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Movies & TV

22nd Apr 2024

One of the best detective shows of the 21st century has just been added to Netflix

Simon Kelly

Netflix additions - Life on Mars

It’s got a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Netflix is continuing its run of adding some great movies and TV shows this April with another beloved TV show.

The streamer has recently added Life on Mars, which has been called one of the best detective shows of the 21st century.

The show follows Sam Tyler (John Simm), a Manchester policeman in 2006 who wakes up after a car accident to discover that he has time-travelled to 1973, where he works the same job in the same location under the command of Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) while attempting to solve the mystery of what has happened to him.

The BBC drama ran for just two seasons (the second season was called Ashes to Ashes, after another David Bowie song) but is still revered among critics and has a 100% score on Rotten Tomatoes to this day.

However, its dropping ratings at the time sounded the death knell for the series. Even a revival for a third season (named Lazarus) last year was scrapped due to financial reasons, so it looks like we may never see a new episode of the show unfortunately.

Despite that, the first two seasons are well worth a watch and have been hugely praised, particularly for its unconventional spin on the crime show format, its intriguing mix of crime, drama, supernatural and historical genres, and its excellent main cast.

The show has had a far-reaching legacy too, birthing multiple international versions, including a Spanish, Chinese, Korean and US series.

One of the best detective shows of the 21st century has just been added to Netflix

So, if you’re looking for a new crime drama with a bit of a twist, Life on Mars is certainly a classic pick if you haven’t watched it already.

Just take a look at some of the rave reviews below.

The Guardian – “Life On Mars is more than just a jolly, tongue-in-cheek romp into the past. Once there, in 1973, we find ourselves immersed in a reasonably gripping police drama.”

Den of Geek – “The humour is well balanced with the darkness and desperation that frequents the episode, but Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharaoh always knows when to lay on the emotional scenes.”

Empire – “Life On Mars’ bedrock is its deft, thought-provoking recreation of a very different Britain, an eloquent confirmation of novelist L. P. Hartley’s famous line, ‘The past is another country.'”

Washington Post – “The show and its stars — particularly British TV vet John Simm, who effortlessly toggles Sam from his role as principled, cool cop one minute to that of lost soul in anguish the next — are top-notch.”

Entertainment Weekly – “Simm easily navigates the gritty cop plotlines and the mystical sci-fi elements, thanks to his distinctly British regular-bloke appeal. And his crackling chemistry with gruff boss Gene Hunt…only adds to the series’ charm.”

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