I finished watching Life on Mars a few weeks ago, and have become mildly obsessed with it. This tends to happen with any good book, TV show or movie that I see – I end up wanting to use elements in games or other projects, until the next shiny thing comes along.
After a few beers on Saturday, I came up with the idea of a new Life on Mars series. Instead of Sam Tyler being from the present and waking up 33 years ago, in this new series, Sam is from 33 years in the future and he emerges from his accident in the present.
To my mind, this has a few advantages over the traditional BBC sci-fi show. Firstly, it’s cheap – with the exception of a few scenes set in the future, mostly during the first and final episodes, everything is set during the gloriously easy-to-film present day. Secondly, it doesn’t overload people with science or data-dumping. Thirdly, it has the potential to comment on today’s society in ways that might not be possible otherwise (why, of course everyone has multiple marriages in the future!).
The whole idea is ultimately a thought-experiment that’ll only be of interest to geeks, but I came up with enough fun ideas to throw these scenes together:
“My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident in 2041, and I woke up in 2008. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.”
[GENE AND SAM ARE WALKING AND TALKING ON THE WAY TO THE CAR PARK]
GENE: Alright Sammy boy, we’ve got a real bastard here. We’ve been watching Tom Coates for weeks – he’s been selling thousands of pirated DVDs-
GENE: And we know he’s receiving a shipment of cocaine worth a million tomorrow night.
SAM: What’s the problem?
GENE: [LOOKS AT SAM IN DISBELIEF] The Green Party might have taken over in Hyde, but piracy and drugs are still illegal in my town. And if that doesn’t get you going, maybe the bloke he murdered last night will!
SAM: Believe me, we keep track of murderers in Hyde.
[SAM UNLOCKS THE CAR DOORS AND SITS IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT. GENE GOES TO THE PASSENGER SEAT, AND WAITS AS SAM LOOKS AT THE WHEEL IN CONFUSION]
GENE: Get on with it then, Dorothy, it’s not going to drive itself!
SAM: You know what, maybe you’d better drive for now.
SAM: Chris, can you send over the 3D reconstruction of the crime scene to my computer?
CHRIS: 3D what?
SAM: Right, right. Uh, send over the photos then.
CHRIS: Sorry boss, still haven’t uploaded them yet. Ray left the camera in his car.
SAM: …Upload them? For Christ’s sake, I feel like I’m in the 90s.
I have a few more scenes set in the future, but they feel a bit clunky to me. I might post more if I can write something coherent.