IF you are a fan of Sam, Gene and co, there is only one book you need for Christmas.
Life On Mars: The Official Companion Volume Two.
It’s as essential as a bacon bap while reversing a Cortina at speed.
Published earlier this month, the arresting companion is written by Guy Adams and designed by Lee Thompson
There’s also some added fun from Nicola Bourne, who runs the equally essential fansite by the name of The Railway Arms.
Having enjoyed Volume One so much, I sought out the follow up in my local Waterstones and even paid full price – £16.99.
But as I’m sure you are aware, it can be purchased for less online.
Thought you knew everything there is to know about Life On Mars?
Think again, sunshine.
This labour of love includes creator Matthew Graham revealing how John Simm almost ended up in a Cyberman suit, chased by Gene Hunt dressed as Jon Pertwee.
Matthew reflects on Sam’s final scenes and the emotional closure of the ending.
Lead director and Wizard of Oz fan SJ Clarkson also provides an insight into filming, which highlights yet again what an intelligent drama this was.
And she pays tribute to Simm’s astonishing performance as Sam Tyler, so far criminally neglected by those responsible for handing out TV awards.
“The thing that works for Life On Mars in my opinion is the truth of it and that’s a testament to John Simm,” she says.
“Imagine how stupid you would feel screaming at your TV, even in the privacy of your own home.
“To do that in front of a crew of 35 people – and to do it so brilliantly – is amazing.”
Producer Cameron Roach says the Life On Mars team felt strongly that they had done justice to Sam’s journey.
He adds: “It was still a relief when the majority of the audience voiced their satisfaction as episode eight transmitted.”
Co-creator Ashley Pharoah provides an Afterword, including a look forward to Ashes To Ashes.
The book is packed full of hundreds of photos and includes a behind the scenes look at the best show on TV this year.
That includes the design of series two, the Camberwick Green sequence and a detailed breakdown of all eight episodes.
Check out the links below for lots more on Life On Mars.
Note: Fans currently watching series two on BBC America should avoid Life On Mars: The Answers until they have seen the last episode.
Life On Mars The Official Companion: Volume Two
Life On Mars: The Blogs
Life On Mars: The Answers
Life On Mars: The TV Features
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
The Railway Arms