Life on Mars is a British science fiction and police drama television series created by Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah which tells the story of DCI Sam Tyler of the Greater Manchester Police who, after being hit by a car in 2006, finds himself in the year 1973. There, he works for Manchester and Salford Police CID as a DI under DCI Gene Hunt.
The series originally aired in the UK from 9 January 2006 to 10 April 2007. There are 14 hour-long episodes in two seasons.
Life on Mars premiered in South Africa on DStv's BBC Prime channel on Tuesday 13 May 2008, at 20h30.
Season 2 premiered on BBC Entertainment on Thursday 5 March 2009, at 20h30. There are eight episodes in the second season.
Season 2 Repeats
John Simm plays Sam Tyler, a driven and ambitious young detective who is determined to keep the streets of 21st Century Manchester safe.
However, the hunt for a serial killer becomes a personal vendetta when Sam suspects his girlfriend, and colleague, Maya has been kidnapped by the very man he's tracking down.
Then, after a near fatal car accident Sam wakes up, dazed and confused, in 1973. Struggling to understand what's real, Sam immediately questions if he’s gone back in time, is in a coma, or has simply just gone insane.
What follows is Sam's 21st century account of Seventies life feeling like a fish out of water. He must come to terms with an unfamiliar environment – an archaic CID unit where, using his modern know-how, Sam becomes integral to the investigation process, learning to adapt to the team’s old-fashioned technologies and etiquettes.
Throughout the series, Sam works on some of the hardest cases he has ever been involved with, not least because he's faced with a world where witnesses are regularly intimidated, it takes two weeks to process forensics and his colleagues will nail their suspect whether they have the evidence or not.
Sam's new boss is hard-nosed DCI Gene Hunt, who gets results by trusting his gut instinct and, all too often, sheer brute force.
In episode one it becomes clear to Sam that the killer who is holding Maya in 2005 started his killing spree here and now in the early Seventies. Could catching the perpetrator be the key to Sam's return to the future?