Thursday, February 21, 2008

Life On Mars begat Ashes To Ashes, what next?

Had an email discussion the other day with an old friend, knocking jokey ideas back and forth for transferring the time travelling fish out of water premise popularised by Life On Mars. That transplanted a 2006 cop to 1973 Manchester, contrasting the attitudes, methods and lifestyles of the two eras.

Life On Mars ran two series before begetting the spin-off Ashes To Ashes. Essentially a remake of the same premise with a new time traveller and a more knowing attitude, Ashes To Ashes has London in 1981 as its destination. But where else could the premise go?

SPACE ODDITY: Brilliant young female scientist from 2009 is caught in a laboratory explosion. She wakes up in 1969, working alongside Professor Quatermass at the British Rocket Group, racing the US to get the first man [or woman] on the Moon...

SOUND AND VISION: Talented classical guitarist wakes in 1977 and finds herself taking Glenn Matlock's place in the Sex Pistols are punk rock reaches its apogee during the Silver Jubilee celebrations...

CHINA GIRL: Mixed raced businesswoman visiting Beijing for the Olymic Games wakes up in 1983, to find a China very different from what it has become. Arrested for spying, can she find a way home...

GOLDEN YEARS: Footballing prodigy used to WAGs and acclaim wakes up in a lower division team fighting for survival in grubby 1975. Can he guide his team to the FA Cup or will football hooliganism, bribery and corruption undo him...

The need to match David Bowie hit song titles and the year they were released does tend to restrict options. But think outside the box and you can always blur reality a little. Any other suggestions for new versions of the Life On Mars formula?

4 comments:

John Soanes said...

Absolute Beginners:

A 21st century actor awakes to find himself in 1985 as an extra in the film Absolute Beginners. The film is intended to revive the fortunes of the British film industry, and our hero struggles to reconcile his natural wish to do a good acting job with the knowledge that the film will be neither well-received nor commercially successful.

Unbeknownst to him, one of the crew members is also a time-traveller from 1958 (the era the film is supposedly set in), who is so appalled by the state of the film industry he tries to wreck the film from within.

High Concept: Quantum Leap meets Moulin Rouge.

Al Rutherford said...

These are brilliant and all should be commissioned and made. I look forward to them very much.

Here's mine:

The Laughing Gnome.

A recovering sexaholic wakes up in 1967, the swinging sixties at their heyday, and he finds himself in the garden of the Playboy Mansion. Trouble is, yep, he's a garden gnome so his dilemmas are multi-fold and his options virtually nil. His side-kick is a female gnome and apropos of the setting, she is built! Of clay and paint but nonetheless...

Actually as my characters are mostly a bit static I don't think this has the legs for a series. Or legs at all for that matter.

Alistair

AndyDecker said...

Under Pressure

A 19 year old female student awakes in 1981 and gets involved in the birthing pangs of MTV. Hilarity ensues. Or not :-)

Grant said...

I am seriously waiting for the BBC to follow up Ashes to Ashes with Hallo Spaceboy, with Gene Hunt coming out of retirement to punch criminals.