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10 October 2008 @ 09:37 am
Eleventh Hour and Life On Mars (basic concept spoilers)  
Two US versions of high concept British detective shows ran against each other last night.

Created by former Doctor Who writer Stephen Gallagher and Americanized by Jerry Bruckheimer and his CSI crew, Eleventh Hour is the story of eccentric scientist Jacob Hood and his FBI agent partner/bodyguard Rachel Young. They specialize in investigating odd crimes of a scientific nature. Rufus Sewell (Dark City) does quite well as Hood, although I'm not sure he has enough likability to score with American television viewers. That leaves a lot of the heavy lifting to relative newcomer Marley Shelton as Rachel, who just might be able to pull it off. Certainly the CSI lead-in will help. Unlike fellow X-Files descendant Fringe, which is more crime show meets mad science, Eleventh Hour looks like it's going to stick to more realistic science, something that could give them an edge with people who generally roll the eyes at sci-fi. I'll definitely watch more.

If you've never seen the original Life On Mars, it was one of the best British programs I've ever seen. Detective Sam Tyler wakes up, completely unharmed, from a car crash in 1973. The only problem: he thinks he's from our time. So either he's crazy or he accidentally traveled in time or his body is lying in a coma in the future and everything around him is just some kind of dream. Or nightmare. Now this forensic science and psychology-using, by-the-book cop has to solve crimes alongside a group of suspect-beating, thugs who rely on violence and instinct.

Life On Mars was originally Americanized by David E. Kelley (Boston Legal), but his pilot episode was terrible. So they handed it over to the crew behind October Road along with a lot of money for a big name cast. Jason O'Mara plays Sam Tyler. He's a little too action hero-looking for my tastes, but he does a decent job. Harvey Keitel plays Gene Hunt a bit differently from his predecessor, the amazing Philip Glenister. His Hunt is older and a tad kinder, still rough and violent, but not quite as much so. Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, and Lisa Bonet also star. All in all, it's pretty good. The episode packed some pretty good emotional punches and didn't mess things up too badly at all. I'll watch it again.

everybody hates a tourist.dynamine on October 10th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
yeah...'life on mars' was happily surprising.
(Anonymous) on October 12th, 2008 05:38 pm (UTC)
why not just show the original?
I just finished watching the real Sam Tyler defuse a car bomb with a pair of 1973 pliers.
Riveting stuff
Why would you need to retread it in American?
Next you will be telling me that Robin Hood is being amerikanized!!!!!

an assmonkiyete from hong kong
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: blue bottleassmonkeydiary on October 13th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Re: why not just show the original?
It's a combination of xenophobia in middle America and ultra greed in the people who run the television networks.
sleazenationnotbbcnews24 on October 12th, 2008 06:37 pm (UTC)
The car crash scene in the US version fell a little flatter than the UK version I thought - mainly due to a lack of emotion - John Sim's conveyed Tyler's inner turmoil wonderfully - And THEN the music kicked in. He narrowly avoids a car crash, foreshadowing the car crash to come. He gets out the car and tries to get pull himself together seemingly finding some kind of resolution to his inner crisis when -suddenly and jarringly- he's knocked over. You can watch the scene over and over again and even if you know what is going to happen it is STILL shocking and jarring.

The same scene just seems rushed and muddied in the US version, as almost an excuse to get to the money shot of the twin towers, which was brilliant and far stronger than the same moment in the UK version. But yeah, I think this has the capacity to be fun.
Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: Luke Cheuh & Teresa MTZassmonkeydiary on October 13th, 2008 03:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, I think you're absolutely right.

It'll be interesting (hopefully) to see what they do with it since the American show will likely have more episodes in its first season than the original had in both, giving it a possibly far different arc.
sleazenationnotbbcnews24 on October 13th, 2008 07:02 pm (UTC)
yeah I can see this in 22 episode format, which in many ways woulod be a shame because it will lack the socio-political focus and may well just lapse into pastiche... I hope it doesn't, but that is a definite possibility...
(Anonymous) on October 13th, 2008 07:03 pm (UTC)
I love this shot!
New wallpaper!
Kid_Jkid_j on October 17th, 2008 06:35 pm (UTC)
Where was this beautiful shot taken from? I must know who this beauty is! Pray tell please.