7 November 2008 | interpol_ated
Better than the original?
In some ways, it is.
When I first heard "Life On Mars" was being adapted for American television, I really didn't expect much. And when I first watched it, I was unimpressed. The British series is just SO original, and SO excellent. Who could replace the Gov? No one. Even now that my opinion of the show has changed, I still think he is irreplaceable. But that's okay! The American series has other things going for it, which I suspect largely stem from a bigger budget. The music is better, for one. Also, the attention to detail is immaculate. One of the joys of watching it is experiencing the atmosphere of 1973 New York. I also quite like Michael Imperioli as Ray perhaps he's not as funny as Dean Andrews, but he's enjoyable to watch in a grittier kind of way. I also like Jason O'Mara as Sam Tyler. He brings a lightness to the role which was absent in John Simm's portrayal. Whereas Simm was often terribly serious and painfully moral (admittedly why we loved himit is these traits which made his exchanges with Gene Hunt so entertaining), O'Mara's Sam Tyler immerses himself more in the time period. When he takes delight in 1973, so do we. One of the few elements damaged by the adaptation is DC Chris Skeltonplayed in the BBC series by the talent Marshall Lancaster. Jonathon Murphy fills the role in the ABC version and he is so extremely boring that I lament the adaptation of his character every time he appears in a scene. Finally, it's certain that Harvey Keitel has big shoes to fill but he's adequate. He's a professional and has a presence which embodies 1973 New York.
If you are a big fan of the British series, you will enjoy this show. And if you've only ever seen this adaptation, I encourage you to rent the original BBC series.