8.3/10
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Life on Mars 

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After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of 'Sweeney' type policing, Mark III Cortinas, and flared trousers.
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2   1  
2007   2006  
9 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
John Simm ...  Sam Tyler 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Philip Glenister ...  Gene Hunt 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Liz White ...  Annie Cartwright 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Dean Andrews ...  Ray Carling 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Marshall Lancaster ...  Chris Skelton 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Noreen Kershaw Noreen Kershaw ...  Phyllis Dobbs 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Tony Marshall Tony Marshall ...  Nelson 12 episodes, 2006-2007
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Storyline

After being involved in a car accident in 2006, DCI Sam Tyler wakes up to find himself in 1973, the era of 'Sweeney' type policing, Mark III Cortinas, and flared trousers.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Two cops in the same town at the same time... 33 years apart

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

BBC [UK]

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 July 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Život na Marsu See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(16 episodes) (cut) | (16 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In one scene, an ultrasound monitor is shown for a woman who is expecting a baby. The building used as the hospital was in fact one of the five places that had introduced ultrasound trials by July 1973. However, ultrasound scanning was extremely rare until it was officially released for public use in 1975. See more »

Goofs

The bar scene: No beers cost 22p in 1973. Also, as the UK were still changing the money over, use and handing over of decimals would have been a lot slower than as shown in the film. Beer in Manchester would have been between 10np and 15np (or 2-3 shillings).

It was revealed in Ashes to Ashes that this era inhabited is a kind of police purgatory: Heavy artistic license can be used with these details, as it's not the real living world/ reality being portrayed. See more »

Quotes

Sam Tyler: [credits introduction] My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The DVD sets of the series have much of the 1970s music replaced with public domain music due to rights issues. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Real 'Life on Mars'! (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
A novel approach to scifi crime
5 September 2006 | by P_CorneliusSee all my reviews

I'm giving a vote of 9 out of 10 to Life on Mars, even though I know BBC America must be butchering the episodes they are screening in the US. IMDb says the runtime is 58 minutes. After you take out the commercials and endless promos BBC America runs each hour (at least 8 or 9 minutes must be for that brain sucking waste of time, Footballers Wives), I'm guessing we in the US are viewing about 44 minutes out of the 58. So good is Life on Mars, however, I'm willing to put up with it--and hope for the full version DVDs later.

What makes this show tick? Perhaps it's the ever present dreamscape quality--made possible by the slight sepia tint seemingly applied on most setups, which combine with the bright incandescent interior lighting of the institutional quality police stations, bar rooms, and housing projects to give a greenish, otherworldly haze to many scenes.

Combine this with the fun look back into a time without computers, fax machines and those damnable cell phones and you have poor Sam Tyler facing off with an English version of Dirty Harry. Combustible. Not to mention that Sam's holier than thou attitude is beginning to lose out to the realists on the beat. All of it makes for a very interesting hour--or 44 minutes.


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