Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Life on Mars - The End!

Well 'Life on Mars' has now finished and for an in depth analysis, Review and interview with the writer Click Here.

I wasn't sure what to make of the last episode. It was interesting how they undermined the idea about the coma with Sam starting to doubt it himself and beginning to think he actually was from 1973 and was suffering from amnesia. Ultimately is was obvious it was a coma but the ending was unexpected.

It appears in the end Sam committed suicide as he couldn't cope with his stilted, repressed modern life after 'experiencing' his 1970's life. He felt dead in the modern world and in reality and only alive in the 70's of his imagination. With him returning to 1973 as he died to drive off with everyone into the sunset and some sort of 'afterlife'.

I thought it was interesting how they filmed Sam's modern life in rather bland colours, very different to the style used for the 70's

It is a rather sad ending really. Sad that he couldn't work out his issues from what he had learned while in a coma without resorting to suicide which is never a solution!

The ending worked, much down to John Simm's acting and the script. As to a satisfying ending I'll leave that question open to debate!

I look forward to the new spin-off series called 'Ashes to Ashes' where we will get to see Gene Hunt, Ray and Chris again, this time in 1981 with a female co-star. For all Gene Hunt's moral failings he is one of the most entertaining TV cops to have ever been written.


Nick Payne said...

Hi Andrew, I don't think Sam necessarily died. I think he somehow had a bi-polar existence - one in both the 70's and the 00's... and that he could only truly live in one by dying to the other. Isn't that strange? in the same way, we as christians have that same choice to make - a man cannot serve two masters.

I don't think it is as simple as saying Sam committed suicide... because he clearly survived the event of his apparent demise in 2006 by returning to 1973 with "real" people (as you say, Hunt will appear in the 80's). So clearly it could not have been an afterlife.

Again, like Sam we have to make the same choice. On the surface, the world offers us 2006 - a seemingly "better" world, but in reality... a world where we are spiritually dead. As Nelson said, you are only alive if you can feel... in Sam's case, that is 1973, in our case we are only truly alive if you know God.

The look on sam's face isn't one of anxiety, it is one of joy... he finally knows where real life is and he is about to take the final step towards it.

It was good to see Nelson again... he has been terribly underused this series. I still maintain that he was more than just a barman. His insight went beyond more than just good advice.

The series seemed to end in an ambiguous way, just like Quantum Leap (one of the influences), with a lot of confusing things going on - especially test card girl materialising at the end to switch US off.

Regards and blessings


Andrew said...

Hi Nick, thanks for the comment.

That is certainly a way to look at it, however the writer did confirm Sam did jump and die.

I always thought 'test card girl' was a brilliant device and having her turn off the screen at the end somehow gave a certain closure to it all.

I am sure the details of the final episode will be debated for some time to come by people. It is always interesting how people interpret the same episode so very differently.

Take care


Nick Payne said...

from wiki:

Ultimately the viewer is left with ambiguity as to which to emotionally accept as real: Sam's life in the present day or his life in 1973. Has he really reawoken, and then thrown himself off a high building, presumably to his death? Writer Matthew Graham suggests so.[37] Or, as actor John Simm suggests, might this too merely be another one of his coma dreams?[37]. Back in 1973 Sam can still hear the voices that suggest he is in a coma – but now he chooses to ignore them, possibly because he either thinks they're symptoms of his delusions or because he doesn't want to wake up. Either Sam concludes he had been suffering from delusions and paranoia brought on by amnesia and that his life in 1973 was real, or that he prefers to live in his imagination, or he doesn't care which is real, only that he prefers 1973.

Andrew said...

Of course there are many interpretations. Clearly John Simm sees other possibilities and interprets it differently to the writer. The writer said that the final voices Sam hears are as he flat lines with some doctors trying to save him after his leap.

As I said I am sure it can/will be debated ad infinitum.

I am always happy to go with the authors intended meaning if it differs from my own interpretation.

I believe this is also how we should first and foremost approach scripture.