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28 October 2014
Life on Mars

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Characters & Actors

DC Chris Skelton

DC Chris Skelton - Marshall Lancaster

Chris is a cheeky but likeable character, who finds himself torn between the modern Sam and old fashioned Gene. Actor Marshall Lancaster tells us more about his character.

"He's a bit of a dogsbody really - Ray and Gene send him on all of the rubbish jobs. When Sam turns up, Chris is impressed by his modern way of thinking. But that leaves him torn between the differences in the old and new ways of policing. His loyalty is torn between Gene and Sam.

"Like Gene and Ray, Chris enjoys going out drinking and having a good time. If there's an excuse to get out of work then he'll find it; he's not very thorough for a copper which is quite strange!

"He's also a bit clumsy and dozy. He always ends up slipping over in a chase or he's always the one that falls over or drops stuff. He drops food into evidence and at one point he gets tangled up in the back of football net when he's trying to arrest someone."

Chris and Ray are quite a double act.

"They're almost like a good cop, bad cop combination. Ray's always acting hard. He doesn't mind beating people up and is basically the straight laced man. So when Chris acts like a complete wally next to him it is quite funny. This comedy adds a light touch to the more serious and darker moments in the programme and it's great fun!"

The humour extended beyond what ended up on screen.

"I remember Dean bending down to pick something up off the floor and ripping the back of his trousers. I just heard him shout at the top of his voice 'COSTUME!'

"In scenes when we were supposed to be searching for somebody and making door to door enquiries we had to approach different extras pretending to ask them questions. We knew that we wouldn't be picked up on the sound and would just be in the background of the scene.

"So we had a bit of fun asking them obscure questions like, 'We are looking for a man with a tickling stick from Liverpool. Have you seen him? He's got lots of little men with him' and 'have you seen a big guy, massive hands, wearing a fez?'. All the extras had to take it really seriously but were desperately trying not to laugh."

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