The Men From Mars

SO much to report about the final series of Life On Mars.
Interviews and background material, all held for several months until the Manchester drama returns to the screen.
Now there’s just 14 days to go before Sam (John Simm), Gene (Philip Glenister) and the rest of the A-Division team are back on BBC1.
The first feature on the second series is in today’s MEN – click here for the online version.
There’s more from that interview with John to come, along with others, including Phil, Liz White (Annie) and Marshall Lancaster (Chris).

I’ve watched episode one of the new series three times now and it gets better on each viewing – Gene’s kind words for members of Her Majesty’s Press, further clues about Sam and a whole lot more.
So much hard work, talent and genius has gone into making the final eight episodes, in what is a TV masterpiece from production company Kudos.
Now it’s almost time to get this party started.
Our expert features supremos managed to fit in just under 1,000 words for today’s feature. But, as ever, there are chunks I had to leave out.
For example, was there a moment when John (pictured on location below right) thought – yes, this series is going to work?

“When I saw back the shot of Life On Mars when he wakes up in 1973. It sent shivers down my spine,” he replied.
“I showed it to my best mate when we’d done a rough copy of episode one and he literally grabbed my leg and told me to pause it.
“I was like, ‘What?’ And I paused it, and he just went, ‘That is amazing. That is a TV moment.’ He literally had goosebumps all over him.
“To see his reaction to that, I just thought, ‘Thank God. That’s fantastic.’”
You may have guessed by now that I’m rather keen on Life On Mars – put the word Mars in the top right search box to find previous blogs and pics.
There are also plenty of others with a passion for the show.
That includes a fan known on the web as Yayster and the online community she has created over at The Railway Arms.
John and I discussed the site when we met just before Christmas. “They are amazing,” he grinned. “Things like The Railway Arms take my breath away. I love the fact that they love it so much. It makes me feel really good.”
Mr Simm himself popped in to the Arms last week to answer 20 questions. Click here to check out the impressive site.
*I returned from covering a judgement at the Appeal Court in London this morning, just after the announcement that Manchester had been chosen as the site for Britain’s first super casino.
And what’s featured in the opening episode of the second series of Life On Mars? Yes…a Manchester casino.
Click here for lots more on Life On Mars.
Feb 1 update: Click here to see a trailer of that first episode – and don’t forget to turn up the sound.
Life On Mars: Official BBC Site