I had pulled up alongside a bus shelter and saw a poster advertising “Life on Mars – New series – starts Feb 5”. Wow! Great! A new series of “Life on Mars”.
But hold on – something wasn’t right. The “new series” was starring Jason O’Mara and Harvey Keitel – not John Simm and Philip Glenister. And the “new series” was to be on Channel Ten, not on the ABC. And then I looked and saw that the “coppers” had NYPD on their uniforms…
What had happened? Had I been hit by a car and woken up to a world which was strangely familiar and yet just that little bit different? Had someone stepped on a butterfly 30 million years ago on the other side of the world?
My wife was rather more blasé about the whole thing. “They’re just copying the British again.”
What is it with the US and the Brits when it comes to film and TV? It is so common to find British actors in US made films – but a whole lot rarer to find US actors in British films. Is that because the Americans love the British and the British don’t have much time for the Americans? Is this some new sort of cultural colonisation going on between the Mother Country and the Colonies? Or is it just that the Brits can’t afford American actors?
But then look what the Americans do to our best loved British actors. Take “House” for example.
They take one of our most loved and funniest British actors, Hugh Laurie, and make him into a sour, dour grump. I bet there are millions of “House” fans in the States who have never seen an episode of “Blackadder” or “A Little Bit of Fry and Laurie” or “Jeeves and Wooster”.
I guess doing America pays better than England. The creator of one of Laurie’s past characters, P.G. Wodehouse, certainly knew that.
Well, we will have to take a look at this new bit of American colonialism starting at 9:30 this Thursday. But first I will have to see if I can tune our TV set into to Channel 10. The dial appears to be rusted onto the ABC.