Hello…is that 1981?

LIFE On Mars may be ending as we know it but there’s good news for fans of the hit TV drama set in 1973.
BBC1 bosses today confirmed they are developing a spin-off show – also to be named after a David Bowie song – which could be filmed in Manchester next year.
Ashes To Ashes is set in the 1980s and is due to feature some cast members from the original show, if it gets the go-ahead.

The BBC told me this morning that they are in talks with Life on Mars production company Kudos about the proposed new drama.
But it’s still early days and the project has not yet been fully green lit.
A BBC spokeswoman said: “It is in development with Kudos and it is set in the 1980s. No cast, characters or any further details have been confirmed as yet.”
That hasn’t stopped BBC1 controller Peter Fincham getting rather excited about the whole idea. “We’re thrilled to have this spin-off in development,” he said at a TV industry lunch.
“It will be more Miami Vice than The Sweeney. Hopefully, we’ll have several main characters rolling their sleeves up for us.”
The second, and final, series of Life On Mars – filmed in Manchester and Stockport – is due on screen in January.
By the end, viewers will finally learn how modern day detective Sam Tyler, played by John Simm, ended up stranded in 1973.
But his fate, along with that of seventies cop Det Chief Insp Gene Hunt, played by Philip Glenister, is in the balance in what is promised to be a “natural and explosive climax”.
Sam was transported back in time after an accident beside the Mancunian Way at the start of the first series.
The idea for the spin-off, which would be broadcast in 2008, is to re-visit at least some of the seventies Manchester police team some eight years later.
“It will be interesting to see how their lives have changed in that time,” added Mr Fincham. “No doubt they’ll have swapped their flares for shoulder pads.”
For those too young to remember the original Miami Vice TV series, there’s more info here – although it didn’t actually start until 1984.
British cop shows in the early eighties included Juliet Bravo, which began in 1980, Bergerac (1981) and The Bill (1984).
It was also, of course, the era of Dallas (1978-1991) and Dynasty (1981-1989)…hence Peter’s fond memories of shoulder pads.
Click here for lots more on Life On Mars.
Life On Mars Extinct


Filed under Life On Mars

6 responses to “Hello…is that 1981?

  1. billy wall

    I realy hope they make this series the actors are superb the best the bbc have ever had in my opinion lets hope the spin-off will go on tv.

  2. Ian Wylie

    Billy – if you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to check out the link to later Life On Mars blogs for more news of Ashes To Ashes.

  3. elliott clayton

    Life on mars is the best show ive ever seen in my 15 year old life and i am saddened at its recent end however i did want to know what happened to sam so when my half brother told me about ashes to ashes i couldnt wait for its arrival on screen GET IT DONE.

  4. Ian Wylie

    Elliott – don’t forget to click on the link to later Life On Mars blogs, including two posted last night and this morning:
    Life On Mars: Ashes To Ashes
    Life On Mars: The Answers

  5. john judson

    Life on Mars was fantastic! As someone who can remember the 70’s well and with great fondness, how refreshing it was to go back in time. The story lines were gripping and the characters had great depth.Congratulations to the BBC for this groundbreaking series that was compulsive viewing. I can’t wait for Ashes to Ashes

  6. mrs s stevens

    Fantastic show, yet again having to wait for the new series with anticipation, i wish that we could go back in time and bring some of those police men back as we need it now,were far too soft for 2008.Gene Hunt,and crew are unreplacable,the new female DCI is brilliant she compliments Gene, im sad that Thursdays will be boring till the next new show of Ashes to Ashes.Thanks BBC 1 for listening to what the public want.

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