TNG and DS9 star Colm Meaney is set to co-star in the US version of the BBC hit Life On Mars being adapted by Boston Legal creator David. E. Kelley. The show is about Sam Tyler (Jason O’Mara), a modern day detective who finds himself back in the 1970s. According to the Hollywood Reporter Meaney is in final negotiations to play the role of the old school and confrontational Detective Gene Hunt. The BBC version of Hunt was played brilliantly by Philip Glenister who was key to the show’s success.
The ABC mid season series was originally planned for the fall, but had trouble finding actors for the leads and Meaney is an inspired choice. Meaney is one of (if not the) finest actor from the Trek franchise and Life on Mars is one of the finest and most innovative shows of the last decade. The show won both a BAFTA and International Emmy for best drama. Now it looks like the US version is off to a good start. While you wait for the US version you can catch the original UK version on BBC America. Also fans of the original show (which only ran for two seasons) will be happy to know that Philip Glenister (and the character of Gene Hunt) will be back in the BBC spin-off series Ashes to Ashes in 2008. That show takes place in the 80s and it is unclear if it will be tied into the US version of Life on Mars.
Philip Glenister (Gene Hunt) flanked on the left by John Simm (Sam Tyler) and on the right by Liz Whitie (Annie Cartwright) from the BBC version of the show