The original BBC series took its name from the David Bowie song, "Life on Mars".
When the series was canceled midway through the first season (March 2009), producers had time to make the last episode the series finale, solving the mystery and answering most of the outstanding questions.
There are a few connections in the show to _"October Road"_, an ABC show canceled before _"Life on Mars"_ debuted. Josh Appelbaum, 'Andre Nemec', Bryan Oh, and Scott Rosenberg, who wrote "October Road," are also writers for "Life on Mars." 'Jonathan Murphy', who played Ronnie in "October Road", currently plays Chris Skelton in "Life on Mars." Meanwhile, the name of the apartment building shown in both 1973 and 2008 is 'Cataldo Houses'. Ray Cataldo was an "October Road" character who built houses.
Sam Tyler was inadvertently named for Rose Tyler, a character on the BBC's Doctor Who (UK). In the BBC Version of Life on Mars (UK), Sam's mother is named Ruth Tyler. The ABC version has Sam's mother named Rose Tyler.
The song Sam dances to with Annie in the bar, right after meeting singer Jim Croce, is T-Rex's "Bang a Gong (Get it On)". In the original UK show's equivalent of this episode, the singer Sam runs into is T-Rex lead singer Marc Bolan, whom he advises to drive safely - especially around Minis.
The song Sam dances to with Annie in the bar, right after meeting singer Jim Croce, is T-Rex's "Bang a Gong (Get it On)". In the original UK show's equivalent of this episode, the singer Sam runs into is T-Rex lead singer Marc Bolan, whom he advises to drive safely especially around Minis.
The name of this episode is a title of a song by 'David Bowie' from his 1970 album of the same name. The song was also covered by Nirvana in 1994 for an unplugged album.
The title the comes from the name of the sixth studio album by English rock group Pink Floyd released in 1973.
Rocket Girl's father says that he lost his daughter to music when his wife brought home a Beatles 45, noting, "'Love me do I think it was.'" This is a line taken from the song "Shooting Star" by Bad Company in which the main character becomes infatuated with music after hearing the exact same song.
Early in the show they reference Kojak (1973), a popular cop show from 1973. Ironically Harvey Keitel played an armored car robber in the series' debut.
The bar that was bombed is called Glenisters. 'Philip Glenister' played Gene Hunt in the original BBC version of Life on Mars (UK).
The title is based on the autobiography "Coffee, Tea or Me?" written by Trudy Baker and Rachel Jones about their adventures as airline stewardesses. The TV movie "Coffee, Tea or Me? (1973)" (TV) was loosely based on the book and was about a bigamist stewardess played by Karen Valentine.
The title is from the song "All the Young Dudes" by David Bowie, originally recorded and released as a single by Mott the Hoople in 1972.