LIFE ON MARS is a throwback to the crime-fighting style of the 1970s, drawing its inspiration from such TV series as THE SWEENEY and THE PROFESSIONALS. As was characteristic of classic 60s fantasy, the creators have taken some risks with the show's politically incorrect references, daring to be slightly subversive. While its creators are quick to brush off comparisons to fellow time-travelling TV series QUANTUM LEAP, there are obvious thematic similarities, however unconscious. John Simm (HUMAN TRAFFIC) ably stars as Sam Tyler, the fish-out-of-water detective who must piece together the mysteries of his own predicament, while solving the crime du jour. The show takes its title from David Bowie's haunting theme song.