television series and movie DVD reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
television series and movie DVD reviews and previews from - curled up with a good dvd
DVD reviews, previews and info - television series and tv movies
  action movies on DVD
  animation on DVD
  art house and international / foreign language films on DVD
  comedies on DVD
  documentaries on DVD
  dramas on DVD
  children's and family DVDs
  horror and sci-fi on DVD
  suspense on DVD
  television series on DVD
  Blu-ray DVD reviews


Life on Mars: The Complete Series - television series DVD / drama DVD / suspense DVD review
Not rated by the Motion Picture Association of America rating: 5 stars
Featuring: Harvey Keitel, Jason O'Mara, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Jonathan Murphy
  Studio: ABC Studios
DVD release: 29 September 2009   Runtime: 731 minutes
(4 discs)
Format: Box set, Color, Dolby, DVD, NTSC, Widescreen
Features:Aspect ratio 1.78:1, Audio tracks (Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround - English), Subtitles (English SDH, French, Spanish), To Mars and Back, Sunrise to Sunset with Jason O'Mara, Flashback: Lee Majors Goes to Mars, Spaced Out: Bloopers from the Set, Deleted scenes

My husband and I watched the U.S. television series Life on Mars as it ran, entranced from the beginning and intrigued by the mysteries presented. When we heard halfway through the season that it was being canceled and not renewed for another season, disappointment struck. I was afraid, as with many other canceled series, that the producers wouldn't complete the storyline and we'd be left hanging, as has happened many times before.

Yet we were thrilled and pleasantly surprised when the series was brought together in the end, the mystery of how and why Sam was where he was ended up solved, and payoff was great for the viewer. We were even more thrilled to watch the DVDs of all 17 episodes back to back; when it originally aired, there was a long hiatus mid-season, and it ruined the continuity of the story. It makes for an extra-long movie saga rather than a television series this way, almost like the miniseries of old.

Life on Mars is a semi-remake of a UK show of the same name. Its premise is similar, but how they explain the mystery is completely different.

Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara), a police detective in New York City in 2008, is pursuing a suspect when he is hit by a car. When he wakes up, he finds himself in the year 1973. He goes to the police precinct, where he is greeted as a transfer detective from upstate New York. Sam is puzzled because he remembers 2008 - is this a dream? Coma? Time travel? Or some other mysterious explanation?

Sam meets the other guys in the precinct, including Lt. Gene Hunt (Harvey Keitel) and Detective Ray Carling (Michael Imperioli of The Sopranos fame). They soon refer to Sam as "space man." The only person who comes close to believing Sam's fantastic story is Annie Norris (Gretchen Mol), a policewoman before her time. As Sam adjusts to the no-rules style of policing in 1973 (as well as no DNA, no Internet, etc.), he also comes in contact with people and incidents from his childhood.

Despite the title (which comes from the David Bowie song playing when Sam is hit), is not really a sci-fi show. It's more of a police drama with a bit of fantasy/mystery thrown in. The acting is superb - how can it fail to be so with the wonderful cast?

Fans of the series are divided as to whether they like the direction in which the producers took the show. I happen to really like the way it ends, but it's something I highly recommend you watch for yourself in order to make your own decision.

Life on Mars: The Complete Series is well worth the time and money to watch, whether for the first time or to get the complete picture through a repeat viewing. The acting and storyline are excellent, and the show certainly provides a great deal of food for thought and discussion.
  buy this DVD now or browse millions of other great products at
reviewed by Melissa Parcel
    action | animation | art house/international | comedy | documentary | drama | family | horror/sci-fi | suspense | television    
    browse DVDs alphabetical by title    
    contact | home