Saturday, 22 April 2017

Doctor Who Vs. Life On Mars, Series 1

"My name is Sam Tyler. I had an 
accident and I woke up in 1973. 
Am I mad, in a coma or back in 
time? Whatever's happened, it's 
like I've landed on a different 
planet. Now maybe if I can work 
out the reason, I can get home."

Produced by Kudos and Monastic,
Life On Mars debuted on BBC One 
in the winter of 2006, and was a 
new type of TV drama - success-
fully fusing 1970's police procedure 
with sci-fi and fantasy elements.
Actually conceived in 1998 and titled
Ford Granada, the programme was initially rejected by the Corporation, 
and was then developed by Channel Four, before being commissioned by BBC Wales.
An American version was made by ABC (screened in 2008), and remakes
aired in Spain (called The Girl From Yesterday for Antena 3, in 2009), Russia
 (The Dark Side of the Moon for Channel One) and Ukraine (on Inter, both in 
2012). 
A sequel series, Ashes to Ashes (also referencing another David Bowie song) 
which was now set in 1980's London, began in 2008 and ran for three seasons. 
Life On Mars centred on present-day Manchester detective, DCI Sam Tyler
(portrayed by Leeds-born actor John Simm), and his conflict with his new 
superior, Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). After being hit by a car, Tyler awakes in 
an alien environment, namely 1973! Across the sixteen episodes, it is unclear
 to Tyler (and indeed the viewer) whether he has died, is in a coma, is now 
insane, or has actually travelled back in time.
This series shares many links with Doctor Who. Co-creator and writer,
Matthew Graham penned Fear Her, then The Rebel Flesh and The Almost 
People. Series producer Marcus Wilson later produced twenty-eight
adventures (from The Impossible Astronaut to The Time of the Doctor,
and The Doctors Revisited). 
Two later episodes were written by Chris Chibnall (future showrunner and
author of five stories, from 42 to The Power of Three), and Richard Clark 
directed two episodes for series two (he later helmed GridlockThe Lazarus ExperimentThe Doctor's Wife and Night Terrors).
A repeat run of the first season (originally transmitted from January 9 to February
27 2006) began on the Drama channel last night, and featured Dean Andrews (as
Ray Carling) and these thirty-eight other Doctor Who cast and crew connections:

  • Marshall Lancaster (Chris Skelton) was Buzzer in Graham's two-part Gangers story
  • Liz White (WPC Annie Cartwright) was Alice in The Snowmen
  • Andrew Tiernan (Trent) was Purcell in Night Terrors
  • Lee Ross (DCI Litton) was the Boatswain in The Curse of the Black Spot
  • Stephen Aintree (Carroway) voiced DCI Turnbull for Big Finish's The Condemned (2008)
  • Andrew Knott (Derek) voiced James O'Meara for 1963: Fanfare for the Common Men (BF, 2013), and Sean Casey for Dark Eyes 2: The White Room (BF, 2014)
  • Anthony Flanagan (Bond) was Orin Scannell in 42
  • Ian Barritt (Cooper) was Professor Peach in The Unicorn and the Wasp
  • John Wilson (Man) was a Jacondan guard in The Twin Dilemma
  • John R Walker (Pub local) was a Cured Patient in New Earth, an Injured Man in Evolution of the Daleks, and a Sales Rep in Planet of the Ood
  • Paul Copley (Cole) was Clement McDonald in Torchwood: Children of Earth, and voiced Dad for Spare Parts (BF, 2002)
  • Sagar Arya (Saeed) was a Newsreader for The Sarah Jane Adventures, and The Christmas Invasion
  • William Hoyland (Supt. Rathbone) voiced Premier Jaeger for Live 34 (BF, 2005)
  • Lee Ingleby (Vic Tyler) voiced Samson Griffin for Terror Firma (BF, 2005)
  • stunt co-ordinators Peter Brayham and Stuart Clarke, and stuntmen Crispin Layfield, Derek Lea, Graham Seed, Andy Smart, Tom Aitken, Dean Forster, Glann Foster, George Cottle, Tony Lucken and Nick Wilkinson have all worked on the revived series in the same capacities
  • stuntman Spencer Wilding was the Minotaur in The God Complex, the Wooden King in The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe, and Ice Warrior Skaldak in Cold War
  • Balazs Bolygo was also the cinematographer on the Gangers two-parter and Closing Time
  • Andy Pryor (series casting) has worked as casting director on the revived run since 2005, as well as The Sarah Jane Adventures and every episode of Torchwood
  • Matt Wood was also the VFX supervisor on The Doctor, the Widow and the WardrobeA Town Called Mercy and The Power of Three
  • Kirsty Robertson was also a casting associate on twenty adventures (from Rose to Last of the Time Lords)
  • assistant editor Matthew Cannings also edited The SnowmenThe Crimson Horror and The Name of the Doctor
  • floor runner Thomas Alibone was second assistant director on An Adventure in Space and Time - composer Edmund Butt later provided incidental music for the anniversary biopic too
  • Tim Palmer was also the cinematographer on Let's Kill HitlerThe Wedding of River Song and Nightmare in Silver
  • Elwen Rowlands was also script editor on seven episodes (from Rose to Boom Town)
  • Julie Scott was also a BBC production executive on seventy-five instalments (from The Runaway Bride to The Name of the Doctor), Doctor Who Proms (2009 and 2013), The Blood of the Cybermen, City of the Daleks, Dreamland, Music of the Spheres, Time Crash, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures
  • Julie Ankerson was also foley artist on 116 adventures (from Rose to Death In Heaven), thirty-one Torchwood stories, and twenty-three episodes of The Sarah Jane Adventures

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