Life on Mars: Season 1, Episode 17

Life Is a Rock (1 Apr. 2009)

TV Episode  |  TV-14  |   |  Crime, Drama, Mystery
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Sam is told he can return home if he does three things, which includes saving the younger version of himself, who has been kidnapped by his father.



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Title: Life Is a Rock (01 Apr 2009)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Caleb Wallace ...
Christian Wallace ...
Steven Marcus ...
Homeless Man / Wino
Emerald-Angel Young ...
Keisha (as Emerald Young)


Sam is told he can return home if he does three things, which includes saving the younger version of himself, who has been kidnapped by his father.

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Crime | Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi


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Release Date:

1 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The title is from the 1974 song "Life Is a Rock (But the Radio Rolled Me)" written by Paul DiFranco and Norman Dolph. See more »


In the series finale as Sam is searching the boat for his father armed with a rifle, the rifle changes from a Ruger Mini-14, to a Kalasnikov (AK-47) type rifle in one quick closeup shot. The next shot then shows him still holding the original rifle. This is noticeable because of the distinctive gas tube over the barrel on an AK unlike the bare barrel of a Mini-14. See more »


Detective Ray Carling: It goes like this, Spaceman. We live on a rock, there ain't no rhyme, there ain't no reason. We live on a rock, just one of many. Hurling around in some big cosmic jumblelaya. Now you wanna get questiony, that's your prerogative. My ma took me to a loud church every Sunday. She squeezed her eyes shut, she pressed her rosary beads to her lips and she prayed for good things for those she loved. But, cancer took two of her sisters. Her husband couldn't make a move without a belly full of gin, her ...
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Crazy Credits

The show logo counts upward from 2008 to 2035 at the end rather than down to 1973 as in all other episodes. See more »


References Splash (1984) See more »


Mona Lisa's And Mad Hatters
Performed by Elton John
Courtesy of RCA
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Wrap It Up
2 April 2009 | by (New York, New York) – See all my reviews

The finale seemed a bit carelessly put together but had its moments. Worst for me is the lazy writing that added to the Back to the Future Riff of pushing the pseudonym of Luke Skywalker (it was funnier when Michael J. Fox improvised the name Clint Eastwood when facing opposition in The Old West), the running joke based on the famous David Bowie Song, re: Keitel is Major Tom. Highlight was a morbid, existential speech delivered by Michael Imperioli which was so powerful in content and delivery that it overshadowed all the facetiousness going on before and after it. O'Mara played his role properly bewildered, and Gretchen Mol got to show off 3 contrasting looks, but right down to the "one white shoe for mankind" final image it is obvious that the folks behind this series had tongues planted firmly in cheeks for the duration. I've got news for them -cult classics are ultimately in the eyes of the beholder (notably McGoohan's The Prisoner, or Robert Loggia in T.H.E. Cat), and cannot be forced down the audience's collective throat by a "let's throw in everything including the kitchen sink" approach.

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