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24 September 2014
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Life on Mars
Marshall Lancaster is DC Chris Skelton

Life on Mars


Marshall Lancaster plays DC Chris Skelton


"Blimey! You look like you've gone ten rounds with Big Henry."


How would you describe Chris?


"He's a bit cheeky but a likeable 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 and 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 quite clumsy isn't he?


"Yes, he's a bit clumsy and a bit 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."


Did you enjoy doing the slapstick comedy?


"Yes, it adds a light touch to the more serious and darker moments in the programme and it's great fun!"


Chris and Ray are a policing double act.


"Yes they are, 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."


Did you enjoy ‘going back to the Seventies'?


"I LOVED it! I thought it was great. I loved the Seventies way of policing; gut instinct and not particularly PC. We need a bit of that nowadays; I think it's all gone a bit soft now.


"On set we were just boys with our toys, with guns and cars. The disco scenes were great too, dancing about to glam rock in a velvet suit, I really enjoyed it!"


What are your memories of the Seventies?


"I just remember everyone having long hair. And then there's the Chopper bikes with the gear stick in the middle, all the cool games of the Seventies."


Any funny moments whilst filming?


"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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