. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    The second episode seems to be going for camp, and I didn't dig it. The UK version of this episode was so much better, and connected to the larger story in a more effective way. I'm still not liking the lead either.

    It's losing me.


    (Meanwhile, The Shield is nearing the last round up and getting more and more intense every week.)
     
  18. flat-top

    flat-top My Mail is Forwarded Here

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    The fighting with Harvey Kietel was pretty campy and went on too long, but ultimately didn't bother me.
    The lead is so so, but the supporting cast is great.
     
  19. jake_fink

    jake_fink Call Me a Cab

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    It really is. Michael Imperioli is the shizzle. I'm still giving it time.
     
  20. Hat Head

    Hat Head One of the Regulars

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    I like it

    My wife and I watched both episodes this weekend, and we like it so far. Some here have complained about the lead actor, but I've found him agreeable.

    We'll see how it goes.
     

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