Life On Mars

Season 1 Episode 6

Tuesday's Dead

1
Aired Wednesday 10:00 PM Nov 13, 2008 on ABC
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
111 votes
2

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
In a life-and-death hostage situation that parallels his own strange circumstances, Sam Tyler is ordered with the rest of the 1-2-5 to defuse a potentially deadly face-off at a hospital where a crazed gunman is trying to force a doctor to reverse a dangerous operation on the brother of the gunman.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Another strong episdoe

    9.5
    This was another strong episode of Life on Mars. It managed to balance the cop aspect of the show with the why is Sam in 1973 aspect of the show. The two aspects also neatly tied together, which is one of the reason I watch the show. The show also ends with the possibility that Sam may try to embrace his 1973 life and actually live a little, instead of dwelling on his future/past. This could effect all aspects of his life. His interaction with the precinct guys and maybe even a love life. I do not think the love life thing is going to pan out anytime soon, but it is good to see that the other guys are thinking of Sam as one of them. Crazy, but their Crazy guy. Overall, a really strong episode that ties in all the aspects of the show that I enjoy.moreless
  • The difference between the BBC and ABC versions could not have been more evident in this episode.

    2.5
    Okay, I've watched the last two episodes of the ABC version all of the way through and I think I've got a handle on where the ABC and BBC versions of the show are different.



    The first and foremost point I have to make is that the show title, "Life On Mars," makes no sense with the U.S. version. The title is supposed to imply that Sam feels like he's an alien on a different planet, and this is true on more levels in the British version than just being back in time. In the British version Sam is truly alienated: He's Dorothy in the Wizard Of Oz, but he he's also out of place with his co-workers who dislike him because of his politically correct approach to police investigation, always at odds with Gene his Superior because his definition of "right" doesn't fit with Gene's Old American West sense of justice (Gene has a Gary Cooper movie poster on his wall), and though he and Annie have an attraction towards one another, Annie is always stand-offish because she doesn't believe he's right in the mind. To top it all off, Sam in the original is genuinely terrified by his dilemma. The extra fifteen plus minutes they had for the story allowed the writers to delve into the psychological fear that Sam was experiencing in his mind. My favourite running thread was the creepy girl in the red dress holding a stuffed clown who came out of the TV set at night to torment Sam, a storyline that reminded me of some of Stephen King's finest moments.



    In the ABC version, Sam is like a kid in a candy store. He actually seems to be enjoying this.



    The difference between these two versions could not have been more evident in the hostage crisis episode.



    ABC's episode starts out with Ray's birthday party in the office, and everyone is getting drunk. Kid in the candy store Sam convinces Annie to dance on a table with him and he starts doing dance moves like the robot and the moonwalk. Sam is the life of the party, a hit with Annie and the guys in the department. Then when the phone call from the future comes to him about how they are about to pull the plug on him, he's like, "aw, don't do that, I'm still here... " yada yada.



    BBC's episode, on the other hand, begins with Sam walking into the office the next morning to find it a wreck and Chris passed out drunk on the floor. When asked why he didn't come to the party, Sam comments that he wasn't invited because they thought he would ruin it. Then comes the phone call from the future. This terrifies Sam and it sets the tone for his desperation throughout the rest of the story.



    Once again, I'm going to complain about the fact that the ABC version is adapting hour long stories to a 45 minute format. Because of this there is not time to delve into sub plots and developing great characters. Missing is Sam's psychological drama. Missing is his budding romance with a very apprehensive Annie. And missing is a really great character named Nelson, the Jamaican bartender who also happens to be the show's moral compass. Nelson always had the profound wisdom to help Sam get through one situation at a time. You could say Nelson was Sam's Obi-Wan.



    Now, let's get to my ongoing dislike of the way Gene Hunt's character has been played down to practically a softie.



    In ABC's version of this episode Gene's inclusion into the story was barely worth it. He made a few unfunny antagonistic comments and the whiskey joke, which was used in the BBC version, played more like an afterthought. Early in the episode we see Gene take one swig out of his flask, then in the very end when he gets shot it's like, "Oh! We can't forget to throw in this punch line!" The bullet hits Gene's flask, and when asked what the chances were, he pulls a half dozen flasks out of his pockets and says "Pretty good, actually."



    The BBC version, however, had Gene heavily involved. There were about a dozen classic Gene Hunt quotes to add to his resume, including the classic "Trust the Gene Genie." And the whiskey joke was a running joke throughout the entire episode building up to that classic punch line. Gene was constantly swigging from the flask throughout the show. At one point the hostage taker dumps a flask of Gene's Scotch on the floor, to which Gene, being the idiot he is, antagonizes the guy holding the gun and calls him an idiot for dumping out a single malt! I guess the FCC in the states couldn't let ABC show an alcoholic authority figure swigging Scotch on the job.



    One other difference about the two versions I would like to point out: In the ABC version, Sam is just another officer and Gene is the boss. In the BBC version, Gene is the "Guv" and Sam is the boss, so Sam has authority to tell the other officers what to do, which adds to the alienation theme. So as Sam is the Boss in the BBC version therefore Sam takes the authoritative initiative in this episode. Sam runs the show in this crisis while Gene just interferes a lot and keeps jeopardizing Sam's initiatives. At one point Sam, attempting to employ his 21st century profiling skills and gaining as much info on the gunman as possible, locates which vehicle in the parking lot belongs to him and is able to get the guy's personal information from the glove box. Sam then says to Gene, "I've got an address." Gene, not getting the profiling importance of this information, simply retorts, "He's not home." Later in the episode when Sam and Gene are now hostages and Sam's negotiations are going south, Gene (watching Sam falling apart) says, "Well, we've got his address. I can send him a Christmas card."



    Anyway, to wrap up, the BBC version of the show is about alienation, which is why it reminded me a lot of The Prisoner, my favourite TV series of all time. And the alienation theme goes beyond the time travel story. In the end it shows that alienation is just as real today as it was then; when you try to do the right thing and everyone else is doing what they're told to do in order to fit in then you become the outcast, just like in The Prisoner.moreless
Jason O'Mara

Jason O'Mara

Detective Sam Tyler

Harvey Keitel

Harvey Keitel

Lt. Gene Hunt

Michael Imperioli

Michael Imperioli

Detective Ray Carling

Jonathan Murphy

Jonathan Murphy

Detective Chris Skelton

Gretchen Mol

Gretchen Mol

Annie Norris

Bill Irwin

Bill Irwin

Dr. Schwahn

Guest Star

Brad William Henke

Brad William Henke

Michael H

Guest Star

Stephen James King

Stephen James King

Johnny H

Guest Star

John Cenatiempo

John Cenatiempo

Sizable Ted

Recurring Role

Lisa Bonet

Lisa Bonet

Maya Daniels

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (6)

    • Gene: You know something, Tyler? You're not so special. We all go crazy at some point. Happens to every cop who gives a crap about what he does. That's why we're alcoholics. That's why our women leave us. We're broken toys. What makes us different from those folks in the psych ward … We keep each other sane. That's what it's about. Any decent precinct house … We keep each other sane.
      Ray: He's right, spaceman. After all, we're an American band.

    • (Gene pulls out his flask which was hit by the bullet)
      Ray: Holy cow! What are the chances?
      Gene: Actually, pretty good. (Gene pulls out two more flasks) I didn't know how long this hostage crap was going to go on.

    • Sam: (to Annie) Just for tonight, if you be a hooker, I'll be a tool.

    • Sam: I was feeling everything coming down around me (exhales deeply) so I came in here looking for answers but … I-I … I don't know what's real anymore.
      Annie: In my clinic work, I met a paranoid schizophrenic who had learned to live without his meds and his treatment. And he said whenever he felt the walls really starting to cave in, he would remember his happiest memory, because at least that was real.

    • Ray: You OK with this, Loot?
      Gene: Give him what he needs.
      Ray: All right, I'll get the damn bus. I'll get the damn plane … just in time to fly his cold corpse right to the morgue.
      Gene: My thoughts exactly.

    • Sam: (typing on an old manual typewriter) Stupid analog piece of crap machine.

  • NOTES (3)

  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Sam: (after falling off the desk dancing) Who's bad?

      This is an allusion to Michael Jackson. Sam was doing some of the dance moves that Michael Jackson made famous in the video for the song Bad that was released in 1987.

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