Meaney To Star In US Version Of ‘Life On Mars’

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 


More Info:

BBC: Life on Mars 

BBC America Life on Mars 

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Meaney was always a shining star in TNG and Ds9. I hated the Yoko, Molly stuff (yes, yes, I knowher name wasn’t Yoko) but O’Brien was a fun character.
Being a big fan of Boston Legal and Picket Fences, I hope this show will be just as much fun.

Life on Mars is a great show! And I think Meany will add to it! He’s such an amazing, under rated actor.

I always thought this guy was destined to become a great character actor.I was suprised when He tied himself up to a lightweight sci fi series.I hope the new project is worthy of him.

If you ever doubt that Colm Meaney’s range extends beyond Trek projects, watch “Layer Cake”. He rocks!

Thats great – Hunt is a similar to his Duncan Malloy character from CON AIR:

“This is a situation that needs to get unfucked, right now! ”

“Well of course you can’t reach him. He’s off saving the rain forest, or recycling his sandals or some shit. “

#1 Obrien’s family life was one of the *good* things about the show. Molly and Keiko were part of the Trek pantheon that reinforced the concept of family and should not be reduced to stereotypes. But that’s just my opinion.

#4 Layer Cake kicked ass.

This show would be worth watching just for him. Although honestly, I’d much rather check out the original version. It sounds like a pretty cool show.

#5 – I was wondering why you made this a lead story; normally the only actors to receive such honors here are Shatner and, occasionally, Nimoy. I’ve never seen Life on Mars, though. But that doesn’t matter — Meaney is awesome in everything he’s in.

#4, #7: He was great in Intermission, as well.

#8 it certainly is a great show, DavidJ. Try YouTube for some clips- there is plenty on there.

If you like Life On Mars, you might enjoy another British Cop show called ‘The Sweeney’ It was made in the seventies and (some) would say that the character of Gene Hunt owes alot to the main character in this show, Dectective Jack Reagan.

Hell, check out “The Englishman Who Walked Up a Hill…” if you want to see Meaney steal the show.
The Goat lives!

“The Commitments” featured Colm in an important supporting role that I have watched an infinite number of times. He’s awesome, Life On Mars is awesome and Kelley doing it for the US is, well, , , , awesome!

#12 The Sweeney rocked, didn’t it! John Thaw was at his best in that show, imo. Gene Hunt comes very close to Regan though.
I can see Colm being great in the US version of LoM. Hope we get to see it in the UK.

I don’t know anthing about any of the series being discussed here, but “Life on Mars” & “Ashes to Ashes” are both titles of songs by David Bowie. Any coincidence?

#1 lol me too I always hated Keiko and Molly stories, I just wish they stayed with the enterprise…O’Brien was a great character (ahem on DS9) and Colm is a great actor

16, definitely not a coincidence. I hope the next series is Under Pressure.

especially since Heroes is already taken!

I admit not all the “O’Brien family” stories worked (like the one with an older Molly), but I thought most of them did. The one where Miles has to follow the orders of a evil, possessed Keiko was really fun.

Granted the acftor who played Keiko is the greatest who ever steped into the buisness, but O’Briens family life (Just like Sisko’s family life) was important to the show. It made O’brien a more rounded character.

Like Quinto as Spock, fantastic casting!

Excellent casting. I can see him in the role already, and Colm Meaney is indeed a very fine actor.

Loved Life On Mars season I on BBC America!!!! Love Colm but honestly ther is no reason for a remake of an excellent English language show less than a year old. Not only that but they haven’t even aired the final season 2 here on BBC America which blows!!! Season 2 aired in the UK months ago. An excellent show but why remake it- Lame!!!!

My fav episode w/ O’brian had to be…..

“I hate quantum mechanics”

– W –
* Smirks *

That is so cool. Life on Mars’ 2nd season will start here in a week or two, and just to imagine Meaney there, it’s so cool.
He’s so great on ST, he’ll be great there too.

Thanks for the news!

I always thought of Miles O’brien as a 20th century man stuck in the 24th century, which is probably why I felt like I could relate to him.

I was always ticked that O’Brian wasn’t in “First Contact.” He was part of TNG, and it would have been so easy to have him in the film since Worf was on the Defiant. What a shame. He truly is one of the finest actors to ever appear on Trek.

The TNG episodes where O’Brien plays a larger part than just “Chief” saying one line are some of the best. “Data’s Day”, “The Wounded” and “Disaster” were very good episodes.

It’s a pity that by the time “Chain of Command” was being made, DS9 had JUST started it’s run. I would have liked to see O’Brien in this episode.

It did bug me how no DS9 characters were in First Contact; like Worf just happened to be the only senior officer on the Defiant at the time. :/


Great fan of Colm Meaney, good for him!

#15 Theres a good wikipedia page with some classic dialogue

“We’re The Sweeney, son, and we haven’t had any dinner. You’ve kept us waiting, so unless you want a kicking you tell us where those photographs are.”

Life on Mars is a brilliant show and as much as I like colm Ifind it realy sad that they have to do a remake of that show.

Watch the original.

The original Life on Mars has only recently started in Oz, it’s great so far (haven’t got to the second season yet). However, right from the start it jumped out at me how Philip Glenister looks so similar to Meaney it doesn’t make the todays casting announcement that much of a surprise. Glenister’s portrayal of Hunt resides some where between Meaney’s roles in Intermission and Layer cake, both movies are great well worth watching.

I can’t wait to see Meaney in this role though, in my opinion one of the best moments in Star Trek has to be in the Deep Space Nine episode Visionary where present O’Brian is talking to the future O’Brien and they try to understand how the present O’Brien can die so the future O’Brien can live. Instead of getting caught up in some technobabble explanation the two O’Brien’s look off into middle distance and say in unison “I hate temporal mechanics”. Great moment, and Meaney pulled it off (both of him). Meaney’s acting is good but so is his comedic timing I hope they use it to good effect. While we are waiting check out the unofficial sequel to The Commitments, The Snapper some classic pearls in there:

Dessie Curley: I haven’t cried since I was a kid.
Sharon Curley: You cried during the World Cup.
Dessie Curley: Sober, Sharon! Sober!

The only remaining question is will they make something out of the fact that the two lead actors are both Irish (and from Dublin on top of that)…

Hey, give Meaney his props. I enjoy the guy’s work.

Love Colm Meaney weather he’s a bad guy, a good guy but a bit of a prick, or the mayor of a town in Alaska (I think that was his character in Mystery, Alaska). Have not seen the UK version and I hope the US version gets more than a half a season.

Wow Meaney as the lead in a series sounds awesome! Hope it lasts more than 4 episodes

This is great news. Meaney is a wonderful actor, Life on Mars is a great series, and with Kelley at the helm the US version should be in very good hands.

Chief O’Brien was always a favorite character of mine. He was good on TNG, but he really came into his own on DS9. The friendship that developed between O’Brien and Dr. Bashir was one of the most deeply layered and honest in Trek. In my opinion it’s second only to the Kirk/Spock friendship.

I actually really liked the DS9 episode where Molly is lost in (yet another) temporal anomaly and the O’Brien’s have to deal with an older, more feral version of her. It had me right up until the end, when the older Molly sends her younger self back to her parents. I was really hoping that wouldn’t happen. Not because I didn’t like Molly, but because it would have been such a dramatic and tragic moment for the O’Briens to lose their child like that. She didn’t die, but she’s alone some place where they can’t get to her. It would have been gut wrenching, but very powerful, and it would have knocked the wind right out of the audience.

Anyway, it will be good to see Colm Meaney on TV again, and this time as a lead character. Awesome!

Colm Meaney is a highly talented actor who deserves this new opportunity. His character’s run through DS9 was richly entertaining.
Can’t wait to see “Life on Mars”…take me back to the 70’s, please, at least for an hour!!

I remember years ago their was alot of talk of a short Star Trek IMAX film being made, and that Colm Meaney was going to be the star of it. Wonder what ever happened to that project?

No one remember hearing about that IMAX film??

Colm Meany is a fine actor and one of the few Trek actors with real film credentials.

He has been in scores of films in the last twenty years, with a standout performances in the recent movie “Layer Cake”, starring along side Daniel Craig. As good as he was in that role, I think his best performance to date was in the movie “The Committments” released in the early nineties.

It’s nice to see that his film and TV career have not been diminished or marginalized by his involvement in Star Trek.

Mike :o

Meaney is a great actor. I remember his performance in “Crossover” was really moving and I found his speech near the end really emotional.

The only thing I don’t understand is why have they case two Irish men to star in the “American version” of Life on Mars? How can they represent their respective time periods of American society, when they’re not even American.

I don’t get that.

To me, this is just going to be like having a new British version of Life on Mars!