Life on Mars to return for third and final season
James R | On 04, Apr 2020
“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.” Those words greeted viewers to Life on Mars back in 2006, but now, the show’s coming back for one final season, its creator has revealed.
The BBC drama, which sees a detective seemingly transported back to 1970s Manchester, made not only household names out of John Simm but also Philip Glenister, who played Sam Tyler’s sweary boss, DCI Gene Hunt. Hunt returned for an 80s-set spin-off, Ashes to Ashes, which arrived in 2008 and starred Keeley Hawes.
With the first two seasons of Mars back on BBC iPlayer, co-creator Matthew Graham (Ashley Pharoah was the other) hosted a watch-along on Twitter this week, during which he confirmed that plans for a “Final Chapter” are under way.
“We would never make another Mars unless we really had something to say and could push the envelope all over again,” he announced. “Finally we have something.”
The BBC has not yet confirmed the news, but Graham revealed that the plan is to make four or five episodes and “then done”. Events will take place in the 1970s, the 1980s and the alternate present, and will be set in both Manchester and London.
All that leads to the question of which characters will be seen on our screens again.
“We intend to get as many back (across both decades) as we can,” he tweeted. “So when you wonder who will be coming back for The Final Chapter – think Avengers Assemble!”
“DCI Litton will be back to get under Gene’s feet,” he added, also adding a tweet that appears to confirm Glenister is on board: “Remember. There are bad things and there are monsters. These things are real. But to get to you they have to get through the Guv. And the Guv is putting his driving gloves on.”
How will all of this be possible? “In The final Chapter there will be a TV show WITHIN our TV show”, Graham revealed, called Tyler: Murder Division.
The tweetalong took place on 1st April, so Graham later took to the web to reiterate that it was not all an elaborate April Fool prank. So fire up the Quattro – all we’re waiting for now are more details from BBC One, although it’s safe to say that production won’t be starting any time soon.
Can I say again to all including @RadioTimes who are suggesting that a final instalment of #LifeOnMars was an April Fool. 1 – you don't play an April Fool after midday. 2 – I hate April Fool's jokes. It's for real. #LifeOnMarsLive
— Matthew Graham (@TremensDr) April 2, 2020