Life on Mars: Subconscious? Past?

Ok, I concede. Other than the almost-similar set up where a police officer seems to go back in time after a near-death accident, Mars is veering off the time-travelling premise. For one, the “voices” Tae-joo hears in his head — of a medical team trying to revive him from possible heart failure — blurs the line between him being PHYSICALLY transported to the 80s, and his subconscious comatose mind trying to awaken him to something important which he has missed.

And the latter argument seems to be winning. Tae-joo himself admits that a portion of his childhood (the timeframe where he finds himself in now), is a blur. He can’t seem to remember anything when he was 8. And we suspect it is related to a trauma. Not a physical one, but a mental block of something so horrifying his younger self was unable to cope with it. And the “horrible event” was probably a murder (related to the present day nail polish serial murders) he witnessed. As to HOW the serial murderer in the present time seems to know who he is, that still remains a mystery (maybe he is the time traveller in Mars?)

But while I am all for the argument of Tae-joo’s mind sending him back to the past to unlock the whatever he has forgotten, another part of me is wondering …how in the world can he end up in some place that is so…rich? The characters — his new colleagues, the criminals, victims — his mind “thought” up in his coma state, are a little too real to be entirely fictional. As Ms Yoon pointedly asks — does he think they are fake? And the longer Tae-joo spends time with them, the more he is convinced they are real.

Probably the only way to “prove” their existence is when Tae-joo wakes up from his coma and digs into Insung City’s police records. But if he does find they do exist…it will be a pretty much creepy situation.

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4 thoughts on “Life on Mars: Subconscious? Past?

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  1. Kim Min Seok, the present serial killer isn’t the same as the one in the past, but rather some kind of “apprentice” of the original killer. Min Seok wasn’t the one who shot Tae Joo, remember. My take is that child Min Seok was also present during whatever Tae Joo witnessed in the past, only he reacted completely differently to it. Maybe Min Seok was already a budding “monster” then. Also, he wasn’t called Kim Min Seok in the past, that’s why there was no info about the guy when Tae Joo started looking.

    1. Yep there are two killers. Your guess is pretty close to the mark (still depending on how they adapt it). There’s the question whether monsters are made or born.

  2. This subplot is absolutely why I love the original (and even more the sequel). The ending of the OG series is pretty iconic amongst Brit series. Btw, the show’s mysteries were definitely resolved in the sequel (Ashes to Ashes) and not in the main series itself.

    Also might I add that this is the most perfect material for a kdrama remake. It’s peak kdrama trends post 2016, essentially if the two 2016 hit kdramas had a baby ;D

    1. I don’t mind a sequel actually cos such narratives need a longer time to resolve and explain themselves. I’d hate it if things are left hanging and there’s no part 2 to tie up loose ends

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