Looking back, it’s been a couple of years since John Simm let it be known that he’d be keen on a possible Life on Mars revival. At the time, it reminded me about the greatness of the series starring Philip Glenister as the ultimate old-school DCI Gene Hunt and John Simm as DI Sam Tyler.
Primarily set in the 70s, the series with ‘the epic soundtrack’ centered around Tyler, a policeman in service with the Greater Manchester Police who, after a near-fatal car crash in 2006, finds himself locked in the world of 1973 working for the predecessor of the GMP, the Manchester and Salford Police, at the same station and location as he did in 2006.
Life on Mars ran for just two seasons and then morphed into the 80s sequel, Ashes to Ashes, starring Keeley Hawes (The Durrells in Corfu, The Bodyguard) as Alex Drake who, sadly, steps in front of a bullet much like Sam Tyler met a speeding car taking her back to 1981 and the world of DCI Gene Hunt. While LOM alumni, DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews) and DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster) made the transition to the 80s sequel, Hunt’s Ford Cortina wasn’t quite as lucky giving way to an Audi Quattro for Ashes to Ashes.
In a recent Twitter Q&A, series co-creator Matthew Graham told LOM fans that the third and final series would be “…set partially in the 70s, partially in the 80s and mostly in an alternate now.” He also reassured fans who might have concerns about their favorite series returning, adding, “We would never make another Mars unless we really had something to say and could push the envelope all over again. Finally, we have something.”
#LifeOnMarsLive We would never make another Mars unless we really had something to say and could push the envelope all over again.
Finally we have something.
— Matthew Graham (@TremensDr) April 1, 2020
Simm had similar thoughts early on about revisiting Sam’s fate. “I think there were three years between Life on Mars and [follow-up series] Ashes to Ashes that we could mine,” he said. “And, of course, it’s about time travel, so you can get away with anything with time travel.”
While Graham didn’t reveal how many of the original cast would return, one can assume that John Simm as Sam Tyler is a given. “There are bad things and there are monsters. These things are real. But to get to you they have to get through the Guv [Gene Hunt]. And the Guv is putting his driving gloves on.”
This is awesome news! I. Can’t. Wait!