Wednesday, 7 March 2007
It's a Swinging Life on Mars !
It seems naughtiness is afoot again in the north-west of England, here in the Manchester suburbs of 1973. Next week's episode of "Life on Mars" ventures into more middle-class territory as the plot relates to wife-swapping/swinging parties - the sort Bob and Thelma wouldn't be seen dead at.
So the get-up is somewhat less casual, but I'd not go as far as glamourous. John Simm looks like he's dressed in the dark (if it's possible to have darkness in a room featuring that shirt and tie combo) while Liz White has got off fairly lightly. They pose undercover as 'Tony and Cherie Blair' (Gene Hunt later pops up as their friend Gordon) proving again the writers are big fans of "Goodnight Sweetheart" rather than clever in their own right.
There's a 2 page feature in the "Radio Times" explaining the challenges this episode gave the set and costume designer. It reveals (as I thought was obvious) that they do cheat and use current retro clothes a lot, probably explaining why everyone looks like they've dropped from a 1973 Grattan catalogue rather than look the more out of date types that many of the middle aged coppers should be. However the nature of this episode meant period underwear had to be sought, which is much more tricky. The men sport "amazing, really horrible prints" on their y-fronts (was there a call to Ginch-Gonch?) but were let off actually having them made of nylon - probably because of the threat of spontaneous combustion under the hot studio lights!
It's screened next Tuesday, 13 March, at 9pm on BBC One.