11 April 2007

Life on Venus: Money, Not Art, Makes the World Go 'Round!

Despite numerous assurances that last night would be the end of Life on Mars, the BBC has confirmed a "sequel" - I think they mean spin-off but are too ashamed to use those words - starring DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), the star of the show, this time in 1981 and in London. They are replacing Sam Tyler (who decided he'd rather die in a coma than come back to life) with a female "sexy sidekick". I think we can all sleep soundly in the knowledge the new series lose the working title "Ashes to Ashes" and will in fact be called "Life on Venus". At least that explains the really poor finale, they had to end it that way to make out Gene's world is better than reality, hence chance for a sequel/spin-off. No wonder Philip Glenister described British TV industry as "screwed up" and run by "a lot of fools".

10 April 2007

Life on Mars: The Sad Conclusion

A pretty good series, heavily watered down by them playing silly buggers with the final hour. Yes the "John Leslie" bad guy was funny and they get major kudos for the Robocop reference but other than that the episode was a sad (as in poor) end to a good series. Let me break down the final hour:

First 10 minutes: As predicted Gene is a tumour. Kill him and you can escape.

Main 40 minutes: Erm, we don't have anything left. No one believes he is really in '73, so let's hope to fool some gullible person with an overview of the main themes in Total Recall (you know, the film Paul Verhoeven directed right after Robocop). Hell, Total Recall was even set on Mars!

Introduction of key information minutes before end: Barman says "you'll know it's real if you can feel it". Slightly later than normal episodes but it is the last episode.

Final 10 minutes: Need a final ending. Okay, let's rip off not-very-well-known Spanish film Abre Los Ojos. Oh wait, didn't Tom Cruise remake that as Vanilla Sky and even have the top-of-the-building shot, panning around before he runs and jumps? Damn, let's hope nobody notices.

Very final thought: Actually, I prefer the dream world of 1973, I'd rather give in to the tumour and die than live in the current day.

My initial reaction was the ‘waking up’ segment was actually a dream, or lighter part of the coma, which he experiences as they come closer to saving him. The then rejects it and gives in to the deep coma and death. It seems the writers didn’t mean this, they meant to show that he did wake up – meaning the ‘I can’t feel a knife in my thumb’ scene was just contradictory as it was real. He then kills himself by jumping off the building so he can have one last second in his imaginary world (which will last an eternity in his mind) before he dies.
I haven't seen a final episode as bad as this since they destroyed eleven year's work with the final five episode story-arc of Frasier. Tonight's episode was "written" by the co-creator so they no one else to blame other than themselves. A very sad way to go out.

Exclusively Revealed - The Ending to Life on Mars!

I can proudly reveal the ending to Life on Mars tonight. How? Because, although it is highly enjoyable, it's quite predictable when the do a plot. Usually they just introduce a new fact 15 minutes from the end that helps them solve the case. For those who don't want to know what happens, look away now!

1. Gene is a manifestation of the brain damage that Sam has been fighting off. He is all the bad things that you would do in Sam's policing world. When he finally defeats Gene, he comes out of the coma.

2. The temporary DCI (Morgan) is the surgeon and WDI (Annie) is a nurse who has been looking after Sam. She has always looked out for him.

3. We somehow find out that Sam has in fact been back in time, perhaps by the use of a photograph.

Now let's check back in a few hours and see just how right I was!