Life on Mars

Life on Mars (2006)

26 corrected entries

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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.

Season 1 generally

Corrected entry: In a car chase, "Love Lies Bleeding" by Elton John is used. It didnt come out as an album track until November of 1973.

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.

Show generally

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

Show generally

Corrected entry: Series 2 episode 1: In the casino, the Three Degrees song "Year of Decision" is being played. This was not issued until 1974.

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.

Show generally

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.

Show generally

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.

Show generally

Corrected entry: In series 2 episode 5, the bicycle seen being ridden across the shot in the final scenes by a young girl is a Raleigh Wisp, which was a model introduced in 1983 so would not have been available at the time the drama is set - in 1973.

Correction: The series is NOT set in the 70's, merely an imitation of the 70's, a purgatory, so historical facts do not apply.

Show generally

Corrected entry: In series one, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" by Elton John is used. It wasn't released until the Autumn of 1973. Sam Tyler found himself in the Spring/Summer of that year.

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.

Episode 3 - S1-E3

Corrected entry: Sam conducted the taped interview, stating that it was 'Wednesday 16th March'. In 1973, 16 March was a Friday, not a Wednesday. However, 16 March was a Wednesday in 2005, the year the episode was written.

Correction: The series is not set in the actual 70's but a purgatory for dead or dying coppers meaning that it would not follow the exact timeline of the 70's.

Season 1 generally

Corrected entry: A policeman trips over the steps in the background during a chat between Gene and Sam.

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.

Show generally

Corrected entry: In series two, episode two, why didn't they just pay Dickie Fingers a visit? That way he wouldn't have ended up on the mortuary slab, and any info he had could still have been put to use.

Correction: Just because you'd do something different to the way the characters did it doesn't make it a plot hole.

Episode 4 - S1-E4

Corrected entry: The episode has a specific date attached to it: 16th March 1973. Yet in the episode, Austin Allegro police "panda" cars can be seen. The Austin Allegro did not go on sale until 17th May 1973, exactly two months later.

Correction: In the series finale we discover that Sam's seventies world is in his imagination so this and many other mistakes will be due to Sam misremembering his childhood in this era.

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.

Tailkinker Premium member

Show generally

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.

Show generally

Corrected entry: When Sam arrives at the hospital, the Bedford ambulance parked in the entrance is a late seventies model.

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

Season 1 generally

Corrected entry: Some of the houses have double glazing even though this would not have been available in 1973.

Correction: Rubbish, my parents' house, built in the late sixties, has always had double glazing.


Show generally

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.

Episode 1 - S1-E1

Corrected entry: After Sam wakes up on the building site, the Police Constable replies sarcastically, "You were driving a military vehicle", when Sam claims the car isn't his, and that he was driving a jeep. This isn't strictly true - the Range Rover went into production in 1970, and the Land Rover Defender into production during the 1940's, so it's not implausible that Sam Tyler could have owned/been driving a "jeep".


Correction: Nobody in the UK would ever refer to a Land Rover or Range Rover as a jeep. Even these days Jeeps are not common in the UK; in the timeframe of the series privately owned Jeeps would be practically unheard of and nearly everybody would still associate Jeeps with the military. What the policeman says is hardly unreasonable.

Tailkinker Premium member

Show generally

Corrected entry: Throughout the series, you can see some houses with satellite dishes. They did not have satellite dishes in 1973.

Correction: It is implied that Tyler is dreaming, and is not really in 1973.

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When the Capri crashes into the goal net & they go to arrest the suspect you can see sky satellite dishes on the houses in front of them. Satellite TV didn't start in the UK until the 80s.



The working title for "Life on Mars" was "Ford Granada" - a reference to the car that appeared in the 1970s Police Drama "The Sweeney". Related trivia: when "Life On Mars" was screened by a German TV Network, it was retitled "Gefangen in den 70ern" which translates into English as "Trapped In The 70s"