Life on Mars

Life on Mars (2006)

27 corrected entries

(5 votes)

Episode 8 - S1-E8

Corrected entry: In the last scene, as the car drives away a post-mounted CCTV camera can be seen on the right side of the road (these weren't introduced in the UK until the 1990s).

Correction: Remember, Sam hasn't really travelled back in time. He's in purgatory, which simply appears like the 1970s. Regardless of this, CCTV cameras were positioned inside and around high-risk locations such as banks as early as the 1970s.

Episode 7 - S1-E7

Corrected entry: Carling is seen at his locker putting a cassette tape in his pocket after Billy Kemble's death. If he did have a transcript, why did he have a brawl with Di Tyler later on over another one? Skelton only made one copy.

Correction: He's heading out of the station, it's more likely that he was putting his police badge in his pocket, considering it looks like a leather item.

Correction: The series is set in 1973 and 1974; an episode is set on New Year's Eve, 1973 and New Year's Day 1974.

Episode #2.4 - S2-E4

Corrected entry: The autopsy doctor told Hunt that he had to pry the "flower of death" from the first victim's severely rigomortised hands, yet he shows the detectives a pristine flower that looks as if it has been freshly picked. Surely the flower should have been crushed?

Correction: The murderer would not have pressed the girl's hands so tight that it would crush the flower. Rigor mortis made her hand difficult to pry open, not necessarily clench tightly.

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Corrected entry: In the episode involving a suspected factory murder, Gene Hunt apparently can detect Mr. Litton's aftershave from a considerable distance. How was he to know who was wearing it?

Correction: Because Gene Hunt associates that smell with Litton. Also, they had seen each other recently before when Gene Hunt could have picked up on the smell to make the association.

tom alma

Correction: Ashes to Ashes makes it clear that both series do not take place in the 70's or 80's but in a purgatory for dead coppers, seperate from our timeline.

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Corrected entry: In series one, all the characters watch the 1973 Grand National. In Episode 4 of series 2, Gene Hunt is reading a newspaper with a headline referring to Crisp entering the forthcoming Grand National and the weight handicap. Crisp was the runner up to Red Rum in the 1973 Grand National due to its weight handicap disadvantage.

Correction: This is not a mistak eas Ashes to Ashes makes it clear, Life on Mars was not set in the actual 70s but in a purgatory for coppers. So events would not have been the same as in our timeline.

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Corrected entry: In the second series episode involving the Asian drug dealers, they seem to be unaware of heroin. Given that it is set in the 70's and drug use was widespread in the 60's, especially heroin, you would think police officers would be aware of it. That and the classic cop movie of the early 70's, The French Connection. Surely the gene genie would have seen that.

Correction: But the series is not set in the 70's, it's set in a purgatory for dead coppers and Gene died long before "The French Connection" was released.

Correction: The series is not set in our timeline, it is set in a purgatory for coppers who have died so history will not be the same.

Episode 1 - S1-E1

Corrected entry: When Sam wakes up in 1973 he is on a building site that is the Mancunian way under construction, this road was completed in 1967. (Though producers deliberately decided to include this, it is still a mistake within the context of the show.)

Correction: The series is not even set in the 70's, it's set in purgatory, so who knows what may be different.

Episode 1 - S1-E1

Corrected entry: The Austin Allegro panda car parked outside the police station is a series 3 model which didn't start production until 1979, and this programme is set in 1973.

Correction: No it isn't, it's set in a purgatory for dead coppers.

Episode 3 - S1-E3

Corrected entry: Dialogue in the episode states that the date was 16 March 1973. However, in the first scene, the song that is played on the soundtrack is "Ballroom Blitz" by The Sweet, which was not released until August 1973.

Correction: The series is not set in the 70s' nor any specific timeline. It is set in purgatory.

Episode 3 - S1-E3

Corrected entry: In episode three, there is a building in the background somewhere with the letters "PALACE" on the side, this is a hotel. However in 1973 the very same building was called the Refuge not the Palace.

Correction: The series is not set in 1973, it is set in purgatory so anything goes as far as factual errors go.

Correction: Why is this a mistake? Are policeman not allowed to trip?

Episode 1 - S1-E1

Corrected entry: When Sam Tyler first gets out of his Jeep Cherokee, you can see a blue car coming towards him. By the time the camera cuts back to a birds-eye view, the blue car is gone. We don't see it pass, and there is not enough time elapsed for it to have passed.


Correction: This blue car is the very car that runs Sam over just a few seconds into the next shot, back at ground level, looking at Sam through his own vehicle's interior. That is why we don't see it pass.

Episode 1 - S1-E1

Corrected entry: The Ford Zephyr police car has a G registration, which means it was first registered between August 1968 and July 1969. This car is a Mark 3 model, which ceased production in 1966, so the latest registration letter it should have is D. This programme is set in 1973, even then I don't think the police would be using such an old car.

Correction: The police got quite attached to certain cars that perform well for them, and when a car is about to be stopped being manufactured, the various Police forces will buy up a load of them for use, but they won't necessarily be registered right away, hence the late 'G' reg. Also back in the 60's and 70's, Police forces didn't have a 3 year/ 150,000 mileage retirement on the cars either, so there would have been no reason why that car couldn't still be in use in '73.

Episode #2.3 - S2-E3

Corrected entry: Sam refers to Chunky Kit Kat chocolate bars. Kit Kats had been around since the mid-1930s, but the Chunky Kit Kat would not appear until 1999, well after the 1973 period in which this show is set.

Correction: Sam, however, comes from the present day, so would know about them.

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Corrected entry: The Ford Cortina used by Gene Hunt has obviously been modified after 1973 as the dashboard fitted to it is from a Cortina mark 4 which started production in 1976 it has a GXL badge on the grille which is correct as this was the top of the range model in the early seventies. But the E badge on the roof pillars and the 2000E badge on the boot are from the later 2000E model which replaced the GXL.

Correction: This car 1s in fact a 1975 cortina 2000E converted to a 1972 GXL model.

Correction: As Sam was in a coma all the time this is probably due to Sam's memory.

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Corrected entry: Women officers in 1973 were known as PWs (Police Woman) and not WPCs (Woman Police Constable). So Annie should have been referred to as PW Cartwright.not WPC Cartwright. The term WPC did not occur until the Equal Opportunities Act in 1975, which among other things re-defined the role and position of women officers in the Police.

Correction: At the time of writing we don't know if Sam Tyler has gone back in time or is in a coma/insane and imagining everything; if he is imagining it all it's not inconceivable that he would get some details wrong. The company that makes this series meticulously researches aspects of the show and although certain things slip through, some "mistakes" have been left in, in order to guide the viewer as to what is happening to Sam.

More mistakes in Life on Mars

Trivia: Continual references are made to The Wizard of Oz. In Episode 1 of season 1, Tyler leaves the station with the intention of walking back to reality. He says to Cartwright that he is going to 'follow the yellow brick road'. In episode two, after the principal drama has resolved Tyler suggests to Hunt that his 'guv' transfer him back to the division he came from. Hunt obliges by picking up his phone and saying that the Wizard of Oz will sort it out 'because of the wonderful things he does'. Throughout the series Hunt insultingly refers to Tyler as 'Dorothy'. And in the final episode, the song 'Over The Rainbow' can be heard in the soundtrack. Furthermore, the character Frank Morgan has the same name as the actor who portrayed the Wizard of Oz, an acknowledged "humbug", in the 1939 film.

More trivia for Life on Mars

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Question: When Sam reads someone their rights why does someone else tell him he's saying it wrong? This happens few times in different episodes.


Chosen answer: Sam is using the modern wording of the right-to-silence caution prescribed by legislation such as the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994. In the 1970s, the wording would have been different, if it was used at all.

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