8.3/10
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103 user 24 critic

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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Episodes

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Years



2   1  
2007   2006  
9 wins & 30 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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Noreen Kershaw ...
 Phyllis Dobbs 16 episodes, 2006-2007
Tony Marshall ...
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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:

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Details

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Release Date:

24 July 2006 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Život na Marsu  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam is given messages by the girl off Test Card F, who comes out of the television with her clown doll. At the end of the series, she can also be seen running down the street and switching off the television from the inside. (Ashes to Ashes (2008) also refers to her with the clown motif.) The real life Test Card girl, Carole Hersee is estimated to have been on British television for 70,000 hours, equivalent to nearly eight years, and so is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for the longest television appearance in history. 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.
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Connections

Featured in Call the Cops: The Sweeney (2008) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
A novel approach to scifi crime
5 September 2006 | by See 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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