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10:04 pm: life on mars ended as it started: rather oddly, but with a distinct undertone of squee.


huge spoilers ahead!

ok, so the idea that sam would be forced to choose between 1973 and 2006 was unsurprising, especially given the trailers. and frankly, the coma thing was well signposted and introducing a new idea in the last episode would have been pulling a rabbit out of the hat: they could go with mad or coma at this late stage. i had one or two novel ideas that they could have gone with, but only put them out there because i hadn't seen anyone else suggest them...

hmm. so, there are still two interpretations, rather cleverly. if we assume 2007 was real, and 1973 was a dream, then we can assume he's back in a coma, or possibly in heaven. (cos there is no way he could have survived that fall...) but then the bright light at the end of the tunnel was working the wrong way?

or, we could assume morgan was right all along. in which case, what exactly were the first 5 minutes of the series, and the intermediate 10 minutes, exactly? we would have to rationalise these as hallucinations or false memories of sam.

in all, a satisfying dramatic conclusion which nontheless leaves the debate about the metaphysics of the situation (read: wtf was going on) open: which is what you'd hope a classic would do, leave you guessing.


i can't say i wouldn't like to see a season 3, but i think with an ongoing mystery show you need to rein in and resolve your mysteries eventually: otherwise you end up like the X-Files. But them I'm very much of the school of thought that reckons rewatching a murder-mystery should make you kick yourself at how obvious it was, rather than noticing how they cheated (M. Night Shyamalan, I'm looking at you...). Ashes to Ashes, if that ever gets made, may be worth watching, but I daresay it won't have the sf and mystery elements.

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From:eldar
Date:April 11th, 2007 09:17 am (UTC)
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Oh, he's in a coma, and he has been all along. He's probably never going to recover, though it's entirely possible that the "messages" he was receiving during this series were an attempt to bring him back. Except what he thought was "going home" wasn't; he was just swapping one dream for another. In the end, this realisation forced him to choose which dream he wanted, and he chose 1973 over 2006.
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From:abigailb
Date:April 11th, 2007 09:25 am (UTC)
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I like that interpretation.

Seen an interview with Matthew Graham where he claims he did really wake up and commit suicide. But hey, the author is dead, and the 2007 bits were rather odd.

The internet also tells me the sequel series, Ashes to Ashes will revisit the time travel aspect with another person following him into Gene Hunt's life, this time in 1981. Which if true, and both shows are considered a unit, has interesting implications.
From:annomalley
Date:April 11th, 2007 12:12 pm (UTC)
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What worries me the most is the depiction of the present as a dead place crippled by political correctness, to which a violent fictional past is preferable.

I liked the first series largely because it seemed to be a very positive "look how far we've come" statement, but after reading an interview with the creators, hearing that there's a new cop show set in the 60es specifically so violence against suspects is OK in it AND a LoM spin-off starring Gene Hunt and seeing this ending, I now get a feeling that it's all a bit less savoury than that.
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From:abigailb
Date:April 11th, 2007 12:33 pm (UTC)
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It's walked a fine line throughout the series between being snooty at policing-by-violence and glorifying it. Sam is usually in the right though : if he says "no, this guy didn't do it", he didn't. And note that right up to the ending credits, Sam is expressing his disapproval of Hunt's actions...

I think his decision comes down just to Annie; his promise, and that, as they say "you can never go home again" - i think the remoteness and emptiness is a symptom of that. It's very significant that the scenes after he woke up from coma had a very subdued soundtrack, almost silent.

It reminds me a bit of Alan Moore's spin on the Alice adventures in The League of Extraordinary Gentlement, where, having returned from the Looking-Glass she has had her chirality swapped and can no longer digest food.
From:annomalley
Date:April 11th, 2007 01:15 pm (UTC)
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Sam expressing disapproval, at that stage, sounds to me like an affectation, his light-heartedly reciting stuff he no longer really cares about. But maybe my view is tainted with what I've read about the creators' motivation and the forthcoming retro cop shows.

If I were to attach my own meaning to the final decision, I'd say it comes from depression. After all, he's just had a pretty stressful, disorienting time and he leaves the hospital on his own. And this in turns would seem to indicate that the creator's are linking depression to living in a world with more guidelines.
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From:mewcenary
Date:April 11th, 2007 12:55 pm (UTC)
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He is now dead. Heaven was not depicted.
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