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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Life on Mars

From Manchester To New York

This collection is the first book-length study dedicated to the British television series Life on Mars, the American remake, and its sequel, Ashes to Ashes. Stephen Lacey and Ruth McElroy bring together experts to engage critically with the series. Among the topics discussed are television in the national and international marketplace; genre and narrative; the series’ representation of the 1970s and its portrayal of “Britishness”; and the impact of and the response to the series in the United States.

210 pages | 1 halftone | 6 x 9 | © 2012

Contemporary Landmark Television

Media Studies

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“This book offers new perspectives on the landmark drama Life on Mars, looking back at how it invokes the past, looking forward to how it illuminates where British TV drama is going, and looking closely at how the series itself is structured. With insights from the makers of the program as well as from academic experts, this book is essential reading for anyone concerned with what Life on Mars means for television."

Jonathan Bignell, University of Reading

Table of Contents

Series Editors’ Preface
Notes on Contributors
      Stephen Lacey and Ruth McElroy

Part I. Quality TV: Form and Aesthetics
1. Life on Mars: Hybridity and Innovation in a British Television Context
      Robin Nelson
2. ’Am I Mad, in a Coma or Back in Time?’: Generic and Narrative Complexity in Life on Mars
      Nichola Dobson
3. Immersion versus Alienation: Listening to Life on Mars
      Rob Smith
Part II. Contesting the Past: Television and History
4. Memory Banks Failing!: Life on Mars and the Politics of Re-imagining the Police and the Seventies
      Andy Willis
5. Sam Tyler and the ’New North’
      John Curzon
6. ’Moonage Daydreams’: Nostalgia and Cultural Memory Contexts of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes
      John R. Cook and Mary Irwin
Part III. Recalling the Past: Television as Memory
7. ’Up The Wooden Hills to Bedfordshire’: Time Travel, Childhood and the Uncanny Home in Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes
      Peter Hughes Jachimiak
8. The Medium is the Monster . . . or the World?: Discourses of Uncanny ’Old Media’ and Immersive ’New Media’ in Life on Mars
      Matt Hills
9. Consuming Retrosexualities: The Past Live On Screen, Online Now
      Ruth McElroy
Part IV. Life on Mars as International Television
10. ’American Remake—Shudder’: Online Debates about Life on Mars and ’British-ness’
      Brett Mills
11. The Emigration of Life on Mars: Sam and Gene Do America
      David Lavery
12. Locating Generational and Cultural Clashes in the Transfer of Successful Formats between the United Kingdom, Spain and the United States: The Case of Life on Mars
      Joseba Bonaut and Teresa Ojer
Part V. Debating Production
13. Julie Gardner and Claire Parker: In Conversation
Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes: Production and Transmission Details


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