Must See TV

Life On Mars
Episode 7: The Man Who Sold The World

The last thing you remember is rushing to answer the phone in your car across the street. The year is 2008. But here you are, lying in the street and it isn’t 2008 any more, it’s 1973. Suddenly you’ve been thrust back 25 years to a New York City you haven’t see since you were 4 years old. And you have no idea how or why. Are you dead? Insane? Is this a dream? Or is this reality and 2008 is the dream?

That’s where Detective Sam Tyler finds himself at the beginning of the series, Life on Mars. Based on a popular British series by the same name, Life on Mars puts a 21st century cop in the hippie era, anti-war, racially charged culture of 1970s New York. There are no computers, no DNA testing, no cell phones. Sam’s new coworkers at the 125th precinct are tough, no-nonsense cops who don’t let ethics – and sometimes justice – get in their way.

Sam can’t reconcile his 2008 memories with his 1973 presence. He feels as if he has been sent back 25 years for a reason. He receives “messages” from 2008 by way of radio, television, phone calls, and occasional interaction with the 70s version of a person in his 2008 life. The only person he confides in is Annie. Referred to by her co-workers as No-Nuts Norris, Annie is the token female on the force. With a previous degree in psychology she is a sympathetic ear for Sam, often encouraging him to seek psychological help for what she imagines can only be delusions.

This week’s episode finds Sam face-to-face with his father, Vic, who disappeared in the middle of Sam’s fourth birthday party, which happens to be taking place on the upcoming Saturday in Sam’s 1973 world. Vic has been arrested for kidnapping infant Andrew Kreshpane, but claims he is only a messenger for the up-and-coming Pignato family mob. Eager to vindicate his father, Sam convinces Vic to help the police rescue the baby. What follows is the interaction between an adult Sam and his father, with Sam trying to unravel the mystery of his father’s disappearance and discover the meaning behind a recurring vision of a woman in a red dress whom Sam believes is his mother, Rose, being attacked in the woods beyond the park where Sam’s birthday party takes place.

Episode 7 is the mid-season cliff-hanger so you won’t be surprised to know that the ending leaves us in suspense when Sam finds himself in an empty house, answering the phone and hearing an unknown voice direct him to the basement. Is this the way back to 2008? Is it a Pignato family trap? You’ll have to wait until January 28th when the show moves to Wednesdays after Lost to find out. In the meantime you can catch up on previous episodes online. You won’t regret it.

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