Life on Mars: Season 2, Episode 8

Episode #2.8 (10 Apr. 2007)

TV Episode  -   -  Crime | Drama | Mystery
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 285 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

The CID investigates the murder of a miner, and determine that a cop killer is behind it.


(as SJ Clarkson)


(creator), (creator), 2 more credits »
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Title: Episode #2.8 (10 Apr 2007)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Marshall Lancaster ...
Noreen Kershaw ...
Tony Marshall ...
Jack Deam ...
Harriet Rogers ...
Philip Lightfoot ...
Security Clerk
Jacqui Boatswain ...
Officer 1 (as Jacqueline Boatswain)
Mason Phillips ...
Judi Jones ...


The CID investigates the murder of a miner, and determine that a cop killer is behind it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi





Release Date:

10 April 2007 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Mars stands for Metropolitan Accountability and Rehabilitation Strategy. See more »


Ray Carling: I got shot because of you.
Sam Tyler: I know. I am truly sorry.
Ray Carling: Still... I met this bird. Medical bird.
Sam Tyler: Called nurses.
Ray Carling: Big tits and an arse like two cox's pippins in a bag.
Sam Tyler: She sounds enigmatic.
Ray Carling: No. She was from Barnsley.
See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


My Coo Ca Choo
Written by Peter Shelley
Performed by Alvin Stardust
See more »

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User Reviews

Season Two: Another strong season and a great conclusion as it bows out on a high (major spoilers obviously)
19 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

Sam is still living in 1970's Manchester and working as a police officer as part of Gene Hunt's unit. Still unable to wake from what he assume is a terrible dream caused perhaps by a coma, Sam has continued to "live" one day at a time and make the best of it while still trying to work out how to get back home. His colleagues are starting to pick up some of his modern methods of crime investigation and he has settled in better than at first (even if his attitudes still rankle with Hunt's more direct methods).

I was a little narked by this series at the end of season one because I felt that it had so obviously bailed out of the logical ending and instead delivered a "plan B" that gave it a second season. For those that have not seen it, the final five minutes of the last episode felt like they had been replaced and it didn't really work with what had gone before it. That said I did comment at the time that I enjoyed the series as a whole and that time would tell if the messy conclusion was worth it or if it had sold out to ratings. I was therefore cheered by the announcement that season two would be the final season – news that confirmed that the plan wasn't to milk the audience for as long as they would watch. They deserve credit for this, particularly in a time where networks are reluctant to let any ratings winner go until it starts to fail (J3sus – just look at Lost if you doubt me, I have never seen a show play for time as much as that one!).

The better news was that the show starts season two as strong as it was in the first season, with the same characters and same approach. My feelings towards the stories had changed a little bit because at times the connection to the coma seemed an afterthought, while at others it seemed too much of any one episode. However after the first few episodes this stopped bothering me and I found myself getting into the stories as I had in the first season. The plots are solid as before and are delivered with a good understanding of what the series is about. It uses the period setting well, creating humour but never making fun of it. Meanwhile the crime plots are mostly good enough to be delivered without relying too heavily on the gimmick of Sam being from "the future".

The pressure was on it though to build to a conclusion that would satisfy the fans – if it was a copout or an anticlimax then it would sour the series as a whole, so it needed to be right. Ahead of the last episode the Radio Times did a big feature on theories about whether Sam is indeed "in a coma", "mad" or "back in time" but I don't think anyone really doubted that he was anything other than in a coma in the present day, so the matter of the conclusion was less about what the score was and more about tying it neatly up and bringing closure. Or at least that is what I assumed but somehow the final hour managed to flip all that on its head to create a mystery where I thought there wasn't one. In doing so it produces a final series of twists that is at once a "happy" ending that allows the characters to continue but yet also deeply sad and enigmatic as Sam retreats into a world of memory and embraces it in favour of real life. It is a clever piece of writing that I found deeply satisfying for what it was and was yet another example of why this series has sat above the level of just being another cop show. I'm sure some will hate it but you can't please all the people etc, you can only do your best which I think this did.

As with the first season, Simm was strong in the lead, carrying the "real" story in his head convincingly and making that work even when the scripts made it difficult to keep it in focus. Of course Glenister continued to dominate with his great big character that never really gets much deeper than the 1970's stereotype he plays so well. I'm not sure what other than the refreshing lack of Political Correctness in him has made him such an icon of sorts but he is good at what he does here. Support continues to be good from White, Andrews, Lancaster and others but the show is rarely stronger than when it is Simm and Glenister coming up against one another.

Overall then a strong second series that will please fans no end. It still isn't perfect but it is head and shoulders above most other primetime police shows in terms of quality and consistency. Oh, and my worries about it not ending at the end of season one were blown away by a very strong ending that manages to achieve several things that I thought would be mutually exclusive all at the same time and do it in a way that is grown up and satisfying. Great way to bow out – always leave the wanting more.

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