'Life On Mars' on ABC HD - Page 13 - AVS Forum
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post #361 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 09:25 AM
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I thought the ending was terrific. Way way better than the British version ending.
There were hints throughout the series - those tiny robot thingies crawling around Sam.
Loved it!

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post #362 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 09:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcalabria View Post

...and, at least on TWC, BBCA OnDemand has the first four episodes plus two short features featuring Gene and the Gene/Alex relationship. Good place to catch up, as I did last weekend.

Comcast too! But not in HD, of course.

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post #363 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 09:28 AM
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While ending the series at the phone hang-up and remaining in '73 with Annie might have been emotionally satisfying to some, it really would have been the easy out, mail-it-in-we've-been-let-go route for the writers. At least they tried to deliver something unexpected (everybody just KNEW he was in a coma back in 2008/9) that still explained things, more or less.

Given the short window that they had to wrap things up, I think the writers did an OK job delivering something that closed out the story in an unexpected manner (despite several breadcrumbs thrown out along the way - the Mars rovers, the Aries Toy company - seen briefly again in Hyde last night, the space ship (one of his fav toys from childhood) being the key to free him from his shackles... and did anybody notice the name of the boat... Hyde 35).

The show never took itself THAT seriously that such a twist was inconceivable, and leaving just enough inconsistency in the closing scene to make us all question whether he is still in a coma was probably exactly what they intended.

BTW... I think the white shoe stepping out on to the Martian surface was merely a nod to the oft seen BBC Gene Hunt's boot stepping out of his car, elevator, office, etc.

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post #364 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 09:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Koegel View Post

You could add a fifth for sure--how about the signal delay that does not exist when "Frank Morgan" the mission director, who previously had shown up in Sam's "dream" as an FBI investigator, calls in from earth to explain it all as a glitch in Sam's sleep-unit's "stim programming?


Frank Morgan is the name of the actor who portrayed the Wizard of Oz in 1939. Perhaps he is the one controlling all of Sam's visions?

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post #365 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasmacat View Post

I thought the ending was terrific. Way way better than the British version ending.
There were hints throughout the series - those tiny robot thingies crawling around Sam.
Loved it!

I agree that the ending of the U.S. version of Life on Mars was all right. While it was somewhat flawed, I thought it superior to the very dark and ambiguous ending of the British version. Here, at least we had an understandable and mostly satisfactory resolution to the story, which is more than you can say for the BBC version.
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post #366 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 10:21 AM
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Good comments, all, people. I was left somewhat indifferent by the ending so I guess that means it didn't really work for me. But by the same token, I didn't have an intensely negative reaction either.


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Originally Posted by Jeff Whitford View Post

They should have ended it with him hanging up the phone. I'm very disappointed

hmm. perhaps you're right.

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Originally Posted by Raln View Post

I'll never understand why this show didn't make it. Great cast, great characters, great plot, even great music. It wasn't even all that complicated(yet, at least) when compared to a few other shows that are on and have been on.

I think it all comes down to the familiarity factor. To reach a large enough audience, shows need to be sufficiently obvious or comfortable to work on such a massive popularity scale. It's for the same reason that they give away the entire plot in movie previews. They do it because it works. Whether people agree with it or not as they do not like to see themselves labeled as being shallow or predictable, the truth is that *most* people are more apt to respond favorably to something they are comfortable with, that they can fairly closely predict the outcome to. Hence, why the blockbuster movies all tend to be retreads of other blockbuster movies.

Same with the fact that the networks trot out a ton of medical and police/law dramas. It's because the comfortable familiarity of these themes and plotlines tend to have the best chance of surviving in the entertainment marketplace. While LOM was part a "cops" drama, it still veered significantly away from the familiar retread areas that it was still too "out there" to be sustained by a large enough audience.
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Did you notice the little throw away line Rose (Sam's mom) said after being interrogated by Gene and Ray... "look at those cavemen go"

oh, good catch! I totally missed that.

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post #367 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 10:47 AM
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I would have had no problem with the ending IF they had given some real, concrete hints that Sam was still in a time crisis, or had him waking up back in 1973 after the Mars scene with Maya sleeping beside him! Talk about your whoa ending. I think this was originally supposed to be the season, not series finale, ending the episode with the phone call, with a "to be continued" deal. But since they had only 15 minutes to sew everything up, they came up with the best they could; and instead of sewing everything up, they screwed everything up.

I didn't want a replica of the very excellent UK version finale, but I wanted something as meaningful, not something goofy. A huge miss, an epic fail. Whoever is responsible for writing this drivel should never work on another Life On Mars episode...oh, that's right, this is the end. Sniffle. I'll miss what the show was before those last 15 minutes.

Oh, and what the hell is up with Annie being in a rest home at the age of, what, 67? If she's about 30 in 1973, wouldn't 2010 make her 67? And he's reading to her like she's 87?
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post #368 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CruelInventions View Post

Good comments, all, people.

...oh, good catch! I totally missed that.

Look at those cavemen go. This was a great touch and catch, replayrob

...but the Major Tom name was just out right insulting. You can't take the path of smart witty subtleties and then slam the viewer in the face with a two by four.

I was disappointed in the ending. It seemed like a lazy after thought. There were so many other ways to do the last several minutes of this episode / seriesif they put some effort into it.

The Frank Morgan guy could have been his 2009 doctor looking over him on a hospital bed as he woke up. There were the persistent beeping tones that sounded like hospital equipment. In retrospect, I guess they were only used to throw us off.

I loved the scene with him sitting at her bedside reading the book. It would have been great to see that reversed-- with "someone" reading to him.

Ahhh... Maybe I'm just pissed the show is done.

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post #369 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petesimac View Post

Oh, and what the hell is up with Annie being in a rest home at the age of, what, 67? If she's about 30 in 1973, wouldn't 2010 make her 67? And he's reading to her like she's 87?

I had the same thought about that scene. The time didn't fit and after the space ship ending what did that have to do with anything?
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post #370 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Easy, now....I haven't seen the BBC version. That the lead character is in a coma seems to be obvious at this point. But I'm hoping that perhaps they'll take us in a whole different direction away from that.




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Originally Posted by Digger16309 View Post

Seems to be obvious?

Hearing the paddles charging and being used (with a bright light from above)

The "doctor" on the TV.

Hearing people talk to him.

What different direction can it take and still remain even halfway believable now?

You were saying?

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #371 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

You were saying?

My point exactly, a few posts back!

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post #372 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 04:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Koegel View Post

You could add a fifth for sure--how about the signal delay that does not exist when "Frank Morgan" the mission director, who previously had shown up in Sam's "dream" as an FBI investigator, calls in from earth to explain it all as a glitch in Sam's sleep-unit's "stim programming? A call from Earth would take over 8 minutes to reach Mars when the planets are at their closest points.

You know, I almost added that point, then left it out because I figured the writers probably didn't want to have to explain the delay and all that, hoping that no one noticed. But now I'm not so sure. If Sam didn't know there'd be that long of a delay, and he watched lots of Sci-Fi on TV, he might not know there'd be a delay in radio transmissions to Mars. So his mind would make the communications instantaneous. Now I want to look at 2001: A Space Odyssey, which I think did handle this somehow when the two astronauts are enroute to Jupiter. Maybe there's an easy way to explain it without too much detail.

And, since you mention it, I kept thinking the name "Frank Morgan" sounded familiar, even when he said it on the phone the first time. And sure enough, someone else posted here that Frank Morgan played the Wizard of Oz in that movie.

In the finale, when Sam is talking to the others about how they were in his dream, it sounded just like the scene at the end of the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy wakes up back in Kansas. Some of the dialog was almost verbatim. And if he's in a coma, then why wouldn't his mind come up with dialog from a movie he'd probably seen a dozen times or more.

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post #373 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 04:40 PM
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I can appreciate the desire to link the name Frank Morgan with the Wizard of Oz but the name actually comes by way of the BBC series. So, whatever Oz connections you want to make weren't the brainchild of sly American writers who were trying to give us a clue. They come from the Brits who had a vastly different ending. Sorry, but I think you're overanalyzing.
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post #374 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 04:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatthewT View Post

I can appreciate the desire to link the name Frank Morgan with the Wizard of Oz but the name actually comes by way of the BBC series. So, whatever Oz connections you want to make weren't the brainchild of sly American writers who were trying to give us a clue. They come from the Brits who had a vastly different ending. Sorry, but I think you're overanalyzing.

Just noticed that you were back in Kansas!

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post #375 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 04:47 PM
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Seems to me that waking up from an induced stasis is not really all that different than waking up from a trauma-induced coma... the only real twist was WHEN it happened.

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post #376 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 06:00 PM
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Anyone remember the end of Newhart? Deja vu all over again...
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post #377 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 06:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Mesickstan View Post

Anyone remember the end of Newhart? Deja vu all over again...

St Elsewhere?
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post #378 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by faceoff View Post

St Elsewhere?

Yeah, but St. Elsewhere's ending was cool; the whole thing was in the head of one autistic boy; great ending! I guess if I had not seen the UK version, I might have thought the ending was good. But I did, and so I don't.
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post #379 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 08:26 PM
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And the Newhart show's finale is a classic; it couldn't and shouldn't have ended any other way.
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post #380 of 470 Old 04-02-2009, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Sharp1080 View Post

Tom,

Were you referencing my post? If not then please disregard this. H Haller asked about the ending and I replied it's different that's all. If it had been the same you know the board would be lit up with complaints.

Wasn't complaining about spoilers. Just warding off anybody who might offer one! And folks have been kind . . .
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post #381 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 06:13 AM
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Perfect ending. LOVED it. It was obvious by all the clues left throughout the season, this is where they were heading from the beginning. The show, while thought provoking, was very lighthearted. So, I think the end fit quite nicely with the feel of the show.

I will certainly miss it.

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post #382 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 06:56 AM
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Quote:


Yeah, but St. Elsewhere's ending was cool; the whole thing was in the head of one autistic boy; great ending!

St Elsewhere... if I remember correctly- many fans (including me) felt "cheated" by that crazy- out of left field- ending.
Yes, it was clever and fantastic- but totally unnecessary. There was never a "mystical" aspect to St Elsewhere- so to introduce that element in the final episode was just out of place for a straight out medical drama.

Life On Mars US- judging by the mixed reaction here- it looks like a Soprano's type "love it" or "hate it" result. I imagine if you hate the ending, it kind of taints the whole series. If you love the ending... it just kind of reinforces how you feel about the whole US run.

I watched it live on Wednesday, and as I indicated in my earlier post- loved the ending. My wife and kids watched it last night from the TiVo... they thought the ending was absolutely outstanding. They couldn't stop talking about it after the show. They already asked me to be sure to have all the episodes on the server cause they're going to watch all the episodes again hunting for clues that may hint at the ending

PS... our overall favorite scene without question was the closing shot of Gene's white loafer making the (sure to be) famous first human footprint on Mars.

"If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space."
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post #383 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 07:48 AM
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I'm "OK" with the ending.
Unlike some, that think the ending would have been fitting for a 1 episode show, ... I think the opposite.
Any problems with it seem to stem from the fact that this ending was supposed to be revealed 50, 70 or more episodes "down the road" from now...

They instead had to cram it unexpectedly into this last episode.
Yes, this is where they were going ..
The hints given so far, "Spaceman", Toy rocket, "Project Aries", Views from space, the mars rover visions, ect ...
I could see, in future episodes, how they would have done things like slowly elevating "noNuts" to "commander" like status, develop a much stronger Father/son relationship w/ Gene, after this real father story arc was done, more development of know-it-all Windy ect...
All leading up to a more satisfying 2035 reveal.
Also, it seems obvious that a "regular" episode was slightly modified, & filmed, & the ending added .. I'm sure , given more time, they probably had better ideas on how he would "get back" & transition from '73 to '35, & have a more satisfying stop in '09 .....
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post #384 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mesickstan View Post

Anyone remember the end of Newhart? Deja vu all over again...

I was thinking that very ending and mentioned that on another forum that was discussing the series finale of this show.
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post #385 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 09:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

I agree that the ending of the U.S. version of Life on Mars was all right. While it was somewhat flawed, I thought it superior to the very dark and ambiguous ending of the British version. Here, at least we had an understandable and mostly satisfactory resolution to the story, which is more than you can say for the BBC version.

The producers had stated in various interviews that they didn't want to have the same explanation as the BBC series had. They didn't want anyone to just look up the BBC series on wikipedia and figure out what the ending would be. So, if you had read any of those interviews (or heard the podcasts) you knew that it would be different. I'm glad that they did something else.

The chosen ending does explain just about everything we saw in the series. The big surprise was that 2008 was also "not real." In fact, 1973 was more "real" than 2008 because 1973 had people he knew playing the characters he was involved with in 1973. If it had gone for more seasons, it probably would have had close to the same last few minutes, but we would have seen more of 1973 and it could be that the reveal at the end might have been more smoother. I don't know whether we would have had most of the events we saw in the last two episodes had they known of a season 2 pickup. It could be that the confrontation with his father wouldn't have been as final if they were continuing.

In any case, it would be interesting to see the episodes again with some of the "actual" situation in mind.
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post #386 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 10:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plasmacat View Post

I thought the ending was terrific. Way way better than the British version ending.
There were hints throughout the series - those tiny robot thingies crawling around Sam.
Loved it!

Ditto here. Not sure why folks hated it so much, it's just as plausible as anything else they could've come up with. It makes the Life on Mars title meaningful, and it closed things out well. If only every series with a serial arc had such a well-defined beginning and end.

The wife and I will miss Sam, and Annie, and Ray, and Gene... great music, great characters, great writing, great atmosphere. Just terrific.

Bravo ABC, you did good.
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post #387 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 10:04 AM
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Haven't been following the series weekly, just hit and miss. Watched the series finally and enjoyed it.. I have a question so I will PM Nottenst, the above poster..check your PM box

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post #388 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 12:51 PM
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I'm confused now. Sam is how old when he comes out of stasis? If he was dreaming of being a little boy around age 6 in 1973 as has been established. That would make him around 41 in 2009 right? Now jump ahead to 2035 and that's where I'm having the issue. I need sleep and my brain is not deciphering all of this today!
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post #389 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharp1080 View Post

I'm confused now. Sam is how old when he comes out of stasis? If he was dreaming of being a little boy around age 6 in 1973 as has been established. That would make him around 41 in 2009 right? Now jump ahead to 2035 and that's where I'm having the issue. I need sleep and my brain is not deciphering all of this today!

His dream was originally of him being his current age (say 41 in 2035) as a cop in 2008. This dream came with a certain set of memories that were not his own memories, but those of the cop character. Then something happened which moved his dream to 1973 and certain people in that dream were influenced by/based on the real people of his life, but he had the memories of the 2008 character.
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post #390 of 470 Old 04-03-2009, 01:07 PM
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It appeared to me that the look on Annie's face after waking in the capsule that she may have been dreaming of Sam.
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