DVD / Reviews / Series / Television / TV

Life On Mars: Series 2 DVD Review

The Sydney Morning Herald – Entertainment
31 Mar 2008
Jaqui Taffel

This time-shifting British cop series maintains a dark edge that keeps farce at bay.

Philip Glenister (left) and John Simm in Life On Mars

Philip Glenister (left) and John Simm in Life On Mars

Genre TV Series, Drama
Run Time 462 minutes
Rated M
Country United Kingdom
Year 2007
Director S.J. Clarkson, Richard Clark, Andrew Gunn.
Actors John Simm, Philip Glenister, Liz White, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster, Noreen Kershaw, Kevin McNally.
DVD Release 2 April 2008
DVD Extras Behind-the-scenes featurettes.

This show shouldn’t really work. It’s another bloody British cop series, with bad haircuts, rubbish cars and thin plot lines full of daft coincidence. Yet it does work, deliciously, for several good reasons.

The central conceit, that after a car accident in the present copper Sam Tyler wakes up in the 1970s, is a drawcard the writers make the most of, particularly for viewers who recall the good old days of The Sweeney and The Professionals. Then there’s the marvellous John Simm as DI Tyler, in perfect odd-couple pairing with Philip Glenister as DCI Gene Hunt, and their motley crew of underlings.

It looks like a show that’s a lot of fun to make but despite the giggles at ’70s excesses, it maintains a darker edge that keeps farce at bay. Those who missed it on TV can now catch up with series one and two on DVD.

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