Life on Mars (TV series): Wikis


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Life on Mars
Life on Mars logo.png
Life on Mars title sequence
Genre Speculative Fiction
Police procedural
Created by Matthew Graham
Tony Jordan
Ashley Pharoah
Starring John Simm
Philip Glenister
Liz White
Dean Andrews
Marshall Lancaster
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 16 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Kudos Film & Television
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel BBC One
Picture format PAL (576i)
1080i (HDTV) (blu-ray only)
Original run 9 January 2006 – 10 April 2007
Followed by Ashes to Ashes
Related shows Life on Mars (U.S. remake)
The Girl of Yesterday (Spanish remake)

Life on Mars is a British science fiction/police procedural drama television series. It was first broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007, lasting for two series in total.

An American version of the show was produced by ABC, and ran for one series from October 2008 to April 2009. Also, a Spanish version of the show aired from April to June 2009

A sequel to the series, Ashes to Ashes, began transmission on BBC One in February 2008, followed by a second series in 2009. A third and final series has been commissioned to be shown in 2010.[1]



Life on Mars tells the fictional story of Sam Tyler (John Simm), a police officer in service with the Greater Manchester Police. After being hit by a car in 2006, Tyler awakes in 1973 and finds himself working for the predecessor of the GMP, the Manchester and Salford Police at the same station and location as in 2006. Early on in the series, it becomes apparent to Tyler that he awakes as a Detective Inspector, one rank lower than his 2006 rank of Detective Chief Inspector. As part of the CID, Tyler finds himself working under the command of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister).

Throughout the two series, the central plot centres on the ambiguity concerning Tyler's predicament of it being unclear to both the audience and the character whether he has gone mad, is in a coma or has actually travelled back in time.[2]


The programme was originally conceived in 1998, when screenwriters Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah were sent on a break to the English seaside resort of Blackpool by Kudos Film & Television to think-up programme ideas.[3] Originally titled Ford Granada after the 1970s car, the series was rejected by the BBC.[4] In response, Graham stated: "Back then, broadcasters just weren't comfortable with something like that, something that wasn't set in the real world and that had a fantasy element to it."[3] According to Graham, the initial idea was for a humorous, pre-watershed programme that overtly mocked the styles and attitudes of the 1970s, with the comic actor Neil Morrissey envisaged as the central character.[5]

Later, Channel 4 drama executive, John Yorke substantially redeveloped the original script, focusing on a double act between both Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt. However, senior management eventually decided not to pursue the idea, with Graham stating that the reaction to the idea was: "It's going to be silly", as told to Radio Times. However, the series eventually attracted the attention of BBC Wales' Julie Gardner, who persuaded the Head of Drama for the BBC, Jane Tranter, to commission the programme from BBC Wales for BBC One.[3] John Yorke left Channel 4 to rejoin the BBC and together with Julie Gardner, he acted as joint commissioning editor on the show for its entire run.

The programme's central character was originally to have been named "Sam Williams", but Kudos felt this to not be striking enough and requested Graham devise an alternative surname. Graham asked his young daughter for her opinion and she suggested "Sam Tyler", which became the character's name. Graham subsequently discovered that his daughter had named him after the Doctor Who character Rose Tyler.[6] The initial geographical setting was to be London; this was then changed to Leeds and finally to Manchester, as part of a BBC initiative to make more programmes in the city.[5] The name Sam Williams was subsequently used as a plot point in the second series.

Production and transmission

Eight one-hour episodes of Life on Mars were broadcast weekly on Monday nights at 9:00 P.M. by the BBC. The series episodes were mostly written by its creators Jordan, Graham and Pharoah, later joined by Chris Chibnall as the fourth writer for the first series. For the second series, Graham, Pharoah and Chibnall returned to write episodes, joined by Julie Rutterford, Guy Jenkin and Mark Greig.[7]

The second series was broadcast weekly at the same time as the first, with the only difference being the change of transmission day from Monday to Tuesday.[8] According to Jane Featherstone, the show's executive producer, speaking in February 2006, a film version of the show was also a possibility: "Life on Mars was a very high concept idea and there was no doubt it would work on the big screen."[9]

On 9 October 2006, it was confirmed that the second series of Life on Mars would be its last. Matthew Graham stated: "We decided that Sam's journey should have a finite life span and a clear-cut ending and we feel that we have now reached that point after two series."[10] Graham's claim that two separate endings had been filmed was later revealed to be a ruse.[11]

The second series had a distinctive style of introduction on BBC One: after a brief collage of momentary images, such as several test cards and the late comedy writer and broadcaster Barry Took, a mock-up version of BBC1's 1970s blue-on-black rotating globe ident was used, although the design had to be modified to fit widescreen sets. This was accompanied by a bass-voiced continuity announcer in the style of that era. Viewers in Wales saw an original 'BBC Cymru Wales' mechanical globe with introductions provided by former BBC Wales announcers. Trailers for the show also used the 1970s style, including the rhombus-style BBC logo.

Overseas sales

An American version of the show was produced by ABC, and ran for one series from October 2008 to April 2009.

In February 2007, The Guardian's media site reported that producer David E Kelley was to develop an American version of the series for the ABC network. Kelley was involved in the production of the pilot, but handed duties over to others for the eventual production. The series aired to critical and minor public acclaim, but declining numbers led to cancellation after 17 episodes, but with sufficient lead to allow the series to be wrapped up.

The first series of the original Life on Mars was broadcast in the United States on BBC America from July 2006 to August 2007 and is being broadcast in 2010 on some Public Television Stations (PBS) [12], with the second series being broadcast from December 2007 to January 2008.[13]"Life on Mars (BBC America)". Retrieved 2007-01-06. </ref> Acord Media, released both series on DVD in 2008. The original version also aired in Canada, from September 2006 to April 2007 on BBC Canada, and from 8 January 2008 to 23 April 2008 on Télé-Québec and Showcase.

In New Zealand, the original series was broadcast on TV ONE from February 2007, being described as "sensationally well-made." by an NZ website.[14] Series two was broadcast from June 2008, with the final screening on 4 August 2008.

In Australia the original British version was broadcast on ABC1 from 20 May 2007, with the second following during February 2008. The US version broadcast on 5 February 2009 on Network Ten.

In the Republic of Ireland, RTÉ Two broadcast the series from June 2007 in a late evening slot, following RTÉ News on Two.

The show has also been transmitted in Sweden (a cut version on SVT 2), Netherlands (Nederland 3), in Germany (Kabel 1, Spain (Antena.neox) , Israel (Hot), Italy (Rai Due), Japan, Serbia (B92) and Norway (NRK). Sub began broadcasting Life on Mars in Finland in April 2008, and ATV World started broadcasting the show in Hong Kong on 13 July 2008.[15][16][17]), France (13ème Rue)[18]

Spanish Television network Antena 3 bought the rights from the BBC, and has remade the show as La Chica de Ayer (English: The Girl from Yesterday in 1977 post-Franco Spain.[19][20]


The programme's soundtrack features many early 1970s songs which were played as part of Life on Mars, as well as an original score of the theme music as part of the title sequence composed by Edmund Butt. The show's title is in reference to the David Bowie song, "Life on Mars?", which plays on an iPod in Sam's car while he is run over, and on an 8-track tape in a Rover P6 when he awakes in 1973.

Matthew Graham stated that initially there were some concerns over whether the production team would be able to license the song, which, had they been denied, would have necessitated retitling the series.[21] Another Bowie song, "Space Oddity", is used in BBC trailers advertising the series. In several episodes, Gene Hunt adopts the name "Gene Genie", in reference to yet another Bowie song, "The Jean Genie". Another Bowie track, "Changes" , is played over the end credits of the second series finale.

The show's creators were initially refused permission to use "Live and Let Die" by Paul McCartney and Wings but, according to Graham in the Radio Times, "We sent the episode directly to Paul McCartney. Almost immediately, his assistant phoned back and said, 'Paul loves it. You can go ahead and use it.'"[22]


The main characters of Life on Mars, from left: DC Chris Skelton, DCI Gene Hunt, DI Sam Tyler, DS Ray Carling and WPC/DC Annie Cartwright

The methodology and techniques of modern policing that Sam Tyler employs during Life on Mars leads him to frequently clash with other characters. Gene Hunt and the rest of the CID are displayed to favour brutality and corruption in order to secure convictions, shown by their willingness to physically coerce confessions and fabricate evidence.[23] Throughout both series, Tyler clashes with Hunt the most frequently, usually because Tyler values forensic evidence whereas Hunt often resorts to traditional methods and in one episode where doubt is cast over a number of people goes on the assumption of "the first to speak is guilty".

Sam describes Hunt as an: "overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding". Hunt is supported by his fiercely loyal subordinates, Chris Skelton and Ray Carling, with the latter displayed to be a similar character to Hunt. Ray and Sam are often seen to disagree with each other, as well as Sam and Gene's love-hate relationship.[24] Chris, in contrast, becomes friendly with Sam and respects his modern methods, finding his loyalty torn between both Gene and Sam.[25]

Due to Sam's predicament, he avoids revealing how he thinks he may have travelled back in time for fear of others thinking him to be insane. The only person in 1973 who Sam fully enlightens his story to is Annie Cartwright, who it is revealed later married him during the time between Life on Mars set in 1973 and Ashes to Ashes in 1981. According to Liz White, the actress who played Cartwright, "She gets very tired of his constant talk about how this situation is not real, that they are all figments of his imagination — she can only explain it as psychological trauma from his car crash.".[26]

Themes and storyline

The Test Card Girl, a surreal hallucination repeatedly encountered by Sam Tyler

Each of the sixteen episodes begins with a short teaser before a monologue in which Sam repeats, as part of the moving imagery of the title sequence:

My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

This questioning is the central plot throughout the series, displaying both the character's and the audience's uncertainty about what has happened.

Throughout the course of Life on Mars, Sam's uncertainty is reinforced by frequent paranormal phenomena, such as hearing voices and seeing images from 2006 on radios, telephones, and televisions. The voices discuss his medical condition, leading him to partially believe that he is in a coma. Other elements suggest to him that he is insane, such as his frequent and unexpected encounters with the Test Card Girl from Test Card F, who speaks directly to him. Annie Cartwright partially persuades Sam that he is actually in 1973, explaining to him that his mind would struggle to fabricate the amount of detail and tangibility in the world in which he finds himself, evidence that he is in fact really in 1973.

Sam's uncertain situation is not the focal point for the majority of episode plots, but is rather a "sub-plot". In most episodes, the main plot centres upon a particular crime or case relating to the police, such as drug trafficking, a hostage situation, murders and robberies. Due to this, most episodes follow a conventional police drama setting. As the series progresses, Sam focuses on how he will get home almost every episode.

A recurring motif throughout the series is the overlapping of both the past and present. For example, during episode six Sam hears the voice of his mother in 2006 saying his life-support machine will be switched off at 2:00 pm. At the same time he is called to a hostage-taking, where the perpetrator has stated that he will kill his victims at the same time. Sam also encounters people he knows in the future as their younger self, including suspects, friends, Sam's younger self and his own parents.

Sam is from a politically correct and scientifically advanced era, where suspects' rights and preservation of forensic evidence are stringently observed. This leads Sam into conflict, as other characters are displayed to be openly sexist, homophobic, disablist and racist and often indulge in all of them while carrying out their duties.

The series frequently makes use of Gene Hunt's comical rudeness in the form of jokes about a future the audience already knows, but which the characters in the specific time period do not. For example, in Series 1: Episode 5, Hunt declares that "There will never be a woman prime minister as long as I have a hole in my arse."[citation needed]


It is revealed in the final episode that Sam's coma had lasted so long because he had a tumour of the brain. Tyler comes to believe the tumour is embodied by Hunt, and begins to think that by bringing Hunt down, his own body can recover. To this end, Tyler begins to collaborate with Frank Morgan to bring Hunt down. While Tyler and the team are engaged in a firefight with armed robbers, Sam returns to 2006. He eventually comes to realise that he has become used to, and enjoys, the 1970s, seeing it as his "real world". In an attempt to get back to 1973 to save Annie and the rest of the team from death, Sam leaps off of the roof of the police station, arriving back in 1973 and saving the team, promising never to leave them again. Writer Matthew Graham wrote the scene to indicate that Sam is now in the afterlife, but acknowledged that the ending is ambiguous and open to other interpretations, such as lead actor John Simm's belief that Sam may not have returned to the present.[11] In the final scene, the team drive off, with Sam and Gene bickering as usual. Children run past, including the girl from Test Card F. She looks directly into the camera before reaching out and "switching off" the television the viewer is watching, signifying that the story has come to an end.[11]

The first episode of sequel series Ashes to Ashes shows that DI Alex Drake of the Metropolitan Police has been studying Tyler's notes and 2006-era personnel file, in which his photograph is overstamped with the word "SUICIDE". Ashes to Ashes, which implies that Gene Hunt's world is in some sense real, states that Sam lived another seven years in that world, during which time he married Annie but had no children. Drake speculates that this happened while, in reality, he was in his dying moments, and fears that the same may be happening to her. As far as Hunt and his colleagues are concerned, Tyler apparently died in a car chase in 1980.

Depiction of 1973

During an interview John Stalker, Deputy Chief Constable of Greater Manchester in the early 1980s and himself a Detective Inspector in 1973, has stated that the depiction of the police "has got nothing to do with real policing in the 1970s. It could not be more inaccurate in terms of procedure, the way they talk or the way they dress. In all the time I was in the CID in the 1970s I never saw a copper in a leather bomber jacket and I never heard an officer call anyone 'guv'. ... Actually, there were a few police officers in London who started to behave like Regan and Carter in The Sweeney, but that was a case of life following art, not the other way round."[27] The journalist who interviewed Stalker, Ray King, remarks that the depiction of the police can be defended if we assume that Sam is indeed in a coma and that we are seeing his imaginary idea of 1973, filtered through 1970s cop shows.[27]

Upon Sam Tyler awaking in 1973, he finds himself on a building site, beneath a large advertising board, proclaiming the construction of a new motorway, the Mancunian Way. In reality, construction of Mancunian Way was completed in 1967. According to Matthew Graham, writing in the Radio Times, the error was deliberate. "We knew that this road was built in the 1960s, but we took a bit of artistic licence."[28] Minor historical anachronisms such as this are present throughout Life on Mars. Some, as above, were made out of artistic licence whilst others were deliberately inserted to confuse the issue of whether Sam Tyler was in a coma, mad or really back in time. Many inaccuracies were visible such as modern street furniture, cable television cabinets, satellite television dishes, CCTV cameras, LCD digital watches and double-glazed uPVC window frames which were all unintentional.[29] During DVD commentaries for the series, the programme makers acknowledge these as errors but also point out they are in fact perfectly feasible, given Sam's situation.[21] As the popularity of the series grew, the hunting of such anachronisms became a favourite pastime among Life on Mars fans.[30]

Cultural references

Throughout Life on Mars, many references to the 1939 MGM production of The Wizard of Oz exist. Such as, when Sam Tyler tentatively asks if Gene Hunt is able to send Sam back home, he is mockingly told "The Wizard'll sort it out. It's because of the wonderful things he does". Gene also occasionally refers to Sam as "Dorothy", ostensibly as a reference to what Gene perceives as Sam's effeminacy ("Friend of Dorothy"), but also as a nod to Sam's belief that he is living some kind of Oz-like fantasy. The pivotal character, Frank Morgan (Ralph Brown) is both Gene's nemesis in 1973 and Sam's surgeon in 2006. This echos the similar dual roles played by actors in the Oz and Kansas sequences of the 1939 Judy Garland film, The Wizard of Oz; principally, actor Frank Morgan who portrayed Professor Marvel in the Kansas sequences and the Wizard in the Oz sequences.

In the final episode of the series, the song "Over the Rainbow" features prominently upon Sam's return to 2006 and later, when Sam and Annie kiss, a rainbow can be seen in the distant sky.

The East Manchester town of Hyde is used as Sam's former police division as a clue that his 1973 self is an alter ego, as in Robert Louis Stevenson's The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.[21] When Sam wakes up in 2006, his comatose body was revealed to have been kept in Hyde ward, from the sign on the door as he exits in street clothes.


Critical reaction

Critical reaction to the first series of Life on Mars was extremely positive. Steve O'Brien, writing for SFX, declared, "It looks like BBC One has... a monster hit on its hands... It's funny... and dramatic and exciting, and we're really not getting paid for saying this."[31] Alison Graham, television editor for the Radio Times, described the series as "a genuinely innovative and imaginative take on an old genre."[32] James Walton of The Daily Telegraph commented, "Theoretically, this should add up to a right old mess. In practice, it makes for a thumpingly enjoyable piece of television — not least because everybody involved was obviously having such a great time."[33] Sam Wollaston of The Guardian wrote: "Life on Mars was more than just a jolly, tongue-in-cheek romp into the past... Once there, in 1973, we find ourselves immersed in a reasonably gripping police drama — yes, The Sweeney, perhaps, with better production values... Or put another — undeniably laboured — way, as poor Sam Tyler walks through his sunken dream, I'm hooked to the silver screen."[34] Although Peter Paterson of the Daily Mail reflected the views of many other commentators on the first episode when he wondered, "Can its intriguing conceit be sustained over eight one-hour episodes?",[33] Critical reaction remained generally positive throughout the programme's run. Of the second series, Alison Graham believed that "Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt are shaping up nicely as one of the great TV detective partnerships... It's vastly enjoyable and manages to stay just about believable thanks to some strong writing and, of course, the two marvellous central performances."[35]

Nancy Banks-Smith, in The Guardian, felt that the time-paradox aspect of the programme had become somewhat confusing.[36] Banks-Smith summed up the programme's success as "an inspired take on the usual formula of Gruff Copper of the old school, who solves cases by examining the entrails of a chicken, and Sensitive Sidekick, who has a degree in detection."[37]

Two days after the final episode's transmission, Life on Mars was attacked in the British press by the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, who claimed that Gene Hunt's use of homophobic insults in the programme could encourage copycat bullying in schools.[38] The BBC stated that Life on Mars was targeted at an adult audience, and argued that Hunt's characterisation was "extreme and tongue-in-cheek".[38]

Viewing figures

Life on Mars was also a success in terms of viewing figures. The first series achieved an average audience figure of 6.8 million viewers[39] and regularly won its timeslot, despite competition from ITV1's comedy-drama series Northern Lights. The first series' finale gained 7.1 million viewers and a 28% audience share.[40][41][41][42][43][44]

A selection of the magazine coverage surrounding the launch of the second series of Life on Mars in 2007, including the Radio Times with a mocked-up 1973 version of the cover, included on page three of the magazine.

Viewing figures for the second series were initially low, with the first episode only attracting 5.7 million viewers, slumping to 4.8 million viewers by episode three, despite being heavily trailed and publicised.[39] These figures were blamed by The Stage on "poor scheduling and unfortunate sporting fixtures, possibly combined with high expectation".[45] Audience figures picked up during the second series' run, however, with the final episode gaining an average of seven million viewers (a 28% audience share),[46] despite competition from UEFA Champions League football on ITV1.[47]

Episode Order Viewers
8 7.10
9 5.70
11 4.80
16 7.15


During November 2006, the first series of Life on Mars won the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series. The same award also went to the second series of the programme in the 2008 Emmy Awards, which was held in November.[48] In January 2007, it won the Best New Programme category as part of the Broadcast Magazine awards.[49] In March 2007 it won two categories, Best Drama Series and the Writers' Award, at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards.[50]

The first series was nominated for a British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) in the Best Drama Series category. John Simm was also nominated as Best Actor for his work on the show.[51] The programme won the audience-voted Pioneer Award.[52]

In October 2007, series two was nominated as the Most Popular Drama at the 2007 National Television Awards.[53]

DVD and Blu-ray

Series 1 received a DVD (region 2) release on 15 May 2006 in the UK; series 2 was released on 16 April 2007.

Due to the popularity of the show, Blu-ray editions of both series were released on 27 October 2008. However since the show's various effects were originally edited and mastered in standard definition, a true HD version would require a near-total overhaul. The Blu-ray editions therefore contained studio-upscaled footage of the original SD content, providing some improvement. This pseudo-HD version is not known to have been broadcast on television.

Series 1 was released in the United States on 28 July 2009, and Series 2 on 24 November 2009.[54]


  1. ^ "Final series of Ashes to Ashes will 'reveal all' about Gene Hunt". Telegraph. 8 June 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08. 
  2. ^ Each episode begins with a monologue from Tyler reflecting this uncertainty. This is reproduced on the "Life on Mars Official Website". Retrieved 2008-08-02. 
  3. ^ a b c O'Brien, Steve (January 2006). "The Nick of Time". SFX (139): 54. 
  4. ^ "BBC - Press Office - Life on Mars press pack Seventies brought back to life". Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  5. ^ a b Smith, David (2007-04-08). "£1,500 in a carrier bag? What planet are you on?". Observer.,,2052460,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-08. 
  6. ^ Darlington, David (2006-06-21). "Script Doctors: Matthew Graham". Doctor Who Magazine. 
  7. ^ "Life on Mars – Creative team". 2007-02-01. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  8. ^ Burrell, Ian (2006-03-27). "Television Drama: Great show - now direct it". The Independent. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  9. ^ Wylie, Ian (2006-02-07). "Life on Mars was creating stars on Earth". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  10. ^ "Hit BBC drama Life on Mars to end". BBC News Online. 2006-10-09. Retrieved 2006-10-09. 
  11. ^ a b c Wylie, Ian (2007-04-11). "Life On Mars: The Answers". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  12. ^ "WTTW Schedules (Sundays, 10pm CST)". WTTW Television Chicago.,2. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  13. ^ "Life on Mars - About the Show". BBC America. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  14. ^ Clifton, Jane (2007-02-21). "Reasons to be cheerful: Part one". Retrieved 2007-02-24. 
  15. ^ "SVT visar fel version av Life on Mars" (in Swedish). 2007-02-09. Retrieved 2007-03-16. 
  16. ^ Kjell Häglund. "Brittiska saxar lurar svensk tv-publik", Dagens Nyheter 26 August 2008, received 28 August 2008.
  17. ^ "Life on Mars (Kabel eins)" (in German). Retrieved 2007-01-31. 
  18. ^ "13ème rue homepage" (in French). 13ème rue. Retrieved 2007-03-28. 
  19. ^ "Senor Gene Hunt deals out pain in Spain in remake of BBC drama Life on Mars - Times Online". Retrieved 2009-03-21. 
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (2007-02-02). "Cannavale in the 'M.O.N.Y.'". The Hollywood Reporter. 
  21. ^ a b c Life on Mars: The Complete Series One – DVD commentary
  22. ^ Naughton, James (7 January–13 2006). "The Most Original Cop Show... Since the 70s". Radio Times 328 (4266): 12. 
  23. ^ "BBC Drama - Life on Mars - Philip Glennister as DCI Gene Hunt". Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  24. ^ "BBC Drama - Life on Mars - Dean Andrews as DC Ray Carling". Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  25. ^ "BBC Drama - Life on Mars - Marshall Lancaster as DC Chris Skelton". Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  26. ^ "BBC Drama - Life on Mars - Liz White as WPC Annie Cartwright". Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  27. ^ a b King, Ray (2006-02-21). "Life on Mars writers on another planet - top cop". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 2007-04-15. 
  28. ^ Graham, Matthew (2007-04-07 – 2007-04-13 cover date). "Operation Mars". Radio Times 333 (4330): 10–12. 
  29. ^ "BBC - Drama - Life On Mars - Clues Or Bloopers?". Retrieved 2006-12-11. 
  30. ^ Donaghy, James (2007-04-11). "Is there life after Life on Mars?". Guardian Unlimited. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  31. ^ O'Brien, Steve (January 2006). "The Nick of Time". SFX (139): 58. 
  32. ^ Graham, Alison (7 January – 13 2006). "Today's Choices, Monday 9 January: Life on Mars". Radio Times 328 (4266): 70. 
  33. ^ a b "First Night: Life on Mars" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited. 2006-01-10.,11131,1683209,00.html. Retrieved 2006-01-10. 
  34. ^ Wollaston, Sam (2006-01-10). "Last night's TV" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited.,7493,1683069,00.html. Retrieved 2006-01-10. 
  35. ^ Graham, Alison (10 February – 16, 2007). "Today's Choices, Monday 13 February: Life on Mars". Radio Times 332 (4322): 78. 
  36. ^ Banks-Smith, Nancy (2007-02-14). "Last night's TV". Guardian.,,2012627,00.html. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  37. ^ Banks-Smith, Nancy (2006-01-31). "Last night's TV". Guardian.,,1698510,00.html. Retrieved 2006-01-31. 
  38. ^ a b "Mars drama 'could spark bullying'". BBC News Online. 2007-04-12. Retrieved 2007-04-12. 
  39. ^ a b "Almost 6m experience Life on Mars". BBC News Online. 2007-02-14. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  40. ^ Timms, Dominic (2006-02-28). "Cop drama motors to the finish" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited.,,1720040,00.html. Retrieved 2006-02-28. 
  41. ^ a b Plunkett, John (2006-01-10). "7m gravitate to Life on Mars"" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited.,7965,1683163,00.html. Retrieved 2006-01-10. 
  42. ^ Deans, Jason (2006-01-17). "Northern Lights glows with success" (Requires free registration).,,1688308,00.html. Retrieved 2006-02-20. 
  43. ^ Timms, Dominic. "Prison Break captures audience" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited.,,1693787,00.html. Retrieved 2006-02-20. 
  44. ^ Timms, Dominic (2006-02-07). "Half Ton Man bulks up Channel 4 ratings" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited.,,1704185,00.html. Retrieved 2006-02-20. 
  45. ^ "Is there still life on Mars?". The Stage. 2007-03-08. Retrieved 2008-02-09. 
  46. ^ Holmwood, Leigh (2007-04-11). "Plenty of Life on Mars" (Requires free registration). Guardian Unlimited.,,2054442,00.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  47. ^ "Millions see Life on Mars climax". BBC News Online. 2007-04-11. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  48. ^ "British shows sweep world Emmys". BBC News Online. 2006-11-21. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  49. ^ "BBC One named Channel Of The Year at Broadcast Awards". BBC Press Office. 2007-01-25. Retrieved 2007-02-15. 
  50. ^ "Double award win for Life on Mars". BBC News Online. 2007-03-23. Retrieved 2007-03-27. 
  51. ^ "Bafta TV Awards 2007: The nominees". BBC News Onlinedate=2007-04-11. Retrieved 2007-04-11. 
  52. ^ "Victoria Wood scoops Bafta double". BBC News Online. 2007-05-20. Retrieved 2007-05-20. 
  53. ^ "Doctor Who tops awards shortlist". BBC News Online. 2007-10-15. Retrieved 2007-10-15. 
  54. ^ Lambert, David, "Life on Mars – USA Series Canceled, but the Original UK Program Comes to DVD in July", 3 March 2009

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Life on Mars (2006-2007) is a British TV series which mixes time travel with police drama.

Written by Tony Jordan, Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah


Series 1

The Crash [1.1]

[To a murder suspect, regarding an entry in his diary]
Sam Tyler: From the diary, quote, "I killed her. She's been killed. I'm a killer, an ace killer." That particular entry is not awash with ambiguity.

Chris Skelton: Someone needs to take a look at you boss, you're as white as a ginger bird's arse!

[After Sam, disorientated and confused by his new surroundings, has challenged Gene's authority]
Gene Hunt: They reckon you've got concussion - I couldn't give a tart's furry cup if half your brains are falling out. Don't ever waltz into my kingdom acting king of the jungle.
Sam Tyler: Who the hell are you?
Gene Hunt: Gene Hunt. Your DCI. And it's 1973. Almost dinner time. I'm 'aving 'oops.

[Trying to call a mobile phone number]
Sam Tyler: I need you to connect me to a Virgin mobile number -
Operator: Don't you start that sexy business with me, young man. I can trace this call.

[Annie complies with Sam's request to hit him by punching him in the kidneys - when he wasn't expecting it]
Sam Tyler: Ow! Shit!
Annie Cartwright: I'm sorry, sir!
[Gene enters, seeing the two bent over]
Gene Hunt: Hey hey, good girl, prostate probe and no jelly!

Gene Hunt: [To Sam] Where are you today, then? Here, or Planet of the Clangers?

[Open University is on TV, presenter's geometry-exercising turns into medical diagnostics from 2006.]
Sam: [alerted and denying he'd be in a deep coma] Wait! I’m in BUPA! Get me out of here!
[means he's got a private health insurance -British United Provident Association-]

Gene Hunt: Right, we pulled a bird in, Dora Keanes. She was the last person to see the victim alive.
Sam Tyler: Is she a suspect?
Gene Hunt: Nope, just a pain in the arse.
Sam Tyler: Okay, alright, brief me in full. What do I need to know?
Gene Hunt: [Slightly nonplussed] She's a pain in the arse.
[They arrive outside the lost property office]
Sam Tyler: What, so you've handed her into lost property?
Chris Skelton: Well, we could use the canteen, but she's a right mouthy bird, this one.
Sam Tyler: Hang on, you're going to do the interview in there?
Gene Hunt: Thick walls.

[Gene Hunt violently pushes a table aside]
Gene Hunt: I'm done with this game. Let's play another. Let's play, eh, hopscotch or pin the tail on a donkey. You pick, Dora.
Dora Keens: I want a lawyer.
Gene Hunt: I wanna hump Britt Eklund, what are we gonna do?

Sam Tyler:I need a drink.
Gene Hunt: That's the first sensible thing you've said since you got here.

Sam Tyler:[To Nelson] And which part of my subconcious do you hail from?

Gene Hunt: I may be a sheriff, but I'm a deputy to the law.

Nelson: What can I get you, man, raise your spirits?
Sam Tyler: Diet Coke, please.
[Blank look on the landlord's face]
Sam Tyler: Just kidding, a pint of bitter.

Sam Tyler: Large whiskey please.
Nelson: [With heavy Jamaican accent] Drink ain't gonna fix things. What am I saying? I run a pub. Of course it will fix things!
Sam Tyler: I'm lost, Nelson. I'm really lost.
Nelson: [Suddenly switching to a Mancunian accent] You ain't lost, pal. You're where you are, and you have to make the best of it. It's all you can do.
[Sam looks surprised]
Nelson: Keep it to yourself, eh? Folks just seem happier with the other Nelson.

[Sam has asked Annie to contribute to the investigation - much to the jeers of the other male detectives]
Sam Tyler: Now the victim wasn't gagged. Why didn't he gag her Annie?
Annie Cartwright: Because he needed to, er, he needed to see her mouth, her lips. We have to see the things that we value.
Sam Tyler: Now put yourselves in the mind of this man. You're lonely. Every night you dream of this girl, and she's got big eyes and red ruby lips. So you go out and you find that girl, and you bring her home. But you don't gag her, cos you want to see those ruby lips, but you just can't bring yourself to kiss 'em.
Annie Cartwright: He'd get embarrassed, angry, he'd start to blame the girl. It's her fault, she's taunting him by just being there.
Sam Tyler: And then one day you just snap. Strangle her, using bootlace, and the cycle starts all over again with a different girl. And this time, you're positive that you're going to be brave enough to kiss her.
Annie Cartwright: Only you won't be.

[To a handful of kids, staring at his car]
Gene Hunt: Anything happens to this motor, I'll come 'round your houses and stamp on all your toys. Got it? Good kids.

[When Sam - disorientated - is standing on a building roof, intending to jump and 'wake up']
Annie Cartwright: We all feel like jumping sometimes, Sam. But we don't, you and me. Because we're not cowards.

[After taking Annie's hand]
Sam Tyler: What's that on your hand? Is that grit?
Annie Cartwright: Sand. When I was running up here, I tripped and I fell against the fire bucket.
Sam Tyler: [Tormented] See, why would I think of something like that? Why would I put that kind of detail in it?
Annie Cartwright: You wouldn't.

The New World [1.2]

[credits introduction to every episode apart from episode 1]
Sam Tyler: My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.

[Sam Tyler asks Leonard, a witness, the registration number of the car that he saw]
Leonard: E...dunno.
Gene Hunt: Sorry, was that you saying the letter E and then you don't know the rest, or was that you saying "Ee, I dunno!"?

Sam Tyler: This place is like Guantanamo Bay.
Gene Hunt: Give over, it's nothing like Spain.

[To Phyllis Dobbs, custody sergeant, talking about a witness that he's just brought in]
Sam Tyler: He's a key witness. So could you treat him like a person, Phyllis. D'you remember "people"? You used to be one!

[Gene is looking at a poster for The Good, The Bad And The Ugly]
Sam Tyler: Which one are you?
Gene Hunt: All three.

Test Card Girl: Do you not like me with my clown? I can see I make you frown. When on Earth will all this end? I'm your friend, your only friend.

Gene Hunt: Tits in a jumper, maybe a result.

[Sam & Gene are questioning a suspect]
Gene Hunt: You know, if you were Pinocchio you'd have just poked my eye out!

[Sam and Annie are standing on the steps outside, Gene Hunt approaches with a witness 'Leonard' who Annie has just agreed to watch overnight]
Sam Tyler: Annie's going to sit with him tonight.
Gene Hunt: Hey, Leonard! Fanny in the flat! Nice work!

Sam Tyler: Look, I was thinking, guv. I know having me here is difficult for you. What if I went back?
Gene Hunt: To Hyde?
Sam Tyler: Is that possible?
Gene Hunt: I'll get on the blower.
[Gene picks up the phone]
Sam Tyler: You can do that? You can just send me back to where I came from?
Gene Hunt: [on phone] Hello, is that the Wizard of Oz? [to Sam] The Wizard'll sort it out. It's because of the wonderful things he does.

The Stabbing [1.3]

[Sam's coming down the one-way street with some food in both hands, about to step on the walkway when a cyclist from behind almost hits him]
Sam Tyler: Oi! [upset] Keep it on the road! [walks along some steps, adding semi-joking/sternly] Comin' 'round your house, stamp on your toys!"

[After hearing his mothers voice on the police radio, followed by that of Phyllis, the police receptionist]
Sam Tyler: Phyllis, is that you?
Phyllis: No, it's Jane Fonda on the hunt for men!

Chris Skelton: Bingo! I got one. Martin Ellis, lorry driver. Waiting for a fabrics pick-up at 2:30 this morning. Spotted a thickset man running of the loom hall.
Sam Tyler: Good, can I see it?
[Chris shows Sam a black and white picture with a head looking like a butternut squash with ears]
Sam Tyler: Chris, have you ever seen anybody that looks like that?
Chris Skelton: It's the best we could do.
Sam Tyler: It's a doddle, then. We're looking for someone with hamster's cheeks, a nose like Audrey Hepburn and a two-foot forehead.

Ted Bannister: You're not on your own. Nobody is! Not unless you want to be.

[To another police officer examining blood on the floor]
Gene Hunt: Oi! Hairy Mary, shift yourself. You're in the way.
Sam Tyler: Let him do his job.

Gene Hunt: Chief culprit is Ted Bannister. I want him in custody by teatime.
Sam Tyler: What, because he spoke first?
Gene Hunt: 'Cos he's guilty as sin, and he's a Commie bastard.
Sam Tyler: Sorry, that's bollocks. Total rubbish.
Gene Hunt: You're just itching to get your blood-spillage book out, aren't ya!
Sam Tyler: You're making him prime suspect based on what, a hunch?

Gene Hunt: Is my name 'Coco'?
Sam Tyler: What?
Gene Hunt: Why are you trying to make me look like a clown? Litton's gonna have a field day when he finds out you left four untraceable shooters out there.
Sam Tyler: This isn't about Litton. And don't blame me for this. You dumped it on me!
Gene Hunt: I thought you said you could multi... story... task... Whatever!

Gene Hunt: Say goodnight, Gracie, and sit down. I said sit down!
Ted Bannister: Look. You've gotta open the mill. We can't afford to lose this order.
Gene Hunt: The mill stays shut until our inquiry is over.
Ted Bannister: [shouting] For god's sakes!
Gene Hunt: [shouting] SIT DOWN, OR I'LL SIT YOU DOWN! NOW!

[To Sam about the tin of Party Seven beer]
Gene Hunt: Oi, Romeo. Are we gonna open this bog water or what?

Gene Hunt: [about Ted Bannister] Tenner says he did it.
Sam Tyler: This is-
Gene Hunt: Tenner and a tin of Party Seven.
Sam Tyler: If you think that I'm going to reduce a murder investigation to the level of a playground bet--
Gene Hunt: [to the accompaniment of chicken noises from Ray] Cowardy cowardy custard. Can't cut the mustard.

[Preparing guns before the shoot-out]
Ray Carling: Yeah, but can you hit anything?
Sam Tyler: You should see my Playstation scores.

Gene Hunt: Drop your weapons! You are surrounded by armed bastards!

Gene Hunt: What's your problem,Tyler?
Sam Tyler: My problem!?! My problem...would!

A Conflict of Interests [1.4]

Gene Hunt: Will someone please put some bog roll in the toilets! I've just had to wipe my arse on Francis Lee!

[To the woman who - on orders from a local gangster - set him up for a 'honey trap']
Sam Tyler: You're a loser, Joni... or whatever your name is. Because you live in fear. And that's not really living at all, is it? See, I don't live in fear. I'm alive.

[Bursting in on Stephen Warren, who is performing an act of oral sex on another man]
Gene Hunt: I'm not a Catholic me'self Mr Warren, but isn't there something in the Bible about "Thou shalt not suck off rent boys"?
Warren: How dare you come in here!
Gene Hunt: You could have said that to the boy.

Gene Hunt: You think you know everything, don't you?
Sam Tyler: I know the stench of rotten apples.
Gene Hunt: Yeah? And I know your slag is lying through her teeth and do you wanna know why?
Sam Tyler: Yeah, why?
Gene Hunt: Steven Warren is a bum bandit. Do you understand? A poof! A fairy! A queer! A queen! Fudge packer! Uphill Gardener! Fruit picking sodomite!
Sam Tyler: He's gay?
Gene Hunt: As a bloody Christmas Tree! Mind you, he is a little touchy on the subject, being a twisted Catholic with an elderly mother and all, so I wouldn't go mentioning it to him... You challenged his authority so he stitched you up like a kipper. Pretty girl appealed to your vanity as the only decent sheriff in Dodge City. Slipped you a Mickey, tied you up and bounced on your ding-a-ling.
Sam Tyler: Why?
Gene Hunt: I suspect the answer will lie in the post. Photos, you idiot.

[Tyler and Hunt have forced one of Warren's men to strip to his underwear in his cold store, to encourage him to answer their questions]
Gene Hunt: My friend is going to ask you some questions. Personally I hope you don't answer them because I want you to die in here and end up inside a pork pie.

Sweet is playing loudly in a club]
Gene Hunt: Do you like this music?
Sam Tyler: Yeah, I do, don't you?
Gene Hunt: It's just a lot a noise, really. Me and the wife like, eh, Roger Whittaker. Well, lot more her than me. D'ya know him?
Sam Tyler: Not intimately.
Gene Hunt: Keep it to yourself. We all have our dirty little secrets
Sam Tyler: Indeed we do.

The Footie [1.5]

[Gene and Sam need to get a pub landlord out of the way so that they can go undercover]
Gene Hunt: Ray! Go and arrest the landlord of the Trafford Arms
Ray Carling:What for?
Gene Hunt: Think of something on the way
Gene Hunt: In a bizarre twist of fate the landlord was arrested this afternoon.... on suspicion of Cattle Rustling
[Ray takes a bow and receives a round of applause]

Sam Tyler: We havent got any plates.
Gene Hunt:Improvise!

[a little while later]

Men in the Trafford Arms: What's this?
Sam Tyler: It's a basket.

Ray Carling: I'm arresting you for the theft of a motor vehicle, resisting arrest... and driving like a div.

Ray Carling: Chris, yer a div. Get in.

Sam Tyler: If it was to do with football, he'd have serious injuries.
Gene Hunt: He's dead. That's quite serious.

Gene Hunt: There will never be a woman prime minister as long as I have a hole in my arse.

Gene Hunt: Oi! Referee! Has anyone ever told you you need glasses, you dozy git? Next time, I run you over!

Ray Carling: I think it was a heart attack.
Gene Hunt: Then it must've exploded out of his arse, there's blood all down his back.

Gene Hunt: Time to liven things up a bit. Hard to keep your stories straight when you're pissed. You ask my missus.
Sam Tyler: I'm not sure that's ethical.
Gene Hunt: It's not. It's vodka.

Test Card Girl: Why did you promise him, Sam? Daddies always let you down, don't they?

Gene Hunt: Juries love all that. Makes 'em feel like Columbo.

[To Peter Bond, a football fan who has beat Colin Clay, a fellow supporter, to death in order to provoke a riot between opposing supporters]
Sam Tyler: You know nothing about football! [Punches Bond, winding him] I used to go to football with my dad. United and City fans used to walk to the match together. Our next door neighbour, he had a City flag up in his window. Kids used to play together in the street - red and blue. But then people like you came along and you took it away from us.
Peter Bond: A good punch up's all part of the game! It's about pride. Pride in your team. Being the best!
Sam Tyler: No it isn't! This is how it starts and then it escalates. It gets on the telly and in the press, and then other fans from other clubs start trying to out do each other. And then it becomes about hate! And then it's nothing to do with football any more! It's about gangs and scumbags like you roaming the country seeing who can cause the most trouble. And then we overreact, and we have to put up perimeter fences and we treat the fans like animals! Forty, fifty thousand people herded into pens! And then how long before something happens, eh? How long before something terrible happens and we are dragging bodies out?

[Snatching Bond's ticket for the match away from him]
Peter Bond: That's mine!
Sam Tyler: This doesn't belong to you. This belongs to decent people, who work hard all week and take their kids to the match on a Saturday! People like Colin Clay!

[After the case has been resolved, proving both Gene and Sam equally correct about the crime]
Gene Hunt: I'm ready anytime.
Sam Tyler: [Bewildered] For what?
Gene Hunt: An apology. Was this or was this not about football?
Sam Tyler: Was the killer drinking with him in the Trafford Arms?
Gene Hunt: Don't make excuses; I'm right, you're wrong, admit it. Was this about about football?
Sam Tyler: Not in the way you thought.
Gene Hunt: Still about football!
Sam Tyler: The only reason we caught him was because I persuaded you to go undercover! All you were doing before that was dragging hooligans in!
Gene Hunt: Still about football!
Sam Tyler: [Frustrated] You just will not be proved wrong, will you?! You know, that's very childish!
Gene Hunt: No it is not.
Sam Tyler: [Childishly] Is!
Gene Hunt: [Equally childishly] Isn't!

[Ray walks into shot, wearing a Manchester United scarf and freezes once he sees Sam and Gene]
Sam Tyler: I thought he had flu?
Gene Hunt: Sergeant!
[Ray makes a run for it]
Gene Hunt: [chasing] Come back 'ere you skiving little git!

The Deadline [1.6]

Gene Hunt: I reckon we can take him, I'll jump on him, you take his gun and Cartwright can jump up and down on his knackers.

Sam Tyler: We need an inner cordon as well as this one. Think of it as two circles, one inside the other. The area in the centre is out of limits to everybody but us.
Gene Hunt: Fair enough.
Sam Tyler: Call it the doughnut.
Gene Hunt: Jam or custard?
Sam Tyler: Now you're just being silly.
Gene Hunt: I'm not the one calling it a doughnut

Hugo Barton: [runs towards the team] Excuse me!
Sam Tyler: Excuse me sir, can you go back behind the cordon, please.
Hugo Barton: Hugo Barton. I'm a reporter from the Gazette.
Gene Hunt: Oh, terrific. [shouts at the hostage taker] Oi! We've got another one for you!
Sam Tyler: Guv.
Hugo Barton: He walked in about 40 minutes ago; he was just ahead of me. He pulled a gun; he means business.
Gene Hunt: Y'know, I'd listen to the snot in my hankie before I'd listen to you.

Sam Tyler: I'M ALIVE!

Sam Tyler: His only way of talking to the outside world will be through-
Gene Hunt: Us
Sam Tyler: Me. I'm the negotiator.
Gene Hunt: I'll make you a hat.

Gene Hunt: Always trust the Gene Genie!

Wrongful Death [1.7]

Gene Hunt: Now is not the time to have a one night stand with your conscience.

Gene Hunt: You so much as belch out of line and I'll have your scrotum on a barbed wire plate.

Nelson: I set the rules here.

[just caught by DCI Hunt]
Billy Kemble: Oh, bollocks.
Gene Hunt: My thoughts exactly.

[to Sam]
Gene Hunt: You're never happy unless you're making my life complicated, are ya.

Andrea Kemble: He your boss? What would I get for smacking him one?
Sam Tyler: A round of applause from half our station.

Sam Tyler: If we can't police ourselves, how are the public supposed to trust us?
Gene Hunt: The public don't give a damn what we do, as long as we get results.
Sam Tyler: You're wrong.

Sam Tyler: [yelling] GET ME OUT OF HERE!

Gene Hunt: I don't know... [pause] ... who the biggest dickhead is round here. [to Ray Carling] You, for what happened... [to Sam] You, for your holier than thou act... or me, for having any of you on my team.

The Good Father [1.8]

[Reading a title of a pornographic film]
Gene Hunt: Once Upon A Time In Her Vest? [disgusted] You dare to pollute the glorious genre of the American Western?

[To Annie, touching her cheek]
Sam Tyler: Just so that you know. I don't hate everything about this place.

Gene Hunt: I think you've forgotten who you're talking to.
Sam Tyler: An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?
Gene Hunt: You make that sound like a bad thing.

Vic Tyler: I've got a young lad named Sam.
Gene Hunt: I've got a pain in the arse called Sam!

Gene Hunt: [disgusted] Looks like they've been thinking up [porn movie] titles.. Listen to this: "On Her Majesty's Secret Cervix".

[Last lines of the first series]
Ray Carling: So, what do you want to do now, Guv?
Gene Hunt: [thinks for a moment] Pub!
Ray Carling: [smirks] Pub.
Chris Skelton: [grins] Pub.
Sam Tyler: [looks at the other three men in turn, slowly smiles] Pub.
[All get in car and drive off]

Series 2

Helpless [2.1]

[Regarding Gene Hunt]
Superintendent Harry Wolfe: You're a lucky man, Tyler. You've got the best here.
Sam Tyler: [Heavy sarcasm] I weep with happiness every morning, sir.

Superintendent Harry Wolfe: I'm saying it to all divisions; city needs to feel safe, Gene. Point is, this is under the glare, so let's make it clean and let's make it count, yes?
Sam Tyler: Would that be... 'by the book', sir?
Superintendent Harry Wolfe: Yes, that's it - by the jolly old book.
Sam Tyler: [To Gene, smugly] Let's get this party started.

Sam Tyler: Oh, you're gonna bang heads? Let joy be unconfined.

[to Ray Carling whom he had demoted a few months ago]
Gene Hunt: Good work, Raymondo. I'm bumping you back up to DS... only this time make it stand for Detective Sergeant and not Dog Shit!

Sam Tyler: We pull him in, we put the squeeze on him. Why is that so hard for you to agree to?
Gene Hunt: Because I am policing in the full glare of the public bloody eye, and the Chief Super is taking a personal interest and we also have no flipping evidence! And I can't believe I just said that!

Chris Skelton: Boss? Bloody hell, you look like something out of the Addam's Family.
Sam Tyler: Up all night.
Chris Skelton: Oh aye. What was her name?
Sam Tyler: Migraine.
Chris Skelton: German bird?

Gene Hunt: We need to nail this fast.
Sam Tyler: So, we preserve the scene. We dust for prints
Gene: [Interrupting] You've seen it out there, Sam. People are scared. Pull in someone from the "we don't like you" list. We put their prints on the hammer, charge 'em, whip it past the beak. There's loads of scum out there deserve another spell inside.

Gene Hunt: Tell 'em to bring a big-
Sam Tyler: (Correcting him) Bastard-big
Gene Hunt: -Bastard-big sedative.

[Approaching a prison]

Chris Skelton: I'd hate to end up in prison.
Sam Tyler: Not very likely, is it Chris?
Chris: What if I was wrongly accused of killing my wife like David Janssen in The Fugitive?
Sam: You mean Harrison Ford.
Chris: No I don't.

Chris: Dickie's famous for getting caught in Alicante.
Ray: Flagrante, Chris, in flagrante

Superintendent Harry Wolfe: He would be my nemesis, if he could spell it!

DCI Gene Hunt: A villain farts in this city, our snouts should be able to name the arse responsible.

The Safe-Cracker [2.2]

Gene Hunt: Chris, round up everyone you can get your hands on. Ray, wake up and get a van. Cartwright, stick some lipstick on. There's a blag on at Raxton Street Post Office in an hour. I want the lot of you in there and undercover! We're gonna catch these bastards with their fingers in the till!

Gene Hunt: [to Sam] You always do this to me - I run in certain and walk out confused!

Gene Hunt: [to Sam] Y'know, If I was as worried as you, I'd never fart for fear of shitting myself

[Before an undercover sting operation, Annie is equipped with a gun]
Annie Cartwright: I haven't received any firearms training. That's not right...
Gene Hunt: [Exasperated] Y'see, this is why birds and CID don't mix. Give a bloke a gun, it's a dream come true. Give a girl one, and she moans it doesn't go with her dress! Now start behaving like a detective and show some balls.
Annie Cartwright: Thanks for being so sympathetic, sir. Let's hope you don't end up in my firing line. [Annie storms out]
Gene Hunt: [Slightly alarmed] Did she just threaten to shoot me?!
Superintendent Harry Wolfe: Got a very bright future ahead of her, that lass.

[Gene has locked Sam in the boot of his car after Sam has investigated alleged corruption charges against Gene's mentor]
Gene Hunt: The rules go like this; you're my officer, you do as I say!
Sam Tyler: I was following my instincts...
Gene Hunt: Well, I should charge your instincts with wasting police time!

Glen Fletcher: Don't take this the wrong way, DI Tyler, but you're a mental case.

The Bombing [2.3]

Sam Tyler: Look, you know when I said I wasn't wrong? Well, I was. But, I was right about this not being the IRA. I was right to follow my instincts. Just like you always say, "go with your gut feeling". Just taking your lead.
Gene Hunt: So I'm right?
Sam Tyler: We both are.
Gene Hunt: Right.
Sam Tyler: Right.
Gene Hunt: Just as long as I'm more right than you.

Gene Hunt: What is it you think I'm doing here, Tyler?

[Sarcastically under his breath]

Sam Tyler: Building a Death Star?
Gene Hunt: What?
Sam Tyler: Nothing.

Gene Hunt: If you think I'm gonna let you walk away from this investigation, than you're in for an even bigger disappointment than when we found out the plonk Doris Bangs was a name and not a promise!

Suburban Swingers [2.4]

Chris Skelton: Woman in her twenties, dead.
Gene Hunt: Well I didn't think she was sunbathing, did I?!

DS Ray Carling [To DC Chris Skelton] Take my advice, get a pint of Pernod'n'Black down her then do what you what you like.

DCI Gene Hunt: I once punched a bloke for speaking French.

[Ordering the hunt for a murderer]
Gene Hunt: This is my city. And it will be a safe place for my wife and my mum to walk around in. Is that understood?
Detectives: Yes, guv.
Gene Hunt: [Sternly] Right. Find out who the dead woman was, find out who killed her. Do it now.
[He checks his watch]
Gene Hunt: Hold up, hold up. Do it tomorrow morning, first thing. [Brightly] Beer o'clock, gentlemen.

Gene Hunt: So? He pushed a bird out a car. That doesn't make him a bad bloke.
[Sam gives him a look]
Gene Hunt: Oh alright, pull him in! I'll dance the fandango on his head!

Sam Tyler: Roger Twilling, 44 years old, successful businessman, very popular in the business community, gives a lot to charity.
Gene Hunt: I hate people who give to charity.

Gene Hunt: Murderers do not play tennis!
Sam Tyler: Well, this one does.

Sam Tyler: It's called surveillance.
Gene Hunt: Doesn't sound very manly.

[Breaking into Twilling's car showroom]
Chris Skelton: It's freezing out here.
Gene Hunt: I don't like this. Gene Hunt smashes doors down, he does not pick girlie locks!
Sam Tyler: We can't just pull him in. He's too clever for that. At least this way we get hard evidence.
Gene Hunt: I'm gonna be the laughing stock of the Lancashire Constabulary Dinner and Dance, me.
Sam Tyler: Believe it or not, guv, one day soon, something like this will bring down Richard Nixon.
Gene Hunt: Hard to believe.
Sam Tyler: True. This is serious.
Ray Carling: So where do you want this transmitter?
Sam Tyler: Up here
Gene Hunt: Chris, bend down.
Chris Skelton: What for?
Gene Hunt: Just do it
[Chris bends over to give Gene a step up]
Sam Tyler: Right, look...
[A police car with sirens on shoots past outside]
Gene Hunt: [alarmed] The law, the law, get down you divs!

[Everyone ducks down, before Sam reappears when the car has gone]

Sam Tyler: We are the law, you bloody clowns! God help us!

Annie Cartwright: Darling, meet Roger and Carol.
Sam Tyler: [shaking hands] Hi, Tony Blair.

(Gene Hunt barges into Tyler's sting operation, with a woman in tow)
Roger Twilling: Tony, who is this man?
Sam Tyler: This is... This is my friend, Gordon. Gordon Brown. And his wife... Uh...

Gene Hunt: You know that guy in the Bible who tried to get a camel through the eye of a needle?
Sam Tyler: That would be ... Jesus.
Gene Hunt: Well, had nothing on Mrs Luckhurst.

Ray Carling: So how'd your date go?
Chris Skelton: Oh...I-I won't be seeing her again.
Ray Carling: Don't tell me. Upstairs outside and you got a slap!

Sam Tyler: [about Gene's 'wife' at the wife-swapping party] Where'd she come from?
Gene Hunt: Suki? Let her off an arrest last week for lewd behaviour. She owed me.
Sam Tyler: She's a prostitute?
Suki: I am here, you know!
Gene Hunt: Well, you didn't think I was gonna fetch me own wife here, did you?!

Chris Skelton: What's a vol-au-vent?
Ray Carling: It's puff pastry shell filled with a savoury meat mixture.
Chris Skelton: So its a pie then.

The Kidnapping [2.5]

[The show opens with the introduction to Camberwick Green]
Camberwick Green Narrator: This is a box. A magical box, playing a magical tune. But inside this box, there lies a surprise. Do you know who's in it today? [A toy version of Sam appears] It's Sam Tyler! Hello, Sam.
[Toy Sam waves]
Camberwick Green Narrator: How are you today?
[Toy Sam puts his head in his hands]
Camberwick Green Narrator: Oh dear. Not very happy. Is it Gene Hunt?
[Toy Sam nods]
Camberwick Green Narrator: Is he kicking in a nonce?
[Toy Sam points - cut to a toy version of Gene Hunt, beating up another toy in a dark alley. Toy Gene and the nonce wave to the camera, then Gene hits the other toy repeatedly with a dustbin lid]

[To a person threatening to hang themselves]
Chris Skelton: C'mon, Mr. Lamb. I always say there's a time to take off the noose, and put on the kettle.

Annie Cartwright: We were hoping you could be a voice of reason...
Sam Tyler: [Feverishly intense] I came out of a musical box.
Annie Cartwright:... a stabilizing influence...

Sam Tyler: I can just about handle you, driving like a pissed up crackhead and treating women like beanbags. But I'm going to say this once, and once only, Gene. Stay out of Camberwick Green!

Gene Hunt: Chris, what are you writing down?
Chris Skelton: Her statement.
Gene Hunt: Right, add this. Your son Mrs. Bathurst, was a cold-hearted killer and if there's a hell, he's going there to be poked up the arse with sharp fiery sticks, forever and ever, Amen.
Chris Skelton: There's an e in fiery, isn't there?

Sam Tyler: And with time slipping away, do we really want to put all our eggs in the same basket. If the kidnapper's still at large we might be able to lure him out.
Gene Hunt: How?
Sam Tyler: That note was a cry for justice.
Gene Hunt: And I ask again, only slightly louder, HOW?!!!

Gene Hunt: Right, Scotland Yard are sending up some sort of kleptomaniac.
Sam Tyler: Cryptographer!
Gene Hunt: Whatever.

Annie Cartwright: Sam's still out cold, Doc says he may need to go to hospital for blood tests.
Gene Hunt: I know what blood group he is, A-Rhesus-Smug.

A Deadly Drug [2.6]

Chris Skelton: I wonder what killed him?.
Gene Hunt: That would be the bloody enormous hole in his chest where the bullet went in!

Annie Cartwright: Boss, there's a viscous yellow liquid in his ear....
Gene Hunt: No, that's the drip from my fried egg butty, love. Well done Miss Marple, that's why we need women detectives...

Gene Hunt: Blardy, blardy, history bloody blardy. It doesn't take a degree in applied bollocks to know what's going on!
Sam Tyler: Go on then, amaze me with your insubstantial GUESSWORK!

Gene Hunt: Now. Yesterday's shooting. The dealers are all so scared we're more likely to get Helen Keller to talk. The Paki in a coma's about as lively as Liberace's dick when he's looking at a naked woman, all in all this investigation's going at the speed of a spastic in a magnet factory.

Sam Tyler, aghast, drops the radio he is holding.

Gene Hunt: What?
Sam Tyler: Think you might have missed out the Jews
Gene Hunt: What?
Sam Tyler: I think we need to explore whether this attempted murder was a hate crime.
Gene Hunt: What as opposed to one of those I-really-really-like-you sort of murders?

Sam Tyler: Maybe the NF shot him, left the heroin there, to make him look bad.
Gene Hunt: The NF are too stupid for that. They could stick a shotgun up my arse and pull the trigger, they'd still miss
Sam Tyler: I'd still like to explore the racially motivated line of enquiry.
Gene Hunt: And I'd like my boot to explore your jacksie, come on Tyler, where's the evidence you're so fond of?

Sam Tyler: Because I loved her!
Gene Hunt: You great... soft... sissy... girlie... nancy... French... bender... Man United supporting POOF!!

Sam Tyler: I think she's telling the truth.
Gene Hunt: I think she's as fake as a tranny's fanny.

Sam Tyler: I still think we need to entertain the possibility that this could be a racial killing..
Gene Hunt: Oh, well let's entertain it, let's take it out for a prawn cocktail, a steak and a bottle of Liebfraumilch, then let's kick it into the gutter where it belongs!

Gene Hunt: Drugs eh? What's the point. They make you forget, make you talk funny, make you see things that aren't there. My old grandma got all of that for free when she had a stroke.

[Speaking to a White Supremacist after he claims himself superior]

Sam Tyler: Superior?! You're not superior to an amoeba with special needs..

[Interviewing Layla at the station]

Layla: About 8:30, straight after I left Sam's flat, he was still alive.
Gene Hunt: Straight after you left Sam's flat?
Sam Tyler: She needed protection.
Gene Hunt: Well I hope you used some!

[Interviewing Layla at the station]

Layla: He's really freaking me out, can we get him out of here?
Gene Hunt: I'd love nothing better, piss off Tyler!

Gene Hunt: He's got fingers in more pies than a leper on a cookery course.

Gene Hunt: She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.

[The rest of the team break in to find Sam lying tied up with an iron on his chest]

Sam Tyler: There was a power cut.
Gene Hunt: Thank God for OPEC, eh?

Sam Tyler: Gene...not to come over all 'Dorothy', but I could help you. Everyone's traceable, even in this day and age. I could help you find your brother.
Gene Hunt: I already did, Sam. Just not in time.

[Catching White Supremacist after throwing brick through a window]

White Supremacist: What you doing, mate? You're one of us.
Sam Tyler: What, a dyslexic, racist moron?

[After finding out that Annie was kidnapped]

Gene Hunt: If Annie dies, then it will be on your sodding record!

[Finding Annie]

Sam Tyler: You all right? did they hurt you?
Annie Cartwright: I'm still here aren't I?

The Shooting [2.7]

Gene Hunt: Listen, you're not the one who's going to have to knit himself a new arse after 25 years of aggressive male affection in prison showers, I'm coming with you!.

[Sam startles Gene by waking screaming from a nightmare]

Sam Tyler: I was just dreaming.
Gene Hunt: What I call a dream involves Diana Dors and a bottle of chip oil! That's what you call a guilty conscience, my friend.
Sam Tyler: What?
Gene Hunt: The root of nightmares.
Sam Tyler: My conscience is clear, thank you very much.
Gene Hunt: Yeah, well, as for me, I slept like a baby! [Flops back down onto the bed]
Sam Tyler: Yeah, a twenty stone baby. Burps, snores and farts.
Gene Hunt: [sitting bolt upright] I do NOT snore!

Undercover [2.8]

[Sam and Gene are having another discussion about police work]
Sam Tyler: Our definitions of policing may vary marginally.
Gene Hunt: And yours is?
Sam Tyler: Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.
Gene Hunt: Training college?
Sam Tyler: Robocop. [Pause] You can't uphold the law by breaking it.

[Sam has just revealed that he is betraying Gene]
Annie Cartwright: That's why you're leaving, isn't it? I bet sometimes you can't look at yourself in the mirror.
[Starts to cry]
Annie Cartwright: I listened to all your problems and worries, and I can't believe I felt sorry for you.
[Slaps Sam]
Annie Cartwright: Hurts, doesn't it? That's because it's real !

Ray Carling: I met a bird, medical bird.
Sam Tyler: Called nurses.
Ray Carling: Big tits, arse like two cox's pippins in a bag.
Sam Tyler: She sounds enigmatic.
Ray Carling: No, boss, she was from Barnsley.

Sam Tyler: Tell me...
Annie Cartwright: Tell you what, Sam?
Sam Tyler: Tell me what I should do, Annie.
Annie Cartwright: [Emotionally] Stay. Here. Forever.
Sam Tyler: Okay, then. I will.
[They kiss]

[Gene pulls up in the car]
Sam Tyler: You shouldn't be driving with that leg.
Gene Hunt: Well, I am.
Sam Tyler: You were shot.
Gene Hunt: Yeah, and so will you be in a minute if you don't get in!

Gene Hunt: Shut up, you noncey-arsed fairy boy.
Sam Tyler: Such elegant banter.

Sam Tyler You're not above the law, you know!
Gene Hunt What're you on about? I AM THE LAW!


  • Back in the nick of time
  • Two cops in the same town at the same time... 33 years apart


External links

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Simple English

Life on Mars
Format Time travel
Police procedural
Created by Matthew Graham
Tony Jordan
Ashley Pharoah
Starring John Simm
Philip Glenister
Liz White
Dean Andrews
Marshall Lancaster
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 16 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) Kudos Film & Television
Running time 60 minutes
Original channel BBC One
Picture format PAL (576i)
Original run 9 January 2006
10 April 2007
Followed by Ashes to Ashes

Life on Mars is a award winning British science fiction and police drama television series. It was first broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007.

The programme tells the story of DCI Sam Tyler of the Manchester Police (played by John Simm), after being hit by a car in 2006, he is in the year 1973. There, he works for Manchester Police CID as a DI under DCI Gene Hunt (played by Philip Glenister). Over the course of the series, Tyler faces various problems, most frequently regarding the differences between his modern approach to policing and the more old-fashioned way of his colleagues. It is unclear whether he is insane, in a coma, or if he really has travelled back in time.

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