You lucky Americans! The best television program of the past ten years is now available on Region 1 DVDs!
Maybe you caught the American version of Life On Mars, doesn't matter, forget it. Unlike the US version of, say The Office you can file LOM-US with the much longer list of weak adaptations of British programs.
(We should make a list of what those are. But I don't have time.)
Why the fascination with LOM? Well, first off, it's a great cop show. Maybe some of the crimes are easy to solve, but the ride is exciting, gritty, surprising, suspenseful, hilarious, and moving.
On that last note, that was what really distinguished the original from the knock-off. Sam Tyler UK is a seriously troubled man, constantly aware that something is terribly wrong with him and powerless to change it. That, and he has some unresolved personal issues that stretch back into this childhood - in 1973 - which make where he is a place by turns melancholy, vibrant and harrowing. And hilarious.
Sam Tyler, though I grew to enjoy him (for the five episodes I watched) was too sunny, cheerful, not at all disturbed by where he found himself, it was just another case to crack!
LOM UK is all wrapped up in a package of 70s fashion and Anglophilia - I got a true education in 70s British guitar rock (who knew The Sweet had more than one hit?)
You will love John Simm as Sam Tyler. You will fear Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt ... and then love him, too. The whole team is fabulous, the style is high, the music amazing.
Buy it, reserve it at the library, put it on your queue.
Trust the Gene Genie!