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Harrison
2nd February 2009, 23:16
Has anyone seen the US version/remake of Life on Mars?

If you don't know, the US version is a direct remake of the original UK version, but set in New York.

This sounded like it could be quite cool, seeing New York in 1973, so I downloaded and watched the first episode... and if you have seen the original BBC version then I think you will be disappointed. It is well done, but the scripts are identical (almost word for word the same), with just the English slang and cultural references changed for US ones. The names of all the characters, including the suspects and others, are all identical, and the events and story of each episode plays out identically.

And while it is done quite well it just isn't as good. It is great to see New York in 1973, but the actors are no way as good. They so far felt flat by comparison. Harvey Keitel, as the US version of Gene Hunt, isn't a patch on the original and for me didn't work at all. I like Keitel as an actor, but I don't think he is the right one for this role. And the main character of Sam, played by Jason O'Mara, seems quite flat and until near the very end of the first episode he wasn't delivering his lines in a convincing way.

The editing was also very bitty with big scene jumps and bits missing. If is wasn't for me already seeing the same stories in the original UK version it would have been harder to follow.

I'm still going to download the next couple of episodes to see if they get into their characters more as it progresses, and hopefully they make more use of the New York setting and don't just stick to the original scripts word for word, and scene for scene.

However, if you haven't seen the UK verison then I highly recommend you watch that instead of the US one as the orginal BBC UK series is much better.

Buleste
3rd February 2009, 13:57
Sorry but Harvey Keitel could never pull off lines like
I've come at this from more angles than Linda Lovelace. or
He's got fingers in more pies than a leper on a cookery course.

Harrison
3rd February 2009, 14:37
Originally Colm Meaney was going to play Gene Hunt, and was in the original pilot episode. Not sure if he would have been better, but I'm going to try and download the original pilot to see how he was. And there was originally a different actress playing Annie too, and looking at her picture she seemed to fit the role better than the one they finally got, who doesn't really fit into the character.

Apparently after the original pilot episode ABC decided to make lots of changes to the line up, and also alter the scripts and remove some of the original characters. They all seemed present in the first episode so not sure who they have removed.

hotdiggity
7th February 2009, 14:25
I started to watch an episode of Life on Mars (US) one evening and didn't make it longer than five minutes into it. The writing is just terrible. Ugh.

Harrison
8th February 2009, 22:15
It has exactly the same script as the original. However with the UK slang, humour, and 70's cultural elements removed it does feel flat.