|Life on Mars character|
Liz White as Annie Cartwright in in Life on Mars
|First appearance||Life on Mars: Episode 1, series 1|
|Portrayed by||Liz White|
Manchester and Salford Police (1973)
|Title||Woman Police Constable (WPC)
Woman Detective Constable (WDC)
|Spouse(s)||Sam Tyler (married after events of Life on Mars)|
WPC/DC Annie Cartwright is a fictional character in BBC One's science fiction/police procedural drama, Life on Mars. The character is portrayed by Liz White, whereas in the American version the characters surname is changed to 'Norris' and is portrayed by Gretchen Mol.
The character does not appear in the spin-off of Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes.
During the first series of Life on Mars, the character was a Woman Police Constable serving in uniform. Early in the second series, DCI Gene Hunt allows her to join CID as Woman Detective Constable. Throughout both series, Cartwright helps the programme's protagonist, Sam Tyler adjust to life in the 1970s. A degree of attraction is displayed between the two characters, leading a distinct sexual tension. Cartwright is the only person in 1973 who Sam tells that he has travelled back in time, and she treats him with sympathy, believing that he is suffering from severe concussion after being hit by a car. During the first episode of series one, when Sam climbs onto the police station roof, considering suicide, Cartwright convinces him not to jump.
Upon Sam first losing consciousness after being hit by a car which sent him back in time, he sees a fleeting image of a woman in a red dress running away from an attacker. The image is later revealed to be a childhood memory of Annie chasing after Sam's father, and being attacked by him.
No references are made to Annie's family in either the first or second series, apart from a mention of an unnamed nephew in "The Crash", which indicates that she has a brother or sister.
The character does not appear in the spin-off of Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes with the reason and whereabouts never stated. During the course of Ashes to Ashes it is revealed that Sam and Annie married and were described as the "happiest couple ever seen" and had no children.
In the US remake, Annie Norris (Gretchen Mol) is a uniformed policewoman with an undergraduate psychology education who has aspirations of making the detective squad. Norris constantly struggles against sexist attitudes about the role of a woman in police work. Owing to her gender, her nickname among the detectives is "No Nuts Norris". She is the only one on the force to whom Sam has revealed that he is from the future – although she does not seem to believe him, she is the most sympathetic of his colleagues; she puts more faith in his claim after a prophecy from Sam saves her life from Vic Tyler in the counterpart episode to the BBC's first series finale.
She is promoted to detective in the finale.