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?

Canceled and renewed TV show

193 Comments · Read them below or add one

  1. Rocio says

    I HATE that this show was canceled! It was an awesome show and it should have been given more publicity and another season! I DVR all of my shows , as many other people do. What’s not to say how many people would actually watch the show and it did not count toward ratings. Anyway, the ending took a little time getting used to but I hope they bring it back in the future with the excuse that Sam was dreaming.

  2. JT says

    Awesome little 1-season show. It was satisfying with great characters. Would I have liked to seen more? Sure, but at least it had an ending. Better a single season with an ending than 3 or 4 without.

  3. D Oliver says

    It was a disappointment that the “return to TV of Lisa Bonet” was built up so much in the pre-season publicity only to have her appear in very few scenes. Sam’s police character was great in trying to fit into a time in history when everything he knew about police work hadn’t even been invented as yet. He managed to cope extremely well. I really did like the show and am sorry that it was cancelled, although I am glad the writers had a chance to “wrap up” the story regardless of whether or not viewers liked (or believed) the ending. Too many times shows are just cancelled and leave the viewers hanging……

  4. says

    The ending flat out sucked. What a disappointment.

    Its a shame that when you DVR something, it is not reflected in the ratings. It was a great show until they ended up in some cheap Star Trek I cardboard space set. There were so many directions that you could have taken that show. Now come to find out, anther show that I like Unusual is on the slab. What can you do I guess?

  5. CRL&tr says

    L O M was an awesome series that we looked forward to every week this season. Why is it they always take off the good shows with the good actors. What is wrong with the ABC network? You get a”thinking” show and not renew it.!I love Lost because it is just that; you can’t miss a show or you are possibly lost. That is, unless you use that brain.

  6. B. MECKLEY says


  7. Droobey says

    I am reminded of St. Elsewhere’s finale, where you are told that all the emotional connection you inevested in the whole series was not just for a fictional show, but for fiction that didn’t even happen. It is somewhat like having a practical joke played on you, even if it is a very good one, it isn’t comforting.

  8. Peter says

    LOM was a great show with great writing and great acting. ABC did not give the show the chance it deserved. The TV networks used to stick with a show and give it a chance. Now, they toss shows around in different time slots and when they don’t catch on right away, which it completely the networks fault, they cancel them and blame the viewers. Cancelling LOM was the last straw for me. I watch Lost, but when it’s finished, I won’t be watching ABC anymore. I’m afraid to watch new shows now because they will only be canceled just as I get into them. I hope the ad execs read these comments so they will see that fewer people are seeing their ads, and that the networks, not the viewers, are to blame!

  9. larry g says

    L o M was one of my favorite series of all time. I liked the UK version (& finale), but felt that the US version was superior (except for the US finale episode- not impressed).

    I hope that someone picks up the reruns soon…

  10. Elizabeth says

    I can’t believe the show is cancelled. It was something I would look forward to seeing. I agree with the rest of the people, what now? another bad reality show? This was clever and different. It had a great cast! I’m in shock. I will miss Sam and the crew.

  11. Frank Hunt says

    Unreal.. I recieved a phone call and missed the last 1/2 hour of the show.I’m in here trying to piece things together of how it ended… I hope they rerun or sell the series. I was a Police Officer in Newark in the 60’s and 70’s and things were just so on the money of how it was.

  12. Joe P says

    I can’t believe ABC canceled this great show. The Execs of ABC made such a stupid choice to cancel Life On Mars without giving it a chance. As a Police Officer who started my career in the 70’s Life On Mars truly took me back in time the be with old friends again. The ABC Execs must be the kids of the genius Execs of NBC who canceled the original Star Trek Series.

  13. John says

    The show didn’t get cancelled, it was meant to end after two seasons just like the original UK version. I do wish ABC would have considered extending it maybe 1 or two more seasons, but the creator ultimately makes the decision. The cast was hands down one of the best in over a decade. The US version series finale episode ending was terrible. I guess the US censors disliked the UK’s version of the ending. I was much more satisfied with the UK version.

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