Life on Mars – what is going on?

For what it is worth – speculation not spoilers and just t see how much (if any) I’ve got right before the big show.

Sam is in a coma. He is not a time traveller and is not mad.   His mind is imagining he is in 1973 because that is when his father went missing.  Gene, Chris, Ray &c are police officers from 1973 who he remembers investigating his father’s wrongdoing (and who young Sam sees at the wedding when his dad goes missing).  Annie was injured by his father in 1973.  He is back in 1973 because Life on Mars is what was playing at the family wedding when his father disappeared and that is what was playing when he goes into his coma.  The scenario is therefore spun from his childhood memories.

He is a police officer in 2006/7 and his memories of 1973 police come from 1970s cop shows (The Sweeney &c – hence the knocking over of bins by the car &c) and he has transposed his memories about them onto the real people he remembers from 1973.

To get back Sam needs to realise he can go home and has had it in his power at any time (by killing himself in 1973?).

Following the Wizard of Oz theme which seems to underlie the series (Sam is “Dorothy” to Gene; Frank Morgan (the Wizard); Gene (the Tin Man); Ray (the Lion); Chris (the Scarecrow) – Sam having transposed childhood memories onto the real officers he remembers from 1973).  Frank (a doctor in 2006/7) will promise him a way home.  Frank will not manage it, and Annie (Glinda) will then give him the key to get back.

Cobblers obviously, but what do you think is going on?

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About loveandgarbage

I watch the telly and read when not doing law stuff and plugging my decade and a half old unwatched Edinburgh fringe show.
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7 Responses to Life on Mars – what is going on?

  1. brooschlee says:

    Spoiler Warning
    Sam is ‘in a coma’ insomuch that his body is lying in a Manchester hospital being tended to by doctors, but has transported back into the actual 1973, probably either because of his father, the fact that Life on Mars was playing on his iPod (Who does he fall in with? A Lawman who habitually beats up the wrong guy) or because it was convenient in order to solve his girlfriend’s kidnap from the Pilot. Crucially, we know that if he hasn’t travelled in time, then his confidence about saving his Girlfriend’s kidnapper (from the first episode) is wrong, and if time has passed, then it seems his missus will be dead – which would be a fairly upsetting ending for the show.
    Secondly, if ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is being bandied about, then it’ll happen without John Simm, so the rest of the crew must be earmarked for returning – and I doubt the show can work if the entire premise is that the characters are in the absent Sam’s subconscious.

    • surliminal says:

      This is the problem – the spin off – I was trying to get round by hypothesising him being in a coma, but in 1973 NOT 2007.
      There was a gloss on L&M’s basic synopsis being bandied around in Chester – namely that Sam was also thinking about various worrying crimes or unsolved crimes in the future when he was in the accident, and he has transported back to sort those particular cases out- not just his dad but eg the future ganglord we saw dispatched to a loonie bin.

      • I think the spin-off can at least in part be dealt with by suggesting that they reflect Sam’s memories of the real officers from 1973 investigating his father’s case. I think that Gene et al are real in 1973 but hyper-real to Sam who is projecting his own memories onto them.

        • brooschlee says:

          Apparently the producers filmed two endings (or so says Digital Spy, I read in SFX some months back that Matthew Graham and co always had the ending in mind). Which suggests that the ending, whatever it is, is fairly brief and toward the very last few moments of the episode, as opposed to being strung out across the episode (Which seems to be a regular episode with the ‘reveal’ tacked on, much to my irritation)

  2. brooschlee says:

    My God. I doubt I have ever been so disappointed in a show, ever. I’ve literally vomited vitriol onto this page (apologies for the OSL) but Lord. Tyler chooses to end his own life and play for what could potentially be a few minutes in his fantasy rather than live up to his life? I’ve never heard such rubbish. How the hell they’d be able to do ‘Ashes to Ashes’ after that (Unless it was an extraordinary and elaborate hoax to disguise how awful the finale was), I have no clue. I cannot believe Matthew Graham managed to mess up what could have been the single easiest writing gig in the world.

    • Hear hear. Read the review – good stuff.
      My wife hated it having loved the series since the first episode.
      And god knows what the discarded ending was like…
      No wonder JOhn Simm looked so p***ed off on The Culture Show.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yep, I agree! Blimey, you could drive a coach and horses through that ending. As the man said: “Ever feel like you’ve been had?”
        Shaz

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