Life on Mars co-creator has “a new idea” for “another journey” for Sam Tyler

Matthew Graham says he is "ruminating" on a Life on Mars sequel

Philip Glenister and John Simm

Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham could bring back the hit BBC One show for another time-travelling run.

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The series ran for two seasons back in 2006, spanning sequel Ashes to Ashes and many subsequent adaptations across the globe.

It sees modern-day Manchester copper Sam Tyler (John Simm) wake up in the 70s following a car accident. Once there, he encounters notoriously unreconstructed DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), who also appears in Ashes to Ashes.

Graham said he is thinking about “something else for Sam Tyler, another journey for Sam Tyler to go on.”

“Obviously, for reasons you understand, I’m not going to go into details of what I’ve literally been ruminating on with the new idea,” he told Den of Geek, “but what I can tell you is that I don’t think going back into other decades is going to be the answer anymore. I think however it finally cooks itself into whatever being it is, it is definitely not going to be just ‘knockabout’ and playschool.”

The drama ended with the implication that Tyler committed suicide in order to return to the 70s, after he awoke from the coma that had put him there in the first place. This was confirmed when Ashes to Ashes revealed that the past worlds represented in both series (Ashes to Ashes is set in the ’80s) are a Purgatory/limbo for dead police officers.

But it also implied that Tyler had moved on by taking up Hunt’s offer to “go to the pub”. Does that mean a third season could take viewers to heaven? It’s too early to tell, but it certainly sounds like a possibility.

What Graham does know is that it will be “satisfying and it will be exciting, and there will be a fantastical element to it, and it will hopefully be funny, but it will be dark and it will be serious as well. It will be about something.”

And though it’s likely a reboot will stay true to the original in some aspects, others will be updated to fit the times, namely some of Hunt’s less evolved attitudes, as Graham said:

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“I don’t think you could just throw a Gene Hunt around now the way we could even ten years ago, and just go ‘isn’t it funny, isn’t it funny? He calls women birds!'”