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Life On Mars stars set to reunite and ‘journey back in time’ for new TV show after third series was cancelled


Stars of Life On Mars are set to reunite and ‘journey back in time’ for a new TV show after the third series of the programme was cancelled. 

According to a new report, John Simm, 53 and Philip Glenister, 61, will be working together once more, although sadly not for another instalment of the BBC sci-fi. 

The former co-stars will come together for an episode of ITV1’s DNA Journey as they investigate their ancestors. 

A source told The Sun: ‘It’s not quite the reunion fans of Life On Mars would have wanted, but it’s probably the closest thing they’ll get.  

‘There will still be some of the old dynamic obvious between John and Philip, and the fact that they’ll be journeying back in time to investigate their ancestors on the show seems rather apt.’

Stars of Life On Mars are set to reunite and 'journey back in time' for a new TV show after the third series of the programme was cancelled (John Simm and Philip Glenister pictured)

Stars of Life On Mars are set to reunite and ‘journey back in time’ for a new TV show after the third series of the programme was cancelled (John Simm and Philip Glenister pictured)

The ITV series sees celebrities embark on a life-changing journey to explore their family history. 

Life On Mars ran for two seasons between 2006 and 2007 before a three-series spinoff Ashes To Ashes.

John, played Sam Taylor a policeman from Manchester who time-travels to 1973 after a car crash and finds himself working in the same job under the command of Phillip’s character, Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt.

In June, it was revealed the planned third instalment of Life On Mars had been scrapped. 

While the original series, released in 2006, was a huge success, show bosses have now revealed that ‘financial hurdles’ were too much to overcome.

The creators – Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah – released its sequel, Ashes to Ashes, in 2008, and had announced details of a follow up in 2020.

The project – called Lazarus – would have tied into the Life on Mars universe, with viewers hoping to see characters from both previous shows coming together.

But despite revealing that a script for a pilot episode had been completed last year, Matthew revealed the disappointing news that the project had ground to a halt in a statement on Twitter. 

The former co-stars will come together for an episode of ITV1's DNA Journey as they investigate their ancestors, according to The Sun

The former co-stars will come together for an episode of ITV1’s DNA Journey as they investigate their ancestors, according to The Sun

He wrote: ‘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. 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.’

Co-creator Ashley 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?’

It followed the story of DI Sam Tyler (played by John Simm) who had a car accident in the year 2006 and mysteriously found himself taken back in time to 1970s Manchester. 

Meanwhile in its sequel, Ashes to Ashes, he learns that he has a boss in the shape of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), an old school DCI. 

In the three series that ran until 2010, he followed his superior at the force in the 1980s.

In June, it was revealed the planned third instalment of Life On Mars, titled Lazarua, had been scrapped

In June, it was revealed the planned third instalment of Life On Mars, titled Lazarua, had been scrapped

While the original series, released in 2006, was a huge success, show bosses have now revealed 'financial hurdles' were too much (pictured: John Simm and Liz White)

While the original series, released in 2006, was a huge success, show bosses have now revealed ‘financial hurdles’ were too much (pictured: John Simm and Liz White)

A new series or one-off Life On Mars programme was reportedly previously turned down by the BBC back in 2020, according to Graham’s fellow creator Ashley Pharoah. 

In 2018, he said it had not made ‘financial sense’ for the corporation to make a mooted ’70s-set Christmas special. 

Both series are notable for combining the mystery, supernatural, science fiction, time travel, period, and police procedural drama genres. 

It twice won the International Emmy Award for Best Drama Series and has inspired international remakes since. 



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