Life on Mars, UK, US and Vida en Marte

Steve Ahlquist has been writing his Mythographical Meanderings over at for two years now. If you haven’t been reading his column you’re missing out. We’ll be posting excerpts from his best essays with links back to FOB where you can read the rest. This essay was originally published April 6, 2009.

Life on Mars was a 2006 BBC science fiction/police drama TV series. The story concerns a cop, DCI (Detective Chief Inspector) Sam Tyler (played by John Simm, soon to be returning as The Master on Doctor Who) who, after being hit by a car in 2006, finds himself in the year 1973. There, he works as a DI (Detective Inspector) under DCI Gene Hunt (played by Philip Glenister.) Tyler’s reaction to the racist, sexist 1970’s provide the core of the series in terms of drama and comedy, but the true tension of the show concerns the nature Tyler’s predicament. Is he insane, in a coma, or really a time traveler?

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