I'm going to be honest with you from the start -I love Life On Mars (UK). I watched it over here in the UK and was completely head over heels for it. It was fresh, new, quirky and something that's never been done before (or at least been done properly before). It had no grey areas -it was either a hit or miss. And a hit it most definitely was.
I even respected the somewhat (in places) odd casting of John Simm, Philip Glenister and Liz White but after watching even the first couple of episodes I felt that the casting was completely right and the actors suited the characters immensely. I loved Philip Glenister in the role of Gene Hunt (personally my favourite character) and felt like he made the whole series for me. When I found out that there would only be one more series of it I was disappointed but, after watching the second series, felt like it was a perfect note to end on.
Now, what I want to know is how American producers, writers, directors etc. plan to inject the same sense of satirical, politically-incorrect, masochistic and (somewhat) malicious sense of humour back into a new series as most of the humour came from the fact that this was policing the streets in Manchester in the 70s. Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem that it's set outside Britain, being from Northern Ireland myself, but I feel that it will be difficult for this American version to live up to it's predecessor. It was the inside jokes about the country that made it (i.e. "There will never be a woman Prime Minister as long as I have a whole in my arse" -Gene Hunt... ...Pre-Maggie Thatcher years).
In all honestly I don't see how it's going to transfer from the UK to America. Maybe it will, but in essence it won't be the Life On Mars people are raving about in the UK. And in another point, I don't know how they expect to cast someone other than Philip Glenister in the role of Gene Hunt -he is that role and he owns that role.
I would urge you to try and watch the UK Life On Mars -I'm positive you'll enjoy it. And if you like it, watch the follow-up series, Ashes To Ashes, set in the 80s when Sam Tyler's therapist is shot and ends up working for the one and only Gene Hunt.
They're both well worth the time.