The planned third entry in the Life on Mars saga has been cancelled due to financial issues, its creators have confirmed.
Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, who brought us the original hit series and its sequel Ashes to Ashes, took to Twitter to offer an update on their long-gestating follow-up.
Fans were excited by the idea of an Avengers-style reunion of characters from both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, but these hopes have been squashed by the news that the project has been scrapped.
A statement by Graham (via Twitter) said: "Some sad news folks. After many months of planning, we will now not be making Lazarus. I can't go into details but the hurdles were financial not creative.
"Naturally all who were involved are sick as a jungle full of parrots. Not least myself and Ashley Pharoah."
He continued: "It was a cracking concept - pertinent to our times. It had a whole new round of things to say about the relationship between the public and the police. And it was bloody funny too. But that as they say is showbiz baby.
- For Her Sins teases trouble for Jo Joyner in unsettling clip
- Coronation Street's Roy overjoyed as Hayley's beloved coat found after operation
"Forgive us if we don't take questions on the decision or on what happens next for Gene, Sam and the gang. But we wanted to let those who were interested know so that you could instead raise a pint of tan n bitter to the Guv."
Pharoah added: "Really disappointing news but we gave it a proper crack. We're still thinking of a way to either share the script with you or bring it out in another form. Until then... pub?"
Life on Mars followed Manchester police officer Sam Tyler (John Simm) after he is mysteriously transported from the year 2006 to the 1970s, with spin-off Ashes to Ashes focusing on his superior at the force, Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), in the 1980s.
Life on Mars is available to stream on BritBox – you can sign up for a 7-day free trial here.
Take part in the Screen Test, a project from Radio Times and the Universities of Sussex and Brighton, to explore the role of television and audio in our lives.