Friday, October 10, 2008

Life on Mars: Flashbacks to 1973 and endless possibilities

2 years ago my big bruv brought home a BBC TV series called “Life on Mars”. Since I had never heard of it, I stared at it for a couple of days and eventually forced myself to watch it out of boredom.

I stayed up all night watching episode after episode…mesmerized…Eventually I got the next season off Amazon.

I hear ABC has a remake lined up for an American audience….talk about ruining a good show!

Anyway, back to Life on Mars. I just could not get over the concept: in 2006 a policeman in Manchester (Sam Tyler) gets hit by a car and wakes up in Manchester in 1973, is he in a coma? has he travelled back in time? He is completely clueless and so are we.

Poor Sam is stuck in a 1973 nightmare without the internet, mobile phones or computers. While everyone thinks he is odd, he struggles to get home to the real world (2006) and in the meantime has to put up with police colleagues who are sexist, racist and smoke too much.The best character on the show is Sam's whiskey swigging wise-cracking boss from hell Gene Hunt: an expert in making off colour sexist comments, planting evidence, carrying out grievous bodily harm and taking bribes.. It is all a paranormal experience and Sam Tyler eventually meets his mum and the dad he never knew and they are both younger than him….The show is half fantasy half mystery with a little bit of police work that all seems to be related to Sam’s life in 2006 or to his past…

I don’t think I would have liked Britain in the 1970s. I think it would have been a depressing place with few foreigners and rife unemployment....After all, Maggie Thatcher was able to become Prime Minister back in 1979.

I think I was fascinated by the show because the idea of going back to Ghana in 1973 intrigued me. Back in 1973, we were hit by turmoil, we had just had another military coup and had just entered what is now considered the darkest era in Ghana's history. On the other hand, bell-bottoms, afros and platform shoes (“guarantees) were a la mode. I was not born yet and neither was my big bruv…My big sis was 3 years old and my parents decided to move to Lesotho in Southern African.

So if I had a chance to go back to 1973 what would I do?

  1. Warn Ghanaians to keep the population hovering around 9million so we could all be REAL cedi millionaires
  2. Invent the laptop or scout the world for Steve Jobs and Bill Gates to marry
  3. Be an environmental campaigner and warn against the thinning ozone layer
  4. Warn people about the coming plague in the form of HIV
  5. Hang out with my parents

Time travel offers so many possibilities. There are so many paths we can take in life and given the chance to do it all over again, which way would we choose?…if we choose a path opposite to what we chose the first time around, would that change our entire destiny and the course of our lives? Kind of reminds me of the Butterfly Effect.

Butterfly effect (noun): the phenomenon whereby a small change at one place in a complex system can have large effects elsewhere, e.g., a butterfly flapping its wings in Rio de Janeiro might change the weather in Chicago

That's where the endless possibilities lie. If my parents had never gone to Southern Africa, I would probably be a completely different person. I would have never had the life I did, the friends I have as well as the experiences that make! It is amazing how life experiences actually shape your destiny and open or close possibilities.


The Bronze Bombshell said...

I haven't watched the American "Life on Mars," but it can't be that bad. they pulled out the big guns for this show, namely Harvey Keitel.

Abby said...

I heard about Harvey Keitel being Gene Hunt. You know I love me some Harvey! I don't think the American version would be bad it is just that it is a complete copy-cat. Down to same names as the British show and the same leather jacket and pants that the British Sam Tyler wears.