Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham has confirmed that he and his longtime collaborator Ashley Pharoah have scripted the pilot episode to a proposed sequel series.


News broke in 2020 that the team were developing a follow-up titled Lazarus, which would tie up the story that began in Life on Mars and continued in Ashes to Ashes.

John Simm and Philip Glenister have expressed an interest in reprising their respective roles of Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt, with the former teasing on Instagram in January that they have been discussing "life on different planets".

Three months later, Graham has now confirmed that the pilot script for Lazarus is complete, sharing the news via the Twitter account of his production company Watford&Essex.

The tweet reads: "So Ashley Pharoah and I have completed the pilot script for Lazarus. It contains the words – Hanging, Boogie, Creme Fraiche."

More like this

The post received an outpouring of support from Life on Mars fans eager to get their hands on the next chapter, which would reportedly bring the franchise to a close.

Like Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, Lazarus takes its name from a David Bowie track – the final single to be released during his lifetime.

Previously, Graham has teased that Lazarus will be set across the '70s, '80s, '90s and an alternate present day, as well as hoping for an "Avengers"-style reunion for the characters from Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes.

“We would never make another Mars unless we really had something to say and could push the envelope all over again. Finally, we have something," he confirmed in a Twitter webchat at the start of the pandemic (via The Guardian).

"There are bad things and there are monsters. These things are real. But to get to you they have to get through the Guv [Gene Hunt]. And the Guv is putting his driving gloves on."

While a pilot has been written for Lazarus, it's important to note that it does not necessarily mean a full series will be commissioned by the BBC, or any other broadcaster for that matter. Watch this space for updates as they come.

Life on Mars is available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide to see what's on tonight.


The latest issue of Radio Times magazine is on sale now – subscribe now and get the next 12 issues for only £1. For more from the biggest stars in TV, listen to the Radio Times podcast with Jane Garvey.