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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Life on Mars: The Complete Series'
(Jason O'Mara, Harvey Keitel, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, et al / 4-Disc DVD / NR / 2009 / ABC)

Overview: After a hit-and-run accident in modern-day New York City mysteriously transports police detective Sam Tyler (Jason O’Mara) back to 1973, Sam finds himself in the cultural hotbed of New York City in the tumultuous times of the Vietnam War, Watergate, women’s lib and the civil and gay rights movements – without a cell phone, computer, PDA or MP3 player -- suddenly hurtled back in time when he’s ripped from 2008 after being hit by a car while chasing down a criminal.

DVD Verdict: This series was perfect in every way, thus its quick demise, I suppose. I couldn't wait for each episode to unfold, it was that exciting. I am a huge Michael Imperioli fan, and his work here rivaled his work in The Sopranos. Jason O'Mara, Gretchen Mol and Harvey Keitel were simply flawless, as were all the fabulous supporting cast seamlessly integrating with each other week after weak. Life on Mars was intelligent, challenging, humorous, entertaining, moving, educational, relevant - in short, everything that makes a TV series worth watching.

Having experienced the 1970's in San Francisco, every episode was a trip down memory lane for me. Oh, the music! Everyone connected with this masterpiece deserves the highest kudos. It is so heartening to know that quality programming is indeed alive and well.

The technical aspects were spot on for '73 and the music was ALWAYS SUPERB. I managed to record one or two episodes on the old VHS machine and that will have to tide me over until 29 September. I agree that at least with the DVD of the entire season, it will give me the chance to watch something innovative and intelligent besides the lame same old that the networks peddle to the mediocre middle. Well done, Major Tom!

I only wish Life on Mars had been given the two full seasons accorded the U.K. version, which, okay, I will say it, I found crashingly boring. I tried, I did. On the other hand, this version grabbed me from the very first scene and never let go.

I am so glad to be living in a technologically-savvy era where "failed" TV series are fairly quickly available in their entirety, sans the annoying commercials, on high quality DVD. I guess that is the best we can hope for under the circumstances.

I admit it is difficult for us working stiffs to follow a new show on network TV sufficiently quickly (my goodness, sometimes a new show is moved to a different night every week for weeks on end!) to give it the audience it deserves to keep it in business. Unfortunately, Eli Stone, another fine, fine ABC series, met the same fate this season. This is a Widescreen presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

To Mars and Back – Viewers journey to “Mars” with Sam Tyler the cast and producers to see where the “Mars” concept originated and if viewers can figure out where it’s headed.
Sunrise to Sunset with Jason O’Mara – An exhilarating and exhausting day experiencing Jason O’Mara’s Life on Mars.
Flashback: Lee Majors Goes to Mars — Lee Majors steps back in the past on the Life on Mars set with cast and crew.
Spaced Out: Bloopers from the Set
Deleted Scenes