As of today, the second season of the time-traveling BBC hit show Life On Mars can be seen on BBC America here in the States, although producer David E. Kelley (who worked on Ally McBeal) is also working on an American version of the show for ABC next season, which probably means we'll have yet another bad adaptation of a British show to make fun of. Note how they try to hammer home the 1973 setting of the show by featuring a car in the publicity photos. "Hey! We're in 1973! Look how authentic it is!"
For the uninitiated, Life On Mars, despite it's extraterrestrial sounding name, takes place entirely on Earth. In the BBC series, police detective Sam Tyler gets into a car accident in 2006, with David Bowie's "Life On Mars" playing on his iPod, and wakes up in 1973, where the same song is playing on an 8-track player. He soon finds himself doing police work for the cops back in the 70s, and the series makes it interesting by keeping you guessing as to whether or not he's in a coma and dreaming everything, if he's alive in 1973 and mentally deranged, or if he's actually traveled back in time.
Season Two opens with a scene that shows that Sam is indeed in a coma in 2006, but what he's doing back in 1973 might be affecting the future, putting a definite scifi spin on the show. While it was a hit in the UK, the show ended earlier this year after only two seasons. With the track record showing that U.S. versions of BBC hit shows usually tank (The Office being a notable exception), David Kelley faces an uphill battle. If this writer's strike ever ends, we'll be looking for Life On Mars next year and hoping it doesn't turn into a lame version of Journeyman. In the meantime we'll catch up on the original.
Is There Still 'Life On Mars'? Bloody Hell, Yeah [Televisionary]