'Life On Mars' on ABC HD - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 03:01 PM - Thread Starter
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I was thinking that this should just be a cool throwback show. But thinking that through, I can see where some could find that idea clunky or "old-timey", so I guess that's where the "travel" aspect comes into play (at least in the head of lead character). That's one minor thing I don't care for already. So now I'm wondering if he'll travel back and forth, a la Desmond from Lost. At least those throwback ABC graphics in one of the trailers were cool.

The show may turn out to be very good (its gotten acclaim from previewing critics). Then again, it could backfire as did Daybreak. Anyways, I'll watch, if only for Harvey Keitel alone; he's got some excellent one-liners. The other little quibble I have is about its timeslot; I don't have a reliable DVR right now and 10PM is really past my bedtime. Nevertheless, I'm definitely watchin' the pilot.

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post #2 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 03:10 PM
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Life on Mars? Isn't this a show that was on BBCA?
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post #3 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sansri88 View Post

Life on Mars? Isn't this a show that was on BBCA?

Yes, it is. It's a licensed U.S. version.

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post #4 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 03:31 PM
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This is a remake of a excellent UK show along with Eleventh Hour (on CBS at the same time, which stared Patrick Stewart and was OK IMO). I've read reviews ranging from its awful, to its the best new show on TV. So who knows?
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post #5 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 04:00 PM
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The original has perfect casting. Up until the recent pilot shuffle I was ready to pass this completely based on the serious miscasting of the lead role. The lead should not be tougher than his 70s counterpart. That was a major problem when Colm Meaney was involved.

Now I still think the lead guy is out of place, but the casting of Harvey Keitel was a masterstroke. He may not look as physically fit as Sam Tyler in the show but he can easily scare the crap out of everyone.


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post #6 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 04:07 PM
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Yeah. Harvey Keitel, great choice. Liked the Brit version and until I saw Harvey was cast i was not interested. Go Gene Genie! ( have to have seen the original )

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post #7 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 04:14 PM
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Yep - US remake of a very popular BBC show. It aired for two series, and there was a follow up set in the 80s called "Ashes to Ashes"

The UK version is very dependent on references to UK pop culture, and in particular a 70s UK cop show called "The Sweeney".

AIUI the US first episode is pretty true to the UK script - though it will be interesting to see how the US references are filtered in. I don't know if 70s US cop shows like Kojak or Starsky and Hutch really have the same frame of reference?

As others have pointed out this is the second attempt at a US version, it was first piloted with Colm Meaney in the role now taken by Harvey Keitel, though the other guy has played the same character in both. Bet Phil Glenister is flattered that his role is being played by Keitel!

Will it be an Office or a Coupling?

(The UK series, and the follow up, were shot on Super 16 - so didn't air in HD in the UK - as the Beeb don't deem Super 16 acceptable for HD production. However I hear it WAS post-produced in HD and a Blu-ray may be released)
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post #8 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 04:20 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Bet Phil Glenister is flattered that his role is being played by Keitel!

Even though this version has Harvey I think for everyone who saw the original Glenister pretty much owned the role. It will be hard to shake that image.


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post #9 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 04:29 PM
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what night is it on?
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post #10 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 04:36 PM
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Originally Posted by DeathRay View Post

what night is it on?

oh,should have thought to check fredfa's Hot Off The Press: The Latest TV News and Information thread before asking.

it's on tonight. dvr set.
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post #11 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

(The UK series, and the follow up, were shot on Super 16 - so didn't air in HD in the UK - as the Beeb don't deem Super 16 acceptable for HD production. However I hear it WAS post-produced in HD and a Blu-ray may be released)

Wow. The Beeb set the bar high. Arri certainly thinks Super16 is sufficient enough.

Oh, yeah; premiers tonight (10/09) on ABC....

"I knew you'd say that"...*BLAM!*
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post #12 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 05:44 PM
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I wonder if the producers are going to allude to the Wizard of OZ as was the case with the original UK version. I always found that was a nice touch.

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post #13 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 06:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rezzy View Post

Wow. The Beeb set the bar high. Arri certainly thinks Super16 is sufficient enough.

The Beeb's decision has been pretty controversial - particularly with many DoPs who like to shoot on film (as BBC budgets almost never stretch to 35mm) - as it means HD = shoot on video effectively.

The BBC's argument is that whilst some Super 16 can look great in an HD edit - it doesn't survive at all well through the transmission chain - and looks pretty bad in many cases by the time it reaches the screen at home.

As a result Super 16, along with HDV material, will come out of an HD show's SD quota, which is quite small for shows that air on the HD channel (and may have a slight budget increase to assist in the extra HD production costs in some cases)

For more details : http://www.bbc.co.uk/guidelines/dq/p...ery_v01_09.pdf
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post #14 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 07:29 PM
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By the way I think this show is pretty damn cool so far.
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post #15 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 08:34 PM
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I thought it was an excellent debut. Very engaging characters, and a really rich, deep 1973 environment. It looks well done all around so far. I may be hooked already
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post #16 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 08:35 PM
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I know I'm hooked. I should have DVR'd today's episode for repeat viewing this weekend

I can't wait until next week's episode.
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post #17 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 10:04 PM
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It's been at least a year since I watched the original series on BBC America but it was very difficult to accept the new actors. I thought the cast was good but kept thinking "that isn't Sam Tyler, that isn't Gene Hunt, that isn't Annie, etc." I was surprised how many scenes seemed to be shot right out of the BBC pilot script but I guess if you can Americanize it a bit why fix what otherwise isn't broken? I was apprehensive about a new version of this show but after watching the pilot this is definitely on my must-watch list.

Regardless of your feelings for this show, I would encourage everyone to check out the BBC version if they have a chance. I wasn't crazy with the ending but the show was damn near perfect.

Incidentally, I've got the soundtrack to the original show. Am I right to think we've Americanized the music? Obviously, David Bowie is still on there.
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post #18 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 10:07 PM
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I've been meaning to watch the British version but I haven't gotten around to it.

Maybe this weekend I'll watch it and then I'll be able to compare the two.
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post #19 of 470 Old 10-09-2008, 10:35 PM
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Both seasons of the original British version will be available on Blu-ray in 2 weeks (October 27th). I caught only a few episodes of the series, but thought that what I saw was excellent -- so I'll definitely import both seasons.
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post #20 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 04:55 AM
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Hey, they paid the music rights for original WHO. STONES, BOWIE and so forth. That gets a BIG + in my book as well.

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post #21 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 06:02 AM
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I got hooked on the British version and I know it's unfair to compare 1 episode against a TV run. That said, I enjoyed quite a bit last night's episode, I think it was better than the overall BBC series. Harvey Keitel is a great actor and the main actor is very good. IMHO, the downside was the leading lady, a bit too skinny for my taste

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post #22 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by TravelFan1 View Post

I got hooked on the British version and I know it's unfair to compare 1 episode against a TV run. That said, I enjoyed quite a bit last night's episode, I think it was better than the overall BBC series. Harvey Keitel is a great actor and the main actor is very good. IMHO, the downside was the leading lady, a bit too skinny for my taste

I really liked the new version of Life on Mars, too. I saw and loved all 16 episodes of the BBC version when they aired on BBC America. The American version seems to be a worthy successor to the British show.

As do a lot of others, I think that Harvey Keitel can do no wrong and he is terrific here. Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol are very talented, too. I also hugely enjoyed the music. The show is off to a good start and I am already looking forward to next week's episode.

The show's main appeal to me is the premise that Sam finds himself in 1973 New York, 35 years in his past, but at his present age. Worse, He doesn't know if he is really there or simply suffering a particularly convincing hallucination. The very idea is so odd, and yet possibly plausible, it leaves room for the writers to do things they could never get by with in a routine police procedural and wouldn't seem very fresh in a straight up sci-fi show. Good stuff!

I am glad to know that a BD edition of the BBC series is coming out this month. I hope Blockbuster eventually gets it but they don't have it listed yet. If BB does get it, though, I'll put it in my queue.
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post #23 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 06:36 AM
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I was disappointed. I accidentally read about the ending of the UK version and then the producer said that may not be the ending for the US version and that they were keeping their options open.

Well, there were some very large hints about what was happening so I don't know that there are any open options at this point. It would seem like the mystery of the change in time would be part of the pull each week but now it's not.

So now it simply becomes a cop show set in 1973.

If I wanted that, I'd rent DVDs of Kojak. Who loves ya baby?

I'll give it a few more weeks but as I wrote, I'm disappointed that the mystery is solved already.
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post #24 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 06:39 AM
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I watched it and liked it. It gets to keep it's spot on my DVR.
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post #25 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 07:07 AM
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I found myself engaged by this show. Certainly one of the better offerings on this season. I thought the look of the show though was a bit forced, I understand photographically they try to make a contrast between 2008 NYC which is a more undersaturated blueish CSI:NY kinda feel, to the uber-warm 1970s feel (why is we think the 70s were so warm and hot?) but it came off as kinda forced and some of the scenes looked overgraded especially the interiors. Also I thought they could've been more clever with the music, it kinda didn't know if it wanted to be a 70s greatest hits album or modern CSI style music.
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post #26 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 07:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwsat View Post

As do a lot of others, I think that Harvey Keitel can do no wrong and he is terrific here. Michael Imperioli and Gretchen Mol are very talented, too. I also hugely enjoyed the music. The show is off to a good start and I am already looking forward to next week's episode.

+1
After seeing the first episode last night... I gave it a season pass on the TiVoHD. I was/am a big Journeyman fan and I guess this is about as close as we'll get to that show- so I'm in

One minor gripe... in the beginning when Sam first appeared in 1973 and told the cop he was looking for his Jeep- the cop responded "you have a military vehicle?" I know for a fact that Jeep made the CJ-5 (the "CJ" designation signified Civilian Jeep BTW) back in 1973... cause I had one in 1979 when in High School. Also... the Police Cruisers outside the 125th Precinct seemed much older than circa 1973??

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post #27 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 09:09 AM
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Thoroughly enjoyed everything to do with this showthe premise, the music, the actors, the locations, etc.

I know nothing about the BBC version and frankly, I am not interestedat least until this version is through with its run.

For me, living in NY, seeing the filmmaker's perception of the city in 1973, a time and place I am extremely familiar withis why this show could be great. I find the nostalgic throw back extremely refreshing and amusing, even with the minor mistakes as pointed outolder police cars, Jeep reference, etc. I look forward to the future ...episodes.

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post #28 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 09:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

+1
After seeing the first episode last night... I gave it a season pass on the TiVoHD. I was/am a big Journeyman fan and I guess this is about as close as we'll get to that show- so I'm in

One minor gripe... in the beginning when Sam first appeared in 1973 and told the cop he was looking for his Jeep- the cop responded "you have a military vehicle?" I know for a fact that Jeep made the CJ-5 (the "CJ" designation signified Civilian Jeep BTW) back in 1973... cause I had one in 1979 when in High School. Also... the Police Cruisers outside the 125th Precinct seemed much older than circa 1973??

I caught that too .....
My buddy had a (used) Jeep CJ when I was in High School ('74-'78), That comment seemed out-of-place, people Had jeeps ...
but I guess they wanted a couple of " Hey kid, what's with the life Preserver" ... moments .....
I also noticed as well that the cop cars were too old ...
They were pre-1968 cars, & I don't think NYC had many 1967 & older squad cars in '73 ....
These of course are meaningless nitpicks .., I look forward to next week's installment ...
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post #29 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 09:34 AM
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I enjoyed this show a great deal as well, despite my concerns arising out of the discussions concerning the BBC original. the 70's were an important period in my life, and I appreciate this oppurtunity to relive/reminisce about that time in retrospect.


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post #30 of 470 Old 10-10-2008, 09:43 AM
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I liked the premiere but seeing the whole UK series already my main problems would be Harvey Keitel as Gene. Maybe for those of you that know him and are a fan of his work you can accept him in this role but to me he just doesn't have that dominate vibe the UK Gene was able to portray. I guess I feel he's just getting too old and doesn't have that bad ass tough as nails way about him. Also I feel the overall show was dumbed down a bit which I don't like. For example in the Uk version pilot the audience wasn't spoon feed that Mia and Sam are together. Just goes to show that the producers don't think we can pick up on things like that without outright being told so.

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