Life on Mars is a British science fiction/police procedural drama television series in the United Kingdom. It was first broadcast on BBC One between January 2006 and April 2007, lasting for two series in total.
A sequel to the series, Ashes to Ashes, also referencing another David Bowie song, began airing on BBC One in February 2008, followed by a second series in 2009 and a third and final series in 2010.
Life on Mars tells the fictional story of Sam Tyler (John Simm), a male police officer in service with the Greater Manchester Police. After being hit by a car in 2006, Tyler awakes in 1973 and finds himself working for the predecessor of the GMP, the Manchester and Salford Police at the same station and location as in 2008. Early on in the series, it becomes apparent to Tyler that he awakes as a Detective Inspector, one rank lower than his 2006 rank of Detective Chief Inspector.
As part of the Criminal Investigation Department, Tyler finds himself working under the command of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister).