Life on Mars (UK)

BBC (ended 2007)





Life on Mars (UK) Fan Reviews (63)

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out of 10
1,621 votes

    t's shows like this that make me realize how awful American television is. There are an abundance of cookie-cutter police dramas, many with a ridiculous number of sequels, but Life on Mars is in a class all its own. And not just because it has a scifi slant to it. It's just exceptionally entertaining.

    John Simm is a real gem of an actor. What a treat to come across him in this performance. There are a lot of scenes in which he's quite emotional and it fits perfectly with the whole feel of the show. It has a perfect balance between the all-out ballsiness of the crude policing style of the era and the locale and the touches of nostalgia in reverse for the current state of policing.

    Kudos to the writers for their originality and daring to mix a touch of scifi with a gritty and irreverent British police drama.

    The ending is the most brilliant part. It is even more enigmatic than the finale of Lost. In Life on Mars, the ending lends itself to multiple speculations. Just when you think you've figured out what was really going on you realize, no, that's not possible a get the idea. Just watch it and see what theory you come up with.
  • A great concept

    this show has to be the greatest cop show ever made, It's so cool. A very original idea
  • Fantasy sci-fi cop show. Present day Manchester DCI Sam Tyler gets to meet his 1973 counterpart.

    Mad, mad idea. Quite original but derived from shows like Quantum Leap and Back To The Future. It's a real testament to the acting and script that although the basic plot is so silly you sit back and enjoy it so much.

    Sam Tyler a modern CSI style techno cop is having problems with his girlfriend who happens to be a fellow member of the team he leads. Not only that he seems dissatisfied with his job and to cap it all said g/f has now been abducted by the serial killer he's presently hunting. Distracted by frustration and tearfulness he inadvertently wanders in the path of a speeding car and suffers a head injury which puts him in a coma. From Sam's point of view however he's been transported 33 years into the past, been demoted to DI and gets frequent visions of what's happening to him whilst he's lying on his hospital bed back in the future. Or at least that's one of the options he's exploring. Could be that he's hallucinating the whole thing. There's no way to know.

    After a memorable first meeting with his new 1973 colleagues involving violence and an offer to cover up a possible drink driving offence on his part he finds out that the case they're presently working on is most likely the same guy he was after in the future. Confused? Try watching the pilot episode. It tells the tale much better than I ever could.
  • Great story of the adventured of Sam Tyler

    Life on Mars follows Sam Tyler as he tried to get home to the 21st century after waking up in 1973 when he is hit by a car. He is a police officer in Manchester who finds himself working with Gene Hunt, the complete opposite of the modern police man that Sam tries to be. Initially, he struggles with the situation and there are some great comedy moments as Sam and Gene get their wires crossed and disagree about the right course of action.
    The star of the show, for me, is Gene Hunt, who is played absolutely perfectly by Philip Glenister. Gene is a drinking, smoking, un-PC detective and still we love him for it!
  • A detective chief inspector from 2006 is investigating a serial killer when he is knocked over by a speeding car. Waking up, he finds himself apparently in 1973. Is he mad, in a coma, or has he travelled back in time?

    Right from the start this show grabs you. And keeps you interest. Is he nuts? Is he in a Coma? I can not imagine the American show even being close to as good. Half way through the first episode I was in love with Liz White, and wanted to spend the rest of the day watching the series. Each character on the team is fascinating and worth knowing more about. It is so fun and almost decadent.
    And god i hope ABC at least uses the David Bowie song...Life on Mars with out Life on mars whould be pretty lame.
  • Astonishing!

    The first time I saw Life on Mars I had some doubt but then after the first 3 episodes I was hooked. This show tell the story of Sam Tyler a cop who had a car accident in the present day and traveled back in time in 1973. Everything in this show will suddenly get you back in 1973, cars, places, musics, characters, costumes (you even got coppers with long mustache), all the details are perfectly tuned furthermore the plot its great, it isn't the basic time travel plot neither the classic 'cop show'. 10 out of 10 Watch it.
  • Excellent retro-influenced cop show, with sterling performances from everyone involved - cast and crew. Even if you weren't there in the seventies, you'll love it anyway.

    The show is about DCI Sam Tyler who is somehow transported from super-contemporary Manchester back to 1973 and the old-school policing of Gene Hunt and his unit. All he has to do is bide his time until he works out how to get home...

    The best thing I've seen in years: excellent concept, excellent execution and wonderful heart. The level of detail is also remarkable and it has a fantastic sense of style.

    While it is near inconceivable for me to admit anyone couldn't like this show, I guess I should warn you that it is extremely British in places and some of the references could be a little obscure to an international audience.

    To conclude: very British but that's what makes it great.
  • Sam Tyler travels back in time after a car accident that sends him to coma. There he meets a totally different police eco-system to what he's used to, the meticulous police officer that he is clash with his superior DCI Gene Hunt, a "Sheriff" from '70.

    This show is sheer brilliance. The seventies are beautifully shown with all their faults and merits. Petrol blue and brownish colors everywhere coupled with an absolutely fantastic selection of music from these years are the perfect background for the "Eternal Conflict" between the meticulous Sam Tyler and his brute superior officer DCI Gene Hunt (or simply "Guv"), it's a true shame that this show lasted only two seasons since the way the plot goes it could have lasted a few more seasons and it would have been worth every single penny that it costed. This is not only something you should watch, but you should also RE-watch it, really.
  • Gene and Sam. Absolutely amazing together.

    I first heard of this show from a friend of the families and I thought "well it's british and has time travel so I think I'll check it out. And if I don't like it I'll just go watch Doctor Who or something." I watched the first episode and heard the amazing song Life On Mars play and I was immediately hooked. Since I completely missed it when it was on tv I bought the dvd's and preceeded to watch all 15 remaining episodes within a week. As Life On Mars played at the very end I smiled a huge smile and said to myself "that is a damn fine show". It is one of my all time favourite shows with an absolutley brilliant cast and completely un-PC Gene Hunt quotes which make me laugh every time. I am so glad I got hooked on this show and as soon as I saw it I went on to watch other british tv shows such as Primeval, Torchwood, Jekyll, Ashes to Ashes. I highly recommend it to anybody with taste and everyone has to watch Ashes to Ashes which is almost as brilliant. And also, when I type in Life On Mars on this site the american version comes up. I will tell you now that the american version will absolutely suck compared to this amazing show. The Uk version deserves to be first in the search.
  • Absolutly amazing show! Great produceing, directing, acting, writeing, and masterfull camra work turn this show into somethig truely special.

    After randomly watching the piolt for ashes to ashes, ( the spin off series), I had to get more gene hunt and his crazy crew. I was consistantly blow away by the camra work and writeing. Alot of thought an time has been takin to make this a great show. It really shows you the different between british and american shows. Sam is hit by a car and finds himself by in the 70s and a member of Gene Hunt's group of crim fighting goons. The show only gets better as Sam's 2007 way of police work and Gene's 70s way of policeing clash. Much hillarity and great action ensue. Enjoy this show, it's a keeper.
  • "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." And the adventure begins.

    Life on Mars is not your typical cop show. The cops aren't nice, heroic, or politically correct. But, they get the job done. Like I said in the summary, it features a man named Sam Tyler from 2006. He gets stuck in 1970s for some reason. I've only watched the second series, so can't really say alot about how good the first was. In the second series, Sam seems to suffer some kind of paranoia throughout the series. It does provide a funny opening sequence in one of the episodes. Also, there's a girl who seems to follow Sam. A creepy little girl that appears throughout the series. And the chase scenes are great. So, I strongly recommend Life on Mars for those who haven't watched the series yet.
  • The BEST show to come out of the UK in years!

    As an English person, I often find that the shows that get commissioned by the BBC or ITV, etc as quite tame compared to some of the USA shows. Life on Mars is different. It's funny, dark, has excellent scripts and the chemistry between the characters is excellent!!

    There's a mixture of shows rolled into one from the Sweeney to Quantum Leap.

    No-one who loves great TV shows should miss this one, even the USA audience who may struggle with a few 70's UK references! Step back to the 70's.

    If you cant buy on DVD, then download wont be disappointed!!

    Ashes to Ashes, the spin off, has just started in the UK and also looks very promising.
  • Am i mad, in a coma, or have i travelled back in time?

    These are the words Sam Tyler thinks to himself as just after being run down by a car he wakes up in 1973 with david bowie playing life on mars from his car in the background.

    In this series we go on a helter skelter journey with Tyler as he lives through the prejudices of 1973 as a modern day copper. all with the back story of is he really from 1973 and just stark staring bonkers.
    Is he lying in hospital in 2007 in a coma with doctors and nurses fussing over him.
    Or has he in actual fact some how time travelled back to 1973?
    Questions come up all the time during the series to sway you off balance and keep you guessing. Almost right till he end well it was for me atleast.

    The show shows you how policing was done in the 1973 british era it was no nonsense and often quite brutal, with honest cops and bent bobbies.
    We are introduced to Gene Hunt a no holds barred DCI who gets his answers any way he can, or he just shoots them.
    Ray Carling a Lewd rude loud mouth who is some what obnoxious and condescending to most people he meets BUT he gets his job done.
    Chris Skelton and indecisive officer who doesnt know which way to turn and who to really follow when it comes to the crunch.
    and annie cartwright a female police officer from a time where women werent respected with her heart in the right place though.

    This show is by far one of my favorite and i'd recommend it to anyone enjoy it...
  • One of the best show I've ever seen.

    How can someone, after watching this show, not love Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt?
    These two characters, opposite poles of each other, one from 2006, one from 1973, who will have to work together and learn to trust each other though they're so different and can't stand the way the other one thinks.

    On paper, these characters were flawlessly written and John Simm and Philip Glenister do them justice, they were just brilliant!
    The others actors were just as good as the two lead.

    Each episodes were amazing and what an end. Some people didn't like it but I thought it was just the perfect end.
  • i just swa one episode but i like it!!!!!!!!

    like i said i only caught one episode till now from season 1 it seems interesting althought i think it s clear he is in a coma i am still gonna find out. the show revolvess around a cop who had an accident and then found himself in the 70 th with him being always "white" and not accepting corruption ( classic cop hero ). but it aint bad not a super show but not bad for a boring afternoon if u catch a rerun on tv watch you might like it . althought the idea of him being in a coma is too much revealed at an early stage from what i think .
  • This show is absolutely amazing. I love the way it represents 1973 and it is great looking back in time. I think the writing in this show is fantastic.

    This is one of the best modern dramas on the box. I think every episode is great because i saw them all. Each episode is one hour long which is enough for a great episode, and they manage to fit a great story into each one. I particularly DCI Gene Hunt and his policing tactics! As they are just so bad. He goes around beating the answers out of people and it seems to work, whereas Same Tyler takes the modern approach involving proper evidence and discretion. It's a shame this show has finished but they are making a spin-off, and it is also a shame that John Simm (Tyler) won't be in it...
  • Fantastic show! keep hearing about the spin off called "Aahes to ashes" set in a different time period! hope this is true!

    Love this show! i love the characters, the time it is set in and the music! some excellent choices on the soundtrack, that IF i was born in the time period when it was set (1973) then it would have brought back memories im sure! all of my family and friends love this show!

    Gene Hunt is a fantastic character! thinks he knows everything about policing but sadly he is generally wrong most of the time, and if he is right he gloats! he is also a great character for the mixture of seriousness and comedy about him!

    i would have loved for this show to go on longer, maybe another series, but i guess it had to end!

    Hopefully the roumours of a spin-off series called ashes to ashes, set in a different time period, probably the early 80's! if this is true then it will be awesome to see! then maybe i could relate to the charcaters abit more as i was born in the early 80's!

    Everyone should give this show a chance! people from around the world e.g. the US may not get some of the puns and jokes from the show as you need to know your english history alittle but i would give it a try!
  • Not a bad choise!

    Titled after the David Bowie song of the same name, this is a great time travel drama. I've just finished watching the first part, and I think its safe to assume I'm going to be addicted for the next few weeks. The plot revolves around a 2006 policeman who is transported back in time to 1973 when he is run over by a car. He finds himself wearing different clothes in a strange Manchester he has never seen before. As well as coping with the new decade he now inhabits and the sense of displacement he feels, he also is forced to deal with the crimes of 33 years ago, using very primitive methods. A WPC tries to help this fish out of water, but can he ever find his way back home again? And what is with these strange voices in his head..? Sufficed to say, we'll find out the answers soon enough, and I for one can't wait!

    Oops sorry I forgot, Celebrity Big Brother and Soapstar Superstar are on the other channels.. and we all know which'll get the most viewers between this and them. "You'll never go broke appealing to the lowest common denominator" etc. But for those who are sick of cheap reality shows clogging up our schedules and want something with a bit more substance, you're in for a treat..
  • Life on mars – what a confusing and in the same time brilliant end of series.

    Have you read the swansongs in the periodicals recently on how BBC is no longer capable of doing it right? How all the new series etc. are just copies of old ones. This series is a fine example of how wrong „The Economist“ and other publications are. In my opinion there was not a single installment in this series that was poorly written. The chemistry between Tyler and Hunt is a perfect match. Although I must admit, I would favour the „Gene Hunt way of doing things“. However one should leave off with an appetite. So let’s saddle up the Mark III Cortina and never look back for any spinoffs or clones of Life on mars.
  • Oh my god, it's gone, my fave programme in the history of brill programmes.

    Life on Mars showed it's last episode in Tuesday night. I am so peeved, i personaly loved that show. My fave character had to be Jean Hunt played by Phillip Glenister. Each week he put on a cheekey and funny show with all the other characters helping to make it brilliant.
    His quick wit, sharp tounge and old style bad cop ways is enough to make any of us sit up and look at the TV as some weeks i couldnt belive some of the stuff he came out with.

    I am so going to go and buy the first and second series on DVD and would reccomend this to anyone. I give it 10/10 :D
  • a cop show, in the seventies, with awesome characters, brilliant acting, great comedy, exciting, fun...i could go on, but theres not enough space for how much this show rocks

    One of the best TV serials ever!!! theres a great confusion through out the show which doesn't truly get answered, just rather a open ending T_T which was a bit annoying. But still worth a watch, none the less, the ending maybe a bit crap, but you never want to see a shows ending, do ya, so i'll shut up about it =P

    I'm glad i have series one on DVD.

    Upon watching Life on Mars EP 1 I thought the overall show didn't have much going for it, but i watch ep 2, its better! & the series continues like this, which made me happy the series didnt stop improving, the characters became deeper, the plot tightened & it was like...WOW! but then suddenly it started to get ridiculous & it seemed kill itself off to the end, which was shame. The first episode wasn't executed that well, he really acted to be fair pretty calm upon awaking in 1973, I know i woulda been a lot more panicy & distraught & as the show continues, the first ep with Sam in the 70's is pretty OOC for his overall character. Over the series, you see Sam is constantly struggling with living his life, in i guess primitive circumstances to 2006 & applying his methods to the brutal policing of the 70's, his attempts normally fail, bad, =P, but Sam clashes with Ray & Gene a lot & that was a good connection between the characters & when they got on, it made me smile. So back to the finale, I know i don't like it that much & potential spoilers next....I really liked the idea of when he got home, it wasn't his home no more & decided to go back to the 70's, but this raised further i'll leave my first review, like the ending of Life on Mars. Thanks for reading =D

    -Misfit91 To conclude, this series F'ing rocks, watch it now, fool!
  • I'll miss this show so much!

    I really regret not watching Life on Mars from the beginning of the first series, so I'm trying to rectify that by buying the series on dvd!
    Life on Mars is amazingly well written: the dialogue absolutely sparkles.
    The premise of the show is great: if not quite confusing at times!
    The character of Gene Hunt has to be one of the best scripted characters to date! The one liners he comes out with are absolutely cracking, and guarantee to raise a laugh out of all viewers!
    I think what kept me glued to the screen wasn't so much the sense of mystery (though that was great too), it was the chemistry between Sam and Annie.
    Every episode I watched, I hoped for the kiss, and when it finally came in the series finale, it didn't disappoint.
    Absolutely beautiful relationship-- and extremely mind boggling ending!
  • What a brilliant show

    The whole show was fabulous, from Episode 1 to the finale. It was a origional idea, that would either work or not work and it really worked. Phil Glenister who played Gene Hunt was fabulous, his one liners were so funny, really added to the show. The writing was top class and kept you hooked to the end. If you have never seen it then get the box set, you wont be dissapointed. It was agreat drama for tuesday nights. The acting also added to the show, a great cast, Simm, played tyler brilliantly and the guest stars werent a let down either.
  • A new classic series ends in style

    Eager to get home and see the final episode of Life On Mars I was not disappointed except that now it is over I will be deprived of my source of so many politically incorrect comments via the superb Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). What a brilliant character. The writing in both series has been so full of humour and delivered by a cast of excellent actors. John Simm has impressed in many of his earlier TV shows and is a gem who has a bright future. It is sad that he didn't want to do another series, but rumours abound that there may be a reprise for Gene Hunt in the future.

    So now I know what happened to Sam Tyler and Life on Mars joins that elite of British TV classics such as Faulty Towers and The Prisoner that are high on quality and low on episodes.
  • Only just got into watching it, and -- I like it.

    It's not everyday I see something half way through the season and like it. But Life on Mars is brilliant. As I have not seen it from the very beginning I get a bit confused sometimes, but you can pick up from some things what's going on. Anyway, it doesn't matter that I don't know what's going on as it's a pretty interesting show, the chief is funny, the storys good and is overall a nice show to watch. Once again BBC 1 has came up with a good show, i'm looking forward to seeing the next episode.

    And I also recommend that people watch this, as it is, honestly, a brilliant show.
  • DCI Sam Tyler, played by John Simm, is knocked down by a car in 2006 after his girlfriend is kidnapped and wakes up in 1973. Now, he must work together with his new colleagues on some of the hardest cases he has ever had to endure - if he is to get home..

    Life On Mars is a fantastic recommended by me, new drama for BBC1 in 2006. It stars John Simm as an ambitious detective who time-travels back to the 70s after a car accident. The things that happen in the show are hilarious and Philip Glenister's character, Gene Hunt is an icon. It makes you think - is that really what the coppers did in the 1970s to get answers, and John Simm (Sam Tyler), Philip Glenister (Gene Hunt) and Liz White's (Annie Cartwright) on-screen partnerships are fantastic. Thank you, BBC for another fantastic and funny drama!!!
  • A detective chief inspector (Sam Tyler) from 2006 is transported back in time to 1973 and has to deal with 70's policing and try to find out what has happened to him and how he can get back to the present...

    Life on Mars is in my opinion the best British TV series we've had for a very long time and will be for a long time to come.

    Yes time travel has been done over and over again but not like this. You don't know why it's happened or how. You don't even know if it is actually time travel or Sam Tyler is merely in a coma and imagining the whole thing.

    For me, it’s a trip down memory lane as the writers and producers have created an authentic 70’s feel.

    It’s also very clever and funny at the same time especially DC Gene Hunt who, compared to modern day policing, is quite a unique character and is a personal favourite of mine.

    There are nice plot twists, comedy, drama and suspense and I absolutely love this show!!
  • Interesting show.

    I never actually watched the first episode of 'Life on Mars' but still managed to get into it without any problems. I'm currently watching the second series on BBC one and is still as great as the first series and what is good about this show is that the writers are not going to override it with too many episodes and making it drag for 5 series when it doesn't need to, so will finish this season. Another thing, great about this show is that even though it's a time travel type drama, it doesn't seem like most i've seen, so good on yas........................................................................................................................ I have now watched the first episode and I must admit, it was better than I expected. I loved the comments Sam makes and the reactions and comments the people in 1973 make. For example when he's on the phone and asks to be put through to a 'virgin mobile' that bit was funny.
  • Possibly the best drama out of Britain, ever.

    This is what excellent television can and should be. Every choice in production is perfection. Acting, writing, cinematography, soundtrack, editing, scenery. Where have British shows like this been for the past 50 years? And why can't American television carry the same grittiness?

    The highlight for me is the interplay of violence mixed with lighthearted cheekiness. I can't imagine the actors going home after a days shooting and not being changed forever. Phil Glenister is possibly the biggest a**hole ever. John Simm perfectly captures the frustration of being caught in a world he knows he will never be a part of.

    If there is one show that deserves all the BAFTA's, it is Life on Mars.
  • Life on Mars is great

    1973 is a year I personally would love to go to. The music was great and Sunderland won the FA Cup. I would have loved to have been there.

    Life On Mars is one of those rare programmes nowadays. Innovative and original. The concept is brilliant: a modern copper gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973 where everything is foreign to him and all he wants to do is get home.

    My favourite character is Gene Hunt. How can you not love him? He's sexist and doesn't give a damn about political correctness; he just wants to get the job done. This is in stark contrast to Sam Tyler who believes in doing things by the book. They clash constantly and it makes for greta viewing.

    I'm really upset that the show is ending, but all good things must come to an end and it's probably better to go out with a bang rather than a whimper.
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