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Parent Issues: How Life on Mars Negotiates a Television Generation Gap
This paper examined the ways that the text of Life on Mars can be understood as a dramatisation of the negotiation that the creators undertook with their Seventies tough-cop show source material to update it for the values and qualities of contemporary television drama. It will emphasise the importance of television in the generation of the imagined 1973 and its characters, but also as an ongoing connection between the real and the imagined within the programme, including forming a breach of the boundaries between the two. Sam's actions within his Seventies world to remake it to include his own ideas of justice and due process while retaining the passion and freedom of action that the milieu provides will also be be examined in relation to the series' creators' needs to remake the Seventies tough-cop show in the light of modern social and media mores. The paper will also consider how Sam has to come to terms with his father's crimes, as the series' creators had to come to terms with the "crimes" of taste, morality and approach of their "parent" programmes from the Seventies' Golden Age.