Life On Mars Korean Drama Review

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Life On Mars Korean Drama Cast

On Life On Mars Korean Drama, Detective Han Tae-Joo is shot on the head by a serial killer. He falls into a coma but suddenly wakes up in 1988. He is confused whether he is dreaming or if he really travelled back in time. Stuck in 1988, he solves crimes with the help of Officer Yoon Na-Young, Team Leader Kang Dong-Cheol, and the rest of the police team but he is having a hard time due to the lack of technology that is present in 2018 that he is used to.

Han Tae-Joo – Jung Kyoung-Ho
Kang Dong-Cheol – Park Sung-Woong
Yoon Na-Young – Ko Ah-Sung
Lee Yong-Ki – Oh Dae-Hwan
Jo Nam-Sik – Noh Jong-Hyun
Han Choong-Ho – Jun Suk-Ho
Kim Mi-Yeon – Yoo Ji-Yeon
Han Mal-Sook – Kim Jae-Kyung
Han Tae-Joo (young) – Kim Min-Ho
Manager Park – Kim Ki-Cheon
Kim Kyung-Se – Kim Young-Pil
Kim Min-Suk – Choi Seung-Yoon
Jung Seo-Hyun – Jeon Hye-Bin
Yoo Soon-Hee – Lee Bong-Ryun
Young-Joo – Oh Ah-Rin

Life On Mars Plot

Detective Han Tae-Joo is shot in the head by a serial killer. He falls into a coma but suddenly wakes up in 1988.

He is confused whether he is dreaming or if he really traveled back in time. Stuck in 1988, he solves crimes with the help of Officer Yoon Na-Young, Team Leader Kang Dong-Cheol, and the rest of the police team but he is having a hard time due to the lack of technology that is present in 2018 that he is used to. He comes into a decision that he must solve crimes for him to go back to 2018.

My Thoughts On Life On Mars

Major spoilers are present in this review. Carry on reading if you are fine reading spoilers.

Life on Mars is based on a UK TV series of the same name. I haven’t seen the original series so I can’t really compare the two.

The Korean drama, Life On Mars caught my attention from episode 1. Time travel is not new in Korean dramas. Among my favorites are Tunnel and Signal. I believe Korean drama lovers also like Signal.  Life On Mars did not disappoint me when it comes to the scenes. The 1988 scenes where incredible. From old-style TVs to rotary dial telephones, the drama felt like it brought me to 1988. The 1980s music also brings up the jive. 

The plot is also brilliant. Although this is just an adaptation, you will also get confused if Detective Han Tae-Joo is just dreaming or if he really went back in time. Those episodes with him hearing and seeing the doctor’s voice make me believe that he is just in a coma but then his presence in 1988 felt so real. He interacts with people at that time and the events are exactly the same as what happened when he was young and also helped him regain his lost memory when he was young.

I have seen him on Prison Playbook before and I like his acting. He seemed to shine brighter in this drama as the righteous detective who is willing to call out his colleagues if they did wrong. The serious detective aura who believes more in evidence than testimonies suits him well.  The adjustment though was hard when he woke up in 1988 because the tools were not advanced yet at that time.

The cast is composed of great actors but what amazes me is Ko Ah-Sung. Ms Yoon’s appearance is on point. I was not born yet in 1988 but I have seen old photos of Koreans at that time. Her hair and the way she dresses is completely that of a woman in the 1980s. I have to admit that I don’t remember her dramas and movies prior to this one but she’s incredible here. Upon checking her previous movies, I saw that she starred on “The Host” as the kidnapped child. I did not even recognize that it was her but she was an incredible actress from a young age.  

life on mars yoon na young

Ms. Yoon’s voice when talking to her superiors were soft and submissive as expected from a woman at that time. Although I hate the stereotype, she acts that part really well. It makes me hate how male officers treat her like a secretary when she is a policewoman but I love it that she gets the part done perfectly as a kind policewoman.

The police’s actions is also an interesting area. Nowadays, the police in South Korea are not violent. They have maximum tolerance and patience towards suspects as they can be easily sued. Even during demonstrations that I have seen here, the police try not to fight back with violent protesters. The old times as portrayed in this drama is the complete opposite. I have heard that in the old times, the police here in South Korea behaved differently and hitting suspects were not uncommon. The way Kang Dong-Cheol treats suspects is the main conflict between him and Han Tae-Joo as Han Tae-Joo came from 2018 where human rights is valued really well. Despite that, Kang Dong-Cheol is a good leader and takes his team members’ side. This makes Park Sung-Woong and Jung Kyoung-Ho’s tandem good in this drama. Although Park Sung-Woong is visibly older, their bromance is undeniably good here. 

The latest drama where I’ve seen Park Sung-Woong was in Eulachacha Waikiki. He was absolutely hilarious as the director who does not speak. He is also funny here in some scenes but the leader attitude shines brighter. 

Life On Mars Han Tae Joo and Kang Dong Cheol

The supporting actors are also good. We have the rowdy Lee Yong-Ki and the young Jo Nam-Sik. For a change, this drama did not include a comedic sidekick but the combination of Lee Young-Ki and Jo Nam-Sik is sometimes hilarious as sometimes Nam-Sik appear to be clueless about his job because he is the youngest.

Life On Mars Han Tae Joo Young

The boy that played Han Tae-Joo is so cute and surprisingly great with his role even though he is a new actor. You can feel the kid’s sadness when he cries. He does not look awkward at all in his role and I’m looking forward to more scenes with him.

In Life On Mars Korean Drama, Detective Han Tae-Joo is shot on the head by a serial killer. He falls into a coma but suddenly wakes up in 1988. He is confused whether he is dreaming or if he really travelled back in time. Stuck in 1988, he solves crimes with the help of Officer Yoon Na-Young, Team Leader Kang Dong-Cheol, and the rest of the police team but he is having a hard time due to the lack of technology that is present in 2018 that he is used to. He comes into a decision that he must solve crimes for him to go back to 2018.

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