Saturday, June 23, 2018

LIFE ON MARS From 2006 U.K. to 2008 U.S.

Tonight's Saturday Night Special isn't really a grudge match per se, it's just a simple comparison between two very similar versions of the same show called "Life On Mars!"

 The British version came out in 2006, and was a great show in my opinion! So much, that I really didn't want to try and even watch this U.S. version. "What's the point?" was what I thought, but then it got interesting! I'm thinking somebody knew this was a great show, but also knew that the U.K. version wouldn't fly in the U.S. because, for the uninitiated, you can't understand what they're talking about half the time! They could have released it in the U.S. but it would have had to have sub-titles like in "The Harder They Come," and a lot of people just won't watch movies with sub-titles, so they just remade the whole thing as close to the original as they could! It's weird! It's like a clone!

The top pictures will all be from the 2006 version, and this is a prime example of how far they went to re-create the original! They even tried to make the photos identical! That's wild! Actually, it got so confusing that while I was doing this, I mixed up these pictures myself!

Occasionally there is a bit of variation here and there like the location of Officer Tyler's girlfriend's bloody shirt went from a playground swing set to a merry-go-round!

The changes in technology from 2006 to 2008 are evidenced by the improvements in the mp3 player`

Some scenes are as close to exactly the same as is humanly possible!

The shot of the eight track player!

There are also some obvious variations that can't be avoided because it's New York City and not Manchester, England!

But whenever they could, they made it this close to the original!

I really didn't expect them to pull it off, but Jason (The Death Of Superman) O'Mara does an excellent job as Sam Tyler!

Jonathan (Animal Among Us) Murphy and Michael (The Sorpranos) Imperioli are also excellent as the Chris and Ray characters, and Harvey Keitel is equally amazing as Gene "Genie" Hunt!

Two obvious changes are Annie is now a blonde as played by Gretchen (The 13th Floor) Mol.

And Nelson is no longer a black man, but it makes sense if you think about it. A dreadlocked bartender would probably be fairly common in a 1973 England, but in a 1973 New York, it would be an Italian guy.
The new Nelson is Mike (Dumb and Dumber, Ed Wood) Starr, but I just saw that he's only in this one episode, so they must be going to deviate from the story after this first show, because the original Nelson was in many episodes!

I loved the record store scene in both movies!
I got to watch this first episode for free because I opted for Amazon Prime no rush shipping on some shampoo I ordered. I still have another 99 cent credit, so I can either watch another episode or I might just break down and buy the DVD for about $13.00. Either way, I'll be watching the rest of it one way or another! I probably won't know what year it is or where I am by the time I get through!

1 comment:

knobgobbler said...

I watched both series all the way through and enjoyed both. They diverge from each other as they go on and reach thoroughly different conclusions.
The U.S. one will probably have more resonance with American audiences just because of the references... some parts of the British one, particularly the antics of the lead cop, seemed a bit OTT to me, I should probably watch more episodes of The Sweeny.

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