The Gene Genie Is Back

Life On Mars2 d

Dirty, Harry 

I was a little disappointed to hear that season two of Life On Mars is to be the last, a mere 16 episodes doesn’t seem like quite enough to satisfy the palette when it comes to this unusual cop drama. If internet rumours are to be believed there may well be the opportunity to enjoy the US re-make (if “enjoy” is the right word) or even look forward the much suspected sequel/spin-off called Ashes To Ashes (to keep the Bowie theme alive) that will be set in the eighties. All this speculation is somewhat missing the point though, and to a degree it feels like you should enjoy every installment all the more because you know that there are not too many left. It was double helpings first up as the premiere episode on BBC1 “In Colour”! was immediately followed by another one on BBC4… and they didn’t even put the digital logo on screen (someone’s listening, isn’t that great?).

Storywise it was all on a similar vein to series one (and b.t.w. that’s no bad thing) with Sam getting clues from his life in the hospital ward in the present day, which motivate his actions back in 1973.  Episode one saw a young casino boss called Tony Crane (played by the omni-present Marc Warren), who Sam knows is on the road to becoming a hard-to-the-core villain, but Sam has an opportunity to stop Crane’s career in its tracks and save the life of his fiance who’ll one day end up dead at Crane’s hands.  In part two we get a big shock as small time thief, the delightfully monikered “Dickie Fingers”, reveals the kingpin behind a spate of robberies is none other than DCS Harry Woolf.  Cue lots of conflict between the leads and a succession of great one-liners from the toughest cop Britain has seen since The Sweeney.  Just as a reminder, here’s one of my favourites from the last series….

Gene Hunt: I think you’ve forgotten who you’re talking to.
Sam Tyler: An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline-alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding?
Gene Hunt: You make that sound like a bad thing.

There’ll be plenty more where that came from over the course of the final six episodes.

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