Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Martian

Accidentally watched some telly last night in between assembling wardrobes, and lo and behold if it wasn't the first episode of Life on Mars, starring the quite marvellous (not in *that* way, I mean, he's just generally great) John Simm (aka That Bloke From That Film That Hasn't Aged Very Well*).

Life on Mars seems to have lifted its entire premise from one of Iain "not M" Banks's better efforts, viz. The Bridge. Only instead of being in a coma and imagining that he's trapped in a giant, er, bridge, the protagonist is in a coma and imagining that he's trapped in an episode of The Sweeney. Cue lots of rolling about on authentic 70s police car bonnets and sort of dramatic slow-motion type action, while Simm gets to go through a range of endearing facial expressions and wear a nice stripy shirt and leather jacket.

Well I liked it very much, even though its premise is one of the Things That Frighten Me Most, as blogged about back in the day here...

Didn't quite have to sleep with the light on, but it did manage to instil a vague sense of unease in me, which is pretty good going on the part of the BBC, really. I'm really hoping they nick that bit from The Bridge where, in the real world, the doctors start pumping the protagonist full of weird drugs, which makes his dream-world suddenly turn even more incredibly surreal than it already was. Because that would just be really cool.


* That film, I mean, not the boy Simm. He's maturing very nicely thank you.

22 comments:

surly girl said...

ooh, i loved the bridge but had forgotten all about it. am re-reading walking on glass at the moment.

surly girl - boring the general publice since 2005

Spinsterella said...

Oh, I was really disappointed by The Bridge - bit too SF, surely should have been one of his 'M' efforts?

I quite like yer man Simms - he's filled out quite nicely since The Lakes without getting fat...

Jack Spanners said...

I thought it was great. I'm a big fan of time travel stuff and I reckon this could be the best in the genre since Quantum Leap (unless Dr Who counts as time travel genre).

And a '70s soundtrack to boot.

patroclus said...

I've only read two of Iain Banks and none of Iain M Banks, so I'm not all that qualified to comment. I did love The Bridge, though, whereas the other one I read (The Business) was unmitigated rubbish.

Tabby Rabbit said...

>>I quite like yer man Simms - he's filled out quite nicely since The Lakes without getting fat...>>

Agree totally. I don't remember much about The Lakes apart from really enjoying it. My mind isn't what it used to be...

Pashmina said...

Nope, never read any Iain M Banks. But did enjoy Life on Mars no end. In fact I nearly blogged about it myself.

John Simm also to be seen soon(-ish) in State of Play 2, proof (if proof were needed) that he has excellent taste in projects. Apart from that film, obviously.

salag: Prison camp floozy. On a diet.

Urban Chick said...

if wasn't in a bad mood already, i'd be cross that (yet again) i seemed to have missed some good telly

good telly that lots of people (ok, two so far) are blogging about

and i forgot to call my dad and remind him to watch 'the thick of it'

hrmph

Merkin said...

It was OK, but not as good as the Gay Cowboy Movie - if that doesn't get 19 Oscars, I'll eat my hat. With cheese.

In other news - Bird Flu not very scary. Carry on.

the Beep said...

really enjoyed Life on Mars. Also enjoy Ian Banks (not the "M" stuff). Try Complicity. Also Wasp Factory and Crow Road.

Thought the twist in Life on Mars with the ex-boyfriend was clever. Had me fooled.

Not that it takes a lot.

patroclus said...

There was a twist? Umm, I must have missed that.

So, er, the twist was that the ex-boyfriend wasn't a psychologist from the future, but the policewoman bird's boyfriend/ex-boyfriend?

I'm not very good at watching telly, it has to be said. Brain...not...really...understand...pictures.

Konrad said...

Don't be scared. Don't be afraid. Don't worry. Don't be bothered. Don't be upset. I'll take care for the dard side of the moon. I'll try to light up your life. Happy New Year girl!

Pashmina said...

Nah, he clearly is from the future. But he's the policewoman's ex-boyfriend at the same time. At least that's what I think. "I didn't mention mobile phones"

Actually I briefly wondered if it's the same bloke working at the hospital in the future, but don't think it's as cute as that.

anyway when he first appeared he said "Hello Sam, can you hear me" or some such in a *special way*.

OK I'll shut up and get a life now. Sorry.

Kyahgirl said...

again, I have no idea what you're talking about but enjoy the ambiance :-)

patroclus said...

Pash: yes, I figured that he actually *is* the future psychologist, who just appears in the "dream" as the policewoman's ex. But that's only because I've convinced myself that the whole plot is the same as The Bridge.

LC said...

Read The Wasp Factory when I was young and seemed to remember enjoying it greatly. Complicity is, of course, excellent.

John Simms is one of the three blokes I can actually understand women fancying. The other two are Harrison Ford and me, obv.

patroclus said...

I'm just glad you didn't say George Clooney. Brrrr.

Albert said...

John Simms is not as sexy as 'weasel faced' David Tennant. Nyah!

Patroclus, you must read the Wasp Factory. It's got a great twist at the end, some of the most genuinely creepy things I've ever read in a book, and ... it's set on the blinkin' Black Isle!

Smat said...

I was sure you'd read the wasp Factory - in fact I thought you'd recommended it to me!

patroclus said...

Hmm, clearly I'm the only person in the entire world that hasn't read The Wasp Factory. I'll add it to my alarmingly extensive list of must-read books.

cello said...

albert, you are very right about John Simm and his inferiority to David Tennant on the looks front. I would contend he's also less good an actor. In fact, (being a bit controversial here) I don't rate him that highly though he has impeccable taste in the work he chooses. Sex Traffic was the best drama on last year but not because of him.

tabby, I can remember bits of The Lakes, including that Kate Ashton as the spoiled daughter of the hotel-owners who recently starred in Secret Smile opposite David Tennant. Ooh, it's all so incestuous.

Catpee said...

I loved Life on Mars. It did mess with my head though. I wish I could randomly be transported to the 1970's. It would be nice to be able to buy decent clothes from the shops.

Juggling Mother said...

Hmm, I thought the basic idea behind making Life on Mars was to re-make the sweeney without worrying about the rights involved:-)

I quite liked it, but it could get lost in 70's nostalgiua really easily - we'll have to wait and see.

I think Ian Banks decided to drop the M from all his novels a few years ago, saying there was no need to differentiate between his sci-fi & straight fiction any more. I am ashamed to say that I haven't read any - with or wothout the M, although I really must recitfy that soon. Sounds like the wasp factory is the one to start with!