Tuesday, 24 April 2018
Life on Mars, Season 2 (2007)
Sam Tyler's been stuck in 1973 for a while now and he still seems no closer to understanding if he's mad, in a coma, or he's actually travelled 33 years back in time. He's still just as much a fish out of water with his colleagues as he was when he first arrived, though he has at least won the grudging respect of his boss, though to be fair, the respect offered by foul-mouthed, "give 'em a kicking" yobbo Gene Hunt is generally expressed in less than polite terms. "I need you to be your usual picky bastard self" is about as warm as it gets.
The basic structure of the show remains the same: in 1973, Sam gets involved in a case - often one that relates to the family he remembers from the maybe real 2006 - while at the same time hearing things that seem to indicate he's suffering complications with his coma in a hospital in the modern age. Solving the case means also resolving the coma-related issue confronting him.
But the status maybe isn't as quo as it seems, when Sam gets a mysterious phone call from within 1973. One way or another, it seems his stay with Gene Hunt & company may be coming to an end. But will he go back to 2006, or is there some other story behind his presence in the precinct? And how will his growing feelings for WPC Annie Cartwright factor into things?
Not everyone will love the answers that Life on Mars provides, but they are certainly better than those offered by the US remake, and I think they're consistent and coherent. They even continue to hold together if one factors in the revelations of sequel series Ashes to Ashes (which, alas, does not appear to be readily available for purchase).
If the premise of the show intrigues you, and you enjoyed season one, I think it's worth giving the second series your time.