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Korean adaptation of British hit series 'Life On Mars' gains traction with viewers

2018/07/18 09:00

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By Woo Jae-yeon

SEOUL, July 18 (Yonhap) -- The Korean remake of popular British television series "Life On Mars" has steadily climbed up the weekly TV chart, backed by the proven track record of its original series, smart localization and strong performances by actors, data showed Wednesday.

The weekend series on cable channel OCN, well-known as an original genre series and movie channel, ranked No. 6 by recording a score of 220.5 on the weekly Content Power Index (CPI) for July 9-15.

It is the third highest among TV series following tvN's "Mr. Sunshine" and "What's Wrong With Secretary Kim," which came in at No. 2 and No. 3, respectively. Since the OCN series premiered on June 9, it has aired 10 episodes so far.

The story revolves around a cop who is involved in an accident while chasing a serial killer in 2018. When he regains consciousness, he finds himself in 1988. Wondering if he is dreaming, he becomes extremely confused, as if he'd landed on a different planet -- like Mars.

This image provided by OCN shows a scene from "Life On Mars." (Yonhap) This image provided by OCN shows a scene from "Life On Mars." (Yonhap)

During a media promotional event in June, director Lee Jung-hyo emphasized that the story is not about a time slip but about a confused man and the gray area between fiction and reality in which he suddenly finds himself.

"The protagonist gets to live in the in-between area where he embarks on a journey to find his true identity and encounter and experience good things from the past," Lee said.

Actor Chung Kyung-ho plays Han Tae-joo, a level-headed detective who meticulously uses modern policing technologies and techniques to solve cases. When he awakens in the year of 1988, he finds himself still chasing the same serial killer suspect.

Since the show's start, Chung has been getting rave reviews from critics and viewers alike for his convincing portrayal of the dazed detective, who can't put his finger on where he is now and why he is where he finds himself.

This image provided by Studio Dragon and Production H shows posters for "Life on Mars." (Yonhap) This image provided by Studio Dragon and Production H shows posters for "Life on Mars." (Yonhap)

Han is frequently at odds with senior detective Kang Dong-chul, played by Park Sung-woong, who is the exact opposite of him when it comes to policing. Kang often follows his gut instinct and couldn't care less about forensics, resorting to coercion and evidence fabrication.

The science fiction series has been remade in multiple nations, including the United States, Spain, Russia and the Czech Republic. The original British version won the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series in 2006 and 2008. It was also nominated for a British Academy Television Award in the Best Drama Series category in 2007.

The CPI, created by CJ E&M and Nielsen Korea, measures the level of popularity, social media trending and influence on consumer behavior of entertainment TV programs aired on three major terrestrial networks -- MBC, SBS and KBS -- and seven cable channels owned by CJ E&M, including tvN, Mnet and OCN, during prime time. JTBC, another cable network that airs some highly popular entertainment shows and dramas, is not included in the measurement.

This image provided by OCN shows a poster for "Life On Mars." (Yonhap) This image provided by OCN shows a poster for "Life On Mars." (Yonhap)

jaeyeon.woo@yna.co.kr

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