BBC Drama 'Life on Mars' to Get Chinese Remake

Life on Mars BBC Key Art - H 2012

Life on Mars BBC Key Art - H 2012

The remake will be made by Beijing-based Phoenix Entertainment Group, producer of the hit Chinese detective drama 'Night and Day,' which was acquired by Netflix last year.

China's Phoenix Entertainment Group is partnering with the BBC to create a Mandarin-language version of the British public broadcaster's hit drama Life on Mars.

Preproduction on the series will start this year, with Phoenix expected to eventually shoot 24 episodes of the Chinese-language version of the show.

The original Life on Mars aired on BBC One in 2006, eventually winning both a BAFTA and an Emmy. The show, starring John Simm and Philip Glenister, followed a present-day detective who is mysteriously transported back in time after experiencing a near-fatal accident.

The Chinese version of the drama will be based in the boom times of 1990s Beijing, a period of surging economic growth and increasing cultural openness. "The Chinese version of Life on Mars will reflect this remarkable era of change, conflict and challenges," the BBC and Phoenix said in a joint statement.

The deal was unveiled during the BBC's annual BBC Studios Showcase in Liverpool.

Beijing-based Phoenix TV is known for producing high-quality dramas for China's leading streaming platforms. The company scored a critical and commercial hit in 2017 with Day and Night, a detective drama produced for Alibaba's Youku video platform. Critically praised and commercially huge in China, the show generated billions of views on Youku and later was acquired by Netflix.

"Life on Mars drew our interest because of its originality and superb story telling," said Bihai Wu, vp and general manager of Phoenix Entertainment. "BBC Studios offers a great range of dramas that match our ambitions to produce captivating, first-class dramas for the fast growing Chinese SVOD market and their discerning audiences."