Life on Mars
Life on Mars is a British television series broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007. The series combines elements of science fiction and police procedural, featuring an officer from the Greater Manchester Police (played by John Simm) who travels back in time after being involved in a road accident.
Sam Tyler (16 episodes, 2006-2007)
Gene Hunt (16 episodes, 2006-2007)
Annie Cartwright (16 episodes, 2006-2007)
Ray Carling (16 episodes, 2006-2007)
Chris Skelton (16 episodes, 2006-2007)
The series is named after one of David Bowie’s most famous 1970s songs. The story of Gene Hunt continues in the spin off Ashes to Ashes (2008), named after one of Bowie’s most famous 1980s songs
Life on Mars
It’s a God-awful small affair
To the girl with the mousy hair
But her mummy is yelling no
And her daddy has told her to go
But her friend is nowhere to be seen
Now she walks through her sunken dream
To the seat with the clearest view
And she’s hooked to the silver screen
But the film is a saddening bore
For she’s lived it ten times or more
She could spit in the eyes of fools
As they ask her to focus on
Sailors fighting in the dance hall
Oh man, look at those cavemen go
It’s the freakiest show
Take a look at the lawman
Beating up the wrong guy
Oh man, wonder if he’ll ever know
He’s in the best selling show
Is there life on Mars?
The Ford Cortina is a car built by Ford of Britain in various guises from 1962 to 1982, and was the United Kingdom’s best-selling car of the 1970s.
The Cortina was produced in five generations (Mark I through to Mark V, although officially the last one was called the Cortina 80) from 1962 until 1982. From 1970 onward, it was almost identical to the German-market Ford Taunus (being built on the same platform) which was originally a different car model. This was part of a Ford attempt to unify its European operations. By 1976, when the revised Taunus was launched, the Cortina was identical. The new Taunus/Cortina used the doors and some panels from the 1970 Taunus. It was replaced in 1982 by the Ford Sierra. In Asia and Australasia, it was replaced by the Mazda 626-based Ford Telstar, though Ford New Zealand did import British-made CKD kits of the Ford Sierra estate for local assembly from 1984.
The programme’s soundtrack features mainly early 1970s songs which were played as part of Life on Mars, as well as an original score of the theme music as part of the title sequence composed by Edmund Butt. The show’s title is in reference to the David Bowie song, ‘Life on Mars?’, which plays on an iPod in Sam’s car while he is run over, and on an 8-track tape in a Rover P6 when he awakes in 1973; it is used again at the climax of the final episode
Release Date: 24 July 2006
Also Known As: Ford Granada
Filming Locations: Bolton, Greater Manchester, England, UK
Followed by: Ashes to Ashes
Original network: BBC One
Networks: BBC One, BBC Four
Continual references are made to The Wizard of Oz (1939). In episode 1.1, Tyler leaves the station with the intention of walking back to reality. He says to Cartwright that he is going to ‘follow the Yellow Brick Road’. In episode 1.2, after the principal drama has resolved, Tyler suggests to Hunt that he transfers him back to the division he came from. Hunt obliges, picking up his phone and saying that ‘the Wizard will sort it out because of the wonderful things he does’. Throughout the series Hunt insultingly refers to Tyler as ‘Dorothy’. In episode 2.2, Elton John’s song ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road’ can be heard in the soundtrack while in the final episode (2.8), the song ‘Over The Rainbow’ can be heard in the soundtrack.
Sam Tyler: [credits introduction]
My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident, and I woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever’s happened, it’s like I’ve landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home.
The character name Superintendent Frank Morgan in later episodes of Season 2 was a tribute to 1970s police series The Sweeney (1975) in which Superintendent Frank Haskins was played by actor Garfield Morgan. Also, Frank Morgan was the actor who played the Wizard in The Wizard of Oz