Jonathon Murphy Dishes on Life on Mars

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Jonathon Murphy portrays rookie cop Chris Skelton on Life on Mars.

The show is the highest-rated new drama on TV. And the actor recently talked about it with TV Guide. The show is based on a British series. How would you describe it to American viewers?
Jonathan Murphy: I would describe it as it has a lot of different elements in it. It has a sci-fi element in that Sam Tyler (Jason O'Mara) is a cop in 2008 and he's hit by a car and wakes up in 1973, and you don't know how he got there or what kind of scenario has just happened. Did he die? Did he travel through time? Is he in a coma? You don't really know. It also has the procedural element because we are a cop show.

Chris Skelton Picture It's kind of art imitates life a little — you're working with Harvey Keitel and Michael Imperioli. Were you intimidated at all?
Murphy: I would say more curious and in awe of them. You walk onto a set and you're doing a scene with Michael Imperioli. You know where he's been and you know the kind of caliber of actor he is. So it is kind of art imitates life. This character is learning from these guys and I'm also taking it in as an actor. It's like going to acting class. These are heavyweight guys and I didn't want be the guy that came in and screwed it up. [Laughs] To be working with them, I'm very lucky and I try to soak up whenever I can. They're all wonderful people.

Matt Richenthal is the Editor in Chief of TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter and on Google+.

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Life on Mars Quotes

If I'd wanted to be this bored, I'd go to Mass with the missus and her miserable mother.


I have an ass that can fart every Peter, Paul & Mary song ever recorded.

Ray Carling