Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ashes to Ashes

As blogged on previous occasion, I was a big 'Life on Mars' fan. It was an enthusiaim partly attributable to its depiction of a 1970s I could remember, but also due to a cast who worked very well together. Was Sam in a coma, back in time or something else?

The sequel was always going to be difficult, but it takes us to 1981 with a female officer transported back, who has read and knows intimately the Sam story. She's more irritating as a character, because she spends a lot of time being a know-all and calling everyone around her a construct, but that's part of the point.

Couldn't help having a philosophical muse here. The first series could be viewed as a coma with a world which Sam appears to be experiencing as solipsism - a world where only Sam really existed, and everything else is a product of his mind. (It is possible to view our reality as this and it's interesting to think through the arguments for and against this standpoint) However, once the story allows someone else to enter that world and meet the characters again, that other world starts to have an existence (ontology?) of its own. So where is this world that Gene Hunt et al. inhabit?

2 comments:

St said...

I think that the philosophical musings would only hold water if the writers weren't deliberately messing with our heads. At the end of Life on Mars Sam appeared to commit suicide in 2006 and opted to go back to 1973.

At the begining of Ashes to Ashes they were discussing his unfortunate death in 1973.

They've deliberately taken out the inner consistency so we don't know what's going on, but I don't think they do either.

Mike Peatman said...

No. He died 'last year' according to the 1981 coppers, so his death in the parallel Universe and the real world were both about 'a year ago'. Who knows?