Life On Mars : Season 1

  • Network: ABC
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 9, 2008
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 88 out of 100
  2. Negative: 10 out of 100

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User Reviews

  1. Feb 8, 2014
    5
    Without the charm of Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt and John Simm as Sam Tyler, the charm of the real series just isn't there. I couldn't make it through the first episode, it left me wishing for John Simm. Whether or not theres Life on Mars, theres no Life in this tv series.
  2. Saralyn.
    Oct 10, 2008
    8
    As a great fan of the original BBC Mars, I admit that I approached the remake with more than a little trepidation. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. While I find O'Mara's Sam less engaging than in the original series and the set-up of his relationship with Maya painfully and unnecessarily abridged, I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode! It was faithful to the original As a great fan of the original BBC Mars, I admit that I approached the remake with more than a little trepidation. However, I was very pleasantly surprised. While I find O'Mara's Sam less engaging than in the original series and the set-up of his relationship with Maya painfully and unnecessarily abridged, I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode! It was faithful to the original while introducing some interesting twists and adaptations. I look forward to seeing how differently the idea plays out in '73 New York than it did in '70s England! Expand
  3. timm
    Apr 3, 2009
    10
    This was a fantastic way to make a series of one season. I believe that this is a new-wa and exciting way to make a series. The beginning was or fantastic the plot was captivating.
  4. ChuckT.
    Aug 1, 2009
    8
    This show was great. It definitely wasn't just another cop show. There was a great twist and the mystery behind the plot was refreshing. I would have given this a perfect 10, but ABC canned the show for some reason and the last episode (whether ABC's or the writer's fault) was absolutely horrible. It made no sense to the show and ended so wrong.
  5. MarlaM.
    Oct 9, 2008
    10
    the previews look really good. I like the cast and the backdrop. it's going to be a good show.
  6. ArtH
    Jan 10, 2009
    9
    Life On Mars is very good detective show with a science-fiction twist. I find it inteligent and entertaining.
  7. CharleneC
    Feb 20, 2009
    10
    I love this show! Finally I feel entertained by quality acting and a storyline that is not insulting to the intelligence of it's viewers. I hope it stays a quality program and that it gets the audience it needs to keep it going.
  8. DianneK
    Oct 10, 2008
    8
    Loved everything about the show -- the actors, the scenery, the song track, the premise. Since I never saw the BBC version I'm coming to the show without expectations, and I'm very happy.
  9. GioR.
    Nov 1, 2008
    9
    Loving the show, loving the music. I watched the first 4 episodes on the web tonight and am totally hooked. I was reluctant to add a new show to the long list I already watch, but after viewing it tonight, I can't resist. It's been added to the DVR!
  10. VincentS.
    Oct 10, 2008
    2
    Very disappointing. If this is the stuff that the average critic is finding good %73 as I write this. Then maybe it goes some way to explaining why TV generally seems to be a wasteland these days. To be honest I found it hard to watch. Actors had been chosen for their semblance to the original UK series and not for their acting ability. Most of the time it felt like they were reading from Very disappointing. If this is the stuff that the average critic is finding good %73 as I write this. Then maybe it goes some way to explaining why TV generally seems to be a wasteland these days. To be honest I found it hard to watch. Actors had been chosen for their semblance to the original UK series and not for their acting ability. Most of the time it felt like they were reading from a script. Once again the US has (for some reason best known to itself) tried to copy a series that already existed instead of just showing the original. One again the US has totally failed to pull it off. Nevertheless there are worse things on TV than this, so I give it a 2. Expand
  11. EricP.
    Nov 20, 2008
    10
    I'm too young to have been there in the 70's. I've heard from people that this show is very close to how it was.
  12. RichardS.
    Oct 12, 2008
    8
    Not quite the punch as BBCA LOM, but still very good. They need to not overdo Imperioli's goofy metaphors and maybe just a single throwback to the twin towers would have been more powerful. Keitel is good, but a bit aged to play Gene Hunt, but maybe "time will tell." Sorry for that.
  13. LisaD
    Nov 6, 2008
    9
    I'm so excited for Thursday nights now. This is the first show that i've been interested in in a long time. Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli MAKE the show!
  14. CraigB.
    Oct 10, 2008
    9
    I loved the Brit version. I like the British Annie better but the casting of Harvey Kietel and Michael Imperioli is fabulous. Can't wait for more episodes. The biggest problem I see is that the time slot is very competitive and it may lose out to the other shows.
  15. GabrielF.
    Oct 9, 2008
    9
    You have to accept that the Tyler is (i think) in a coma--the show rocks. It's funny and Imperiola's facial hair alone is worth coming back for more! The Details!!!!
  16. DarenL
    Feb 19, 2009
    8
    Good show overall, not accurate on the soundtrack though, some songs weren't released until 75 or later. Realism is a must to get into the show.
  17. BryanB
    Apr 9, 2009
    10
    It took some time in the beginning to hit stride, but the series eventually found its niche and was incredibly strong the second half of the season. Great cast and visuals throughout. The nuanced and multifaceted Sam/Annie love story was the best of the season and one of the strongest in television history, and the surprise twist at the end of the series tied everything together well. The It took some time in the beginning to hit stride, but the series eventually found its niche and was incredibly strong the second half of the season. Great cast and visuals throughout. The nuanced and multifaceted Sam/Annie love story was the best of the season and one of the strongest in television history, and the surprise twist at the end of the series tied everything together well. The series will be missed. Expand
  18. NathanK.
    Oct 11, 2008
    8
    Provided a solid feel of the time period very enjoyable show to watch.
  19. GlennH.
    Oct 10, 2008
    8
    Great cast. Something a little different.
  20. YvonneC.
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    Great Show. The cast has great chemistry. I was worried because I already saw the British version but this one is just as good. Love seeing New York again like it was in 1973-Kudos to the prop people!
  21. DonnaT.
    Oct 13, 2008
    10
    Loved the acting, script and music.
  22. nickb.
    Oct 14, 2008
    1
    What a waste!!! You have two fabulous actors in Keitel and Imperoli. One is provided with embarassing.one liners that totally diminish his reputition as an exemplary actor, then "misdirect" an equally prolific actor. The writers should respect Imperoli's abilities by not making him look like a "goof", and a major star like Keitel certainly deserves better direction!
  23. Sean
    Oct 15, 2008
    6
    Not as bad as I thought it would have been. My issue is more that there seems to be chemistry missing between the characters. I was also disappointed in that they used the same plot for the first episode, I was hoping for a different crime or similar. If you're going to almost directly lift the script from the BBC series, you might as well just air the BBC series. What I did like, Not as bad as I thought it would have been. My issue is more that there seems to be chemistry missing between the characters. I was also disappointed in that they used the same plot for the first episode, I was hoping for a different crime or similar. If you're going to almost directly lift the script from the BBC series, you might as well just air the BBC series. What I did like, however was Sam dealing with the future serial killer as a kid. Expand
  24. AndrewF
    Oct 17, 2008
    9
    I haven't seen the BBC version, so I'll wait until after the first season of the US one to compare and judge. And I'll admit, my first thought when I saw previews was "another time travel show? great." But I'm hooked after 2 episodes. While Keitel as Hunt may not work out in the end (Colm Meaney supposedly was axed after the first pilot, which is too bad...I'd I haven't seen the BBC version, so I'll wait until after the first season of the US one to compare and judge. And I'll admit, my first thought when I saw previews was "another time travel show? great." But I'm hooked after 2 episodes. While Keitel as Hunt may not work out in the end (Colm Meaney supposedly was axed after the first pilot, which is too bad...I'd like to see him do the NYC Irish cop thing), I can believe and like him, as well as the rest of the cast. O'Mara? Between him and Dominic West, some of my favorite TV police are Brits/Irish, and I can't tell. Good on them. What locks me in is the setting, both visual and audio. The soundtrack works some timelsss hits into the show in subtle ways. But the visual, wow. When Tyler looks up and sees the WTC towers, I could viscerally feel the "no way" that passed his lips on screen. As someone who watched them fall, maybe that's just a bit of wistful nostalgia. But the rest of the scene, from the cars to the people on the street to the smallest detail doesn't so much dwell on minutiae as it does create a stage for the characters to work on. I can forgive an anachronism here and there, and I'm sure I'll have to. But the atmospheric quality of how the show puts the characters in 1973 works best in how it doesn't go out of the way to scream at you, but exists on a finely ground layer of the show, only jumping out when absolutely necessary. I hate Lost. Sci-Fi/Drama crossovers generally lose me very quickly. But this one I think I can grow to like if the writers can keep the questions about Tyler's predicament to a minimum while still giving him (and us) some hope, but the way the show is being framed, he can take his time getting back to 2008. Expand
  25. DavidS.
    Dec 2, 2008
    1
    It's already been done, and done better. The british Life on Mars was the dog's bollocks. This is just plain bollocks.
  26. KathryneA.
    Dec 28, 2008
    10
    Absolutely one of the best TV shows put forth in years. As one of the critics so perceptively insinuated, several distinct movie genres are rolled into one to carry out this uniquely successful time-travel/cop show concept. I am an active 56 woman well able to keep up in this 21st Century techno world. I believe I have almost forgotten the days of civil rights marches and intense female Absolutely one of the best TV shows put forth in years. As one of the critics so perceptively insinuated, several distinct movie genres are rolled into one to carry out this uniquely successful time-travel/cop show concept. I am an active 56 woman well able to keep up in this 21st Century techno world. I believe I have almost forgotten the days of civil rights marches and intense female subjection. Every episode of 'Life on Mars' extended me a ticket on the time travel continuum between the 70's and present, and because I have already been there the journey is very personal and real. Just as real as the present. Jason O'Mara's acting, especially, is inspired. Collapse
  27. JeffR
    Oct 24, 2008
    10
    Did you notice ON 10/23 When they were in the alleyin between houses and the kid was smokingthe house had cable wires hooked up going into the house. this is supposed to be 1973
  28. JulieF.
    Oct 24, 2008
    9
    I absolutely love this show. I can't wait until the next week! It's the best new show so far.
  29. RayS.
    Oct 25, 2008
    10
    I thought i was done with tv, No interest in judging dancers , talent , or music, then Life on Mars came along and I'm hooked . Its nice to see how far we have come in society today since 1973, Great show.
  30. MaryAnnS.
    Oct 26, 2008
    10
    I enjoy the show and the cast immensely! But mostly I find the soundtrack irresistible!!!
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Based on a popular BBC series, Life on Mars, like Mad Men, makes a long-ago era feel both alien and nostalgic, like in the sweet moment where Sam wanders into a record store and just beams.
  2. If the ambition of the pilot continues, American television may get another remake right. We'll have our first hint this next week. In the meantime, enjoy the pilot.
  3. Reviewed by: James Poniewozik
    83
    The premise of ABC's Life on Mars is ludicrous but irresistible.