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24 September 2014
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Life on Mars
Philip Glenister and John Simm in Life on Mars

Life on Mars




Episode 1


DCI Sam Tyler's world is about to be turned upside down. Moments after his girlfriend and colleague, Maya, is kidnapped by a serial killer, Sam is knocked unconscious by a car and wakes up... in 1973.


Sam discovers that in this strange new world full of cigarette smoking, gum chewing, unreconstructed men he's a DI starting his first day in a new precinct and he's got to prove himself to his new DCI, Gene Hunt.


Gene Hunt likes to throw his weight around. He acts first and thinks later. The only person in this alien world who reaches out to Sam is a young WPC, Annie Cartwright.


Dazed and confused, Sam finds it difficult to focus on the murder his new colleagues are investigating until he discovers a connection between this murder and the serial killer who kidnapped his girlfriend back in 2006.


Could solving this case be the key to getting home? Could it be a way to save Maya?


As Sam focuses on the case it seems that the biggest obstacle standing between him and success is his new DCI and his very different attitude to policing.


To Sam, a 21st Century liberal, Gene represents everything that is bad about the police force, everything that the force has tried to stamp out over the last 30 years.


It's a rollercoaster ride as Sam and Gene go head to head. Can they stop battling one another long enough to join forces and get the job done?


Sam is faced with the biggest moral dilemma of his life when he realises that destroying evidence in 1973 could save Maya's life in 2006. But could it really?


As he hears doctors voices from 2006 bleeding through into 1973 Sam becomes increasingly convinced that he's in a coma and that none of this is real.


He stands on the roof of the police station poised to jump off and find out once and for all if this is real.


Episode 2


Sam's dogged pursuit of evidence brings him head to head with his DCI, Gene Hunt, who has a more flexible approach to the pursuit of justice.


Sam is uncertain as to whether this strange new world is real or just a figment of his imagination. He decides, for now, to embrace his new situation and make the best of it.


But then the team arrest Kim Trent, an elusive criminal high on the CID's wanted list. When Sam realises that Gene has planted evidence to secure Trent's conviction he intervenes and releases Trent.


Gene is furious. Sam believes that Trent has human rights. Gene believes that human rights are for human beings and Trent doesn't qualify and, besides, Gene's never fitted up anyone who didn't deserve it.


Having been released by Sam, Trent carries on with his spate of robberies and a young cleaner from the station, June, is critically wounded. This world suddenly seems very real and Gene's methods seem more appealing.


But Sam knows that losing sight of who he is and what he believes in could take him even further away from ‘home'. He realises that the only thing he can do is put things right and find evidence that will nail Trent.


Episode 3


As Sam starts to feel at home in 1973 doctors in 2006 worry that he's losing the will to live.


As comfortable as he's become in '73 Sam knows that he can't give up the ‘fight' if he is ever to get home, problem is he's not sure what that fight is.


When Sam responds to a fatal stabbing at Crester's Textiles he's shocked to discover that Crester's is the converted mill where he lives in 2006 and the dead man is quite literally lying in his kitchen.


Sam sets up a forensic investigation but Gene thinks he's wasting his time as there's a rule in these sorts of cases – first one to speak did it. Sam is incredulous but Gene and the team all seem to believe that Ted Bannister, the first man to speak, is guilty.


Sam has found his fight. As he gets to know Ted and starts to uncover the truth of what happened at the mill, Sam realises just how much the concept of family and community has changed since 1973.


Battle lines are drawn in CID and Sam and Gene set up their own little camps. Frustratingly for Sam, all the evidence seems to be pointing to Gene being right about Ted Bannister.


As the evidence stacks up against him Ted confesses, but there's something about the confession that doesn't feel right to Sam. Can he persuade Gene to give him more time?


Episode 4


Sam's belief in doing the right thing calls into question the ethos of his whole department as he takes on local gangster Stephen Warren in an attempt to stamp out police corruption.


Gene believes that Warren and the police can co-exist and that the streets are safer as a result. Coming from 2006 Sam knows that in the future police corruption will irrevocably change the relationship between the public and the police.


It is this knowledge that makes him determined not to turn a blind eye. But he knows that to get to Warren he needs Gene onside.


As Sam sets to work on Gene, Warren sets to work on Sam.


When he comes face to face with his mum and discovers that she has money worries Sam, with best intentions, offers her the ‘hush' money given to him by Warren. His mother is deeply offended.


Appalled with what he's just done Sam seeks out Warren and returns the money. But Warren isn't about to allow Sam to put an end to his ‘cordial' relationship with the police and sets out to get Sam.


The full consequence of taking on someone like Warren hits home for Sam when a young woman gets caught in the crossfire. There's no going back for Sam now, he has to nail Warren.


When Sam discovers that Gene's reluctance to deal with Warren stems from an incident way back in Gene's past he realises that he'll never succeed in taking Warren out until Gene lays his ghost to rest.


Notes to Editors


Synopses for further episodes will become available nearer transmission.


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