The promos were intriguing, so I decided to give the new show, Life On Mars, a try. It is a remake of a BBC version with the exact same concept.
I loved it!
Jason O'Mara (the dashing brain tumor victim on Grey's Anatomy,) is detective Sam Tyler. While following a serial killer who abducted his girlfriend, he is hit by a car and wakes up on the same street in 1973. Clue #1 is when he looks up and sees the Twin Towers standing and intact. He has no idea how he got there or why, but he has to deal with the adjustment of the time as well as the ideals of the people.
When he makes his way to his precinct, instead of computers, ethics, DNA testing, and equal opportunities for male and female cops, he is greeted by file cabinets, and a group of sexist cops who punch first and ask questions later (led by born-to-be-bad Harvey Keitel.) The one female cop, played by Gretchen Mol, is constantly abused and harrassed by her co-workers in a way that would never be tolerated today. Who knew that things could change so much in 30 years? And every time he mentions his cell phone, which he obviously doesn't have, he's asked "sell what?"
What I really liked about this show was the pacing and the point of view. It is a big puzzle and we don't know any more than Sam. What he does know is that there are clues surrounding him about the case he's working on in 2008, and that he hears random voices over the TV and radio suggesting that Sam Tyler is really in a vegetative state and that everything he's seeing in 1973 isn't real. He even crosses paths with the little boy who grows up to be the serial killer he was chasing before the car accident. He begins to wonder how much control he has over future events by being in the past.
Parts of the puzzle are solved, such as capturing a killer in 1973 who may have inspired the one in 2008, but many pieces are still missing. Mainly, why is Sam there and how does he get back? It certainly left me wanting to know more.
At ABC.com you can watch the entire first episode. Click the link and then "launch." You may need to install their plug-in, which is easily done. See what you think...