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Life on Mars: Series Finale Shocker — A Great Ending or a Terrible Finish?

Life on MarsABC’s Life on Mars didn’t catch on with enough viewers and was unfortunately cancelled after one brief season. Sadly, tonight we had to say goodnight to the outstanding cast of Jason O’Mara, Michael Imperioli, Gretchen Mol, Harvey Keitel, and Jonathan Murphy.

Thankfully, the show’s creators were given enough time to craft a true series finale. Executive producer Scott Rosenberg told Scifiwire, “Basically, this episode was always going to be the season finale, so we just switched things up towards the end. But we always wanted it to culminate with him and his parents… Amongst our favorite things that we did was always with his father and his mother. Every time we went to that well, it really worked for us. You’ll realize when you see it Wednesday night at 11:00, you’ll see that the whole theme of the entire 17 hours was all leading up to this. It was all about what we deal with in episode 17.”

Fellow executive producer Josh Appelbaum told Variety, “When you see you see the ending. as much as I think it’ll be wildly unexpected, it’s also sort of the inevitable. Even in the pilot there’s a lot of things that are leaning toward what the ending tells you. There were a million ideas thrown out early in the writers room, but when this one landed we all knew that was the one it should be.”

Are you satisfied with the Mars ending?

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Rosenberg concluded, “We’re not only answering the why of 1973 but more importantly, it’s what this whole journey was about for Sam — why it was these particular characters and this emotional landscape. It’s his emotional heroes journey that is answered by the end.”

So, what do you think of the series ending? It was a shocker to say the least. Are you happy to leave Sam and friends on the Martian surface?

Or, would you prefer to think that the Mars landing is actually a hallucination or another piece of Sam’s time travel mystery?

 

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{ 193 comments… read them below or add one }

Pat Harrod April 7, 2009 at 11:12 am

Pat and Peggy says:
We loved this show! I was so unique and fun! Great charaters and wonderful actors! We are so mad about the cancelation! I firmly believe that these people who make such decisions think everyone in America are as humdrum, money grubbing, automations like themselves. Anyone noticed that smacks of creative, intelligent, wonderful fantasy/ scifi shows are dying on tv?

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Aurora April 7, 2009 at 10:57 am

It is just a shame to now that the most incredible show out there today has been cancelled. Im still in denial to know there will be no more SPACEMAN! My husband and I would look forward to wednesday night to relax and watch such and amazing written show, but now what will we do? do we now have to lay back and watch ANOTHER reality show? ABC recosider and bring back LIFE ON MARS. Don’t let such a good show go to waste. and if ABC doesn’t want to pick up the show…..come on any other t.v station pick it up….cause i will be staying tune. We miss you SPACEMAN and all the amazing actors from the show.

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donnaplahmer April 7, 2009 at 8:56 am

i did not like the ending, though maybe because i did not want the show to end, period. i sure hope abc , or someone else brings MARS back. i am in total denial! i pray for this show’s return. i miss SAM and the whole cast, it hasn’t been even a week yet. let’s hope they bring it back. i believe the ending did leave hope for another series. i am thinking they did that on purpose, in case they change their minds. maybe this is just in my own imagination, but it is hopeful thinking. and in this day and age, we could use a little hope. please abc bring mars back for all us loyal fans. thank-you!

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Lessa April 7, 2009 at 7:24 am

I really liked the ending. I think it was better than the UK version because Sam doesn’t die. All the characters in his programmed reality were real not dreams. They were still there at the end. If he had been in a coma, they would never have existed. I don’t think it was the same thing as the Dallas ending at all. The so called “dream” was Sam’s choice of a programmed reality while on a deep sleep space journey. The computer glitch that sent him to 1973 was brilliant.

Rewatching the whole series REALLY ties everything together. Also explains all the little robots (that were NOT in the UK version). I think it was a job well done by everyone EXCEPT ABC. How I hate that network. I only caught LoM by accident to begin with, and knew darn well I’d be sorry because it was on ABC.

The ending BTW leaves a great open door for a continued series. No it doesn’t have to be because the ending was a dream. Gene’s shoe at the end gave me the idea. The series could continue (in 1973 or any other year) because Sam chooses that reality on the return trip to Earth. That leaves it open to do whatever they want with it. Somebody has GOT to pick this up!!!! Look what the UK has done with Ashes to Ashes.

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Glenn April 7, 2009 at 6:21 am

Great, Cast and great writing. I saw the original BBC “Life on Mars” and it’s been interesting comparing the two…Definitely not the same outcome at the end.

But I think very appropos for the the title and America….

I liked both for different reasons…It’s been great to compare what the images of UK and USA in 1970′s…Different but the same….

Anyways I guess the ending was the best given that ABC can’t give anything a chance to build a following or offer shows for us from those era’s since everything is about 18-49 Hello! Baby boomers watch TV too! So keep good shows and get rid of all this cheap Reality BS….Save the Air waves… or I guess I ‘ll have to keep adding more nights to Cable programs on the Cable networks…

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Patti April 7, 2009 at 6:14 am

I can’t believe they cancelled the series. This is a great show. Hopfully someone will pick it up.

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Chris in Louisiana April 6, 2009 at 9:58 pm

Being a Louisiana cop in 2009 I enjoyed watching the “old school “ method of policing. I could relate to Supreme Court rulings that changed the way our business is conducted. Week end and week out I waited for the new episodes that always seem to keep me interested. When I missed one due to work it I watched on line on ABC.com. Good show, great cast, well put together and great talent in acting. The cast should be proud. They played cops well. I’m disappointed to see it go, but I’m still pouting over the ending of NYPD Blue.

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Lisa April 6, 2009 at 7:58 pm

LoM was one of the best shows ABC has put out in a long, long time. The acting was brilliant. I loved Harvey Keitel and Jason O’Mara. The combination of science -fiction, suspense and comedy was very creative. Please bring it back!! If not ABC then another network, PLEASE!!!

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Tammy April 6, 2009 at 6:19 pm

I loved Life on Mars up until the last few minutes. I couldn’t believe that they took the “Dallas” way out and made everything a dream. What a lame way to end an otherwise incredible show. I would have preferred that they ended it with the episode in the bar where Sam seems to have come to terms with being in 1973 and he seems happy being there with his co-workers who have really become his family. Oh well, it’s over and done now. ABC, once again, had a probable hit on their hands and they just shot themselves in the foot by making the asinine decision to not only change its day, but put on hiatus for 6 weeks. No wonder ABC stinks!

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laura April 6, 2009 at 4:30 pm

try watching the uk version – we got two series and they were fantastic!!!

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ronni April 6, 2009 at 4:27 pm

One of the best shows on TV – brilliant script and acting. the last episode was fabulous and I’m in shock that it was cancelled! I’m hoping the network will get some sense and bring it back.

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Joe Mock April 6, 2009 at 3:41 pm

Life On Mars was the best show on TV this season, combining great actors with an interesting plot that kept me guessing. In its brief time on ABC I could see the characters evolve, especially Michael Imperioli (Ray) and Harvey Keitel (Gene). They should work together forever. I only wish it would be Life On Mars. ABC did the same thing to Men In Trees: it started out promisingly, then they took it off for a while and when they brought it back the original momentum had died off. I will be the first to buy the Mars DVD set in September! And I’m already hooked on the BBC sequel “Ashes To Ashes!”

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Ron D April 6, 2009 at 2:24 pm

I was disappointed in the ending, it was too much like other shows in that past that had to have a “dream” explain away everything. I did think it was clever the way they worked in the Project Aries part. Aries being the Greek god and Mars being his Roman counterpart. Nice touch. The stories were great and the cast was superb. This show makes me kinda never wanting to watch any new network shows in the future. Premature cancellation will most likely be the result. Thanks for a great season to the writers and cast. Awesome job! ABC just sucks for their decision……

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PB April 6, 2009 at 1:28 pm

It was a great showe , very sad to see it go. I wanted him to go back to 2009 and try to find the people who where with him on the force, the cheif would of been dead, Ray would be in a old folks home , and the young cop would be retired but still active in youth programs.

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michael Schoborg April 6, 2009 at 1:07 pm

maybe if enough of us complain they will use the same idea for the return trip home and continue on through the 70′s. 74′,75′… i said it before and i’ll say it again two words BABY BOOMERS. you would think most of us would like seeing this continue.

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