Life Of Mars

UKTV – Saturdays from 27 June, 9.30pm

John Simm returns as the time-travelling detective in this hugely popular, award-winning series.

Ever since DCI Sam Tyler awoke, dazed from a car accident, with the haunting chimes of David Bowie’s inter-planetary anthem ringing in his ears, things felt a little off kilter. About 33 years off kilter. Was he dead? In a coma? Surely it couldn’t be that he was the butt of some cosmic prank that has sent him back to 1973? In series one, Sam confronted his most deeply repressed memories about his murderous father. He freed himself from the guilt and fears of his childhood at last. And yet Sam remained locked in the past…

As we join him in series two, Sam is clearly established in A-Division CID. Though within this department, a passionate, meticulous, modern policeman like Sam remains starkly at odds with his chain-smoking, bigoted, technologically backward, risibly corrupt and dangerously hairy colleagues. And none more so than his ‘Guv,’ DCI Gene Hunt, a copper cut from wood and barely discernible from the sheriffs of the Wild West he idolises. But Sam strives to use his knowledge and the techniques of the future to solve crimes as he would do in the present. With no rational explanation forthcoming, he finds in each investigation some understanding of the mystery of his life, some gradual acceptance of his 1973 existence.

Gradually the messages and visions Sam habitually perceives appear to link up, pointing in one direction. Perhaps the voices he hears aren’t those of doctors by his comatose form in 2006. Perhaps Sam’s journey has murkier origins than he imagined. Certainly, its destination will chill Sam to the core.

If being transferred to another era were not strange enough, Sam has to now consider whether the life he assumes he has invented has real foundations, and the life he departed can still be so readily trusted… If so, how on earth is Sam Tyler going to get back home? And where, and when, would that home be?

“… one of the best TV shows of the last ten years.” Caitlin Moran, The Times

“Crisply scripted, funny, imaginative – why can’t more telly be like this?” Jonathan Wright, Guardian

Starring: John Simm (Sex Traffic, State of Play, The Lakes), Philip Glenister (Kingdom of Heaven, Clocking Off), Liz White (Vera Drake, A Thing Called Love), Dean Andrews (My Summer of Love), Marshall Lancaster (Clocking Off, Family Affairs).