A Glimpse of Life on Mars

20-May-08 4:33 PM by
Filed under Television; 3 comments.

I've been eager for developing news on the American TV series Life on Mars ever since it was first announced more than a year ago. Based on the British series of the same name, this local adaptation similarly tells the tale of a modern-day detective involved in a car accident who wakes up to find himself 30 years in the past. He must acclimate to the technology and procedures of that era's police force, all while questioning his sanity and the reality of his circumstances.

Finally, a trailer for this ABC series has surfaced, along with confirmation of it airing Thursdays at 10 PM this fall:

I'm a bit surprised by the casting — I'd been led to believe that Colm Meaney would have the lead role, which the Trekkie in me was eager to see. But I find the casting of Jason O'Mara (also an Irish actor) more believable, though that's based only on this brief preview, as I've not seen any of his other work.

It also seems odd that this trailer suggests an almost comedic element. A time-travelling cop hunting down a serial killer sounds like the Dennis Quaid movie Frequency, which had a certain element of incredulity and wonder to it, but humor was not its overarching theme.

As I don't have TV service, I missed the similar show Journeyman and will have to catch it upon its eventual DVD release. Life on Mars will probably come to me via a similar route, a year after everyone else has enjoyed its premiere. If my hopes prove true, it will be worth the wait.

(Hat tips to TrekToday and Den of Geek)

Carry On Wayward Man

27-Dec-07 7:00 PM by
Filed under Television; Comments Off on Carry On Wayward Man

My siblings and I don't have many television viewing habits in common — and not only because I cancelled my service eight years ago. So I was surprised recently to receive this email from my oldest brother:

I know you don't watch TV per se, but you might find this past Monday night's NBC show Journeyman quite interesting. You can log onto NBC.com and watch previous episodes, commercial free

I don't know if perhaps he was familiar with my taste for Quantum Leap, but I agreed that Journeyman, along with Pushing Daisies and Reaper, would be shows I'd be watching this season, if I were able. (NBC.com's quality doesn't compare to a 36" TV with 5.1 surround sound!) But since I get all my shows, like Heroes (another interest we discovered we share), on DVD, it'll be awhile yet before I can watch this variation on The Time Traveler's Wife (coming soon to a theater near you).

Unfortunately, I was the one to break the bad news when I quoted to him from Wikipedia:

The initial order from the network was for 13 episodes, all of which were produced prior to the 2007 Writers Guild of America strike by screenwriters. However, the series suffered from low ratings, and NBC allowed its option for a full season order to lapse by the 2007-12-11 deadline for renewal. According to trade reports, such an action effectively means a series has been cancelled. The final episode of Journeyman aired on Wednesday, 2007-12-19.

But I was quick to point out the variety of precedents that suggest no show's death is final. Family Guy was cancelled twice but came back based on strong DVD sales. Sliders and Buffy switched networks, with the latter written to a series conclusion, should the show not survive the transition to a new network. Firefly came back as the feature-length Serenity, while Futurama and ReBoot both received direct-to-DVD movies.

So though Journeyman's travels appear over for now, there's always hope for the future… but should this truly be the end, at least picking up the complete series on DVD ought to be a cheap affair. In the meantime, we have the time-travel series Life on Mars to look forward to, along with news that Early Edition is finally coming to DVD. Good things come to those who wait!