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1 January 2006

Life on Mars

Life on Mars promotional picture showing the two lead actors,  John Simm and Philip Glenister.

More information about the BBC's new series about a time travelling cop is now available. Life on Mars, is a new show from the makers of Hustle and Spooks and will air on BBC1 starting in Januray 2006.

The following is taken from the press release about the series:

What's it all about?

The series stars John Simm as Sam Tyler, a driven and ambitious young detective who is determined to keep the streets of 21st Century Manchester safe. However, the hunt for a serial killer becomes a personal vendetta when Sam suspects his girlfriend and colleague Maya has been kidnapped by the very man he's tracking down.

But after a near fatal car accident, Sam wakes up, dazed and confused, in 1973, struggling to understand what's real; Has he gone back in time? Is he in a coma? Or has he simply gone insane?

What follows is Sam's 21st century account of Seventies life feeling like a fish out of water. He must come to terms with an unfamiliar environment and an archaic CID unit where, using his modern know-how, he is integral to the unit's investigation process as he learns how to adapt to their old-fashioned technologies and etiquettes.

Throughout the eight part series, Sam works on some of the hardest cases he has ever been involved with, not least because he's faced with a world where witnesses are regularly intimidated, it takes two weeks to process forensics and his colleagues will nail their suspect whether they have the evidence or not.

Sam's new boss is hard-nosed DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister, Vincent), who gets results by trusting his gut instinct and, all too often, sheer brute force.

In episode one it becomes clear to Sam that the killer who is holding Maya in 2005 started his killing spree here and now in the early Seventies. Could catching the perpetrator be the key to Sam's return to the future?

Life On Mars is created and written by Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah who all collaborated on BBC One hit drama Hustle, with additional writing credits for Chris Chibnall.

A picture of WPC Annie Cartwright
Where did Life on Mars begin?

The initial idea for Life on Mars came from a 'writers weekend' set up by Kudos seven years ago, to come up with an idea for a big new series. Or rather, Kudos sent Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharaoh to Blackpool for the weekend, armed with only a brown paper bag full of cash...

"There is still photo evidence from their brainstorming (or should that be drinking) session," laughs Claire Parker, producer of Life on Mars. "They had a flip chart with the words "70s Cop - Ford Granada" scrawled on it."

"None of us fancied littering the airwaves with yet more cop shows," explains writer and creator Matthew Graham, "and yet we knew that's what people love watching. So, we came up with a police show that we would want to watch: A cop falls back in time and tries to solve crimes in the midst of The Sweeney."

While Sam is trying to figure out why he is back in the Seventies he has to get used to his new surroundings. This includes the old cars, no mobile phones, the styles of clothes. Also interesting was the attitude to women police constables. Liz White plays Annie Cartright a WPC in the show, "Like Sam she wants to help people in anyway that she can. She joined the police force but she's stifled by the sexual politics of that time - women were often undermined, underused, ignored, taken for granted - but she fights on through that and is eager to challenge herself in any way that she can without compromising her integrity.".

A couple of publicity shots showing the cars used in ther series.  Up top is the Ford Cortina 200E and below is teh Austin Allegro police car
What was it like going back in time?

John Simm describes his experiences whilst filming the show below:
It was great to go back and 'rediscover' that era. For the first month at least I was looking at all the magazines on set and I think I read every single one of them about twice. The pictures of footballers, the big Curly Wurlys, Party Sevens and all that. And the cars as well, the array of cars!

Everyone on set wanted the Ford Cortina; it became quite a coveted item. Screeching car chases, fantastic!

Unfortunately I didn't get to drive it because it was Gene's car and I didn't have one which is unfair! Hutch from Starsky and Hutch had a car, it was a knackered car but he had a car all the same. Maybe a Capri or something would be nice!

With the costumes I figured that if this is all in Sam's head then he's not going to want to look completely ridiculous in a clownish suit! Luckily because Sam's from the future I didn't have to deal with the big moustaches or long hair or anything like that!

The suits were outrageously bad so I went for the leather jacket and the Cuban heels which were fantastic. Although it's hard to chase criminals in Cuban heals I have to say!

For more information about this show, see the BBC website dedicated to it at www.bbc.co.uk/lifeonmars/archive.shtml.


10 September 2005

New time travel show for the BBC

A new series is currently filming for the the BBC about a cop who wakes up to find himself back inthe 1970s. If you liked Crime Traveller, you may like this one as well!

Below is the press release about the series:

John Simm (State of Play), one of the UK's leading actors, is to star in Life on Mars, an innovative, witty and action packed drama from Kudos Film and Television, the team behind current hit drama Hustle and the award winning Spooks.

Simm plays Sam Tyler, a driven and ambitious young detective who is determined to keep the streets of 21st Century Manchester safe. However, the hunt for a serial killer becomes a personal vendetta when Sam suspects his girlfriend and colleague Maya (Archie Panjabi, Yasmin) has been kidnapped by the very man he's tracking down.

But after a near fatal car accident, Sam wakes up, dazed and confused, in 1973, struggling to understand what's real; Has he gone back in time? Is he in a coma? Or has he simply gone insane?

What follows is Sam's 21st century account of Seventies' life feeling like a fish out of water. He must come to terms with an unfamiliar environment and an archaic CID unit where, using his modern know-how, he is integral to the unit's investigation process as he learns how to adapt to their old-fashioned technologies and etiquettes.

Throughout the eight part series, Sam works on some of the hardest cases he has ever been involved with, not least because he's faced with a world where witnesses are regularly intimidated, it takes two weeks to process forensics and his colleagues will nail their suspect whether they have the evidence or not.

Sam's new boss is hard-nosed DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister, Island at War), who gets results by trusting his gut instinct and, all to often, sheer brute force.

The rest of his team have similar attitudes towards their work; DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews, Between the Sheets) is untrusting of his new colleague and suspicious of his 'new-fangled' ideas, and DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster, Clocking Off); cheeky but affable and keen to learn.

The only member of the team who has a less unruly and bigoted attitude is WPC Annie Cartright (Liz White, A Thing Called Love), an educated and open minded woman who helps Sam in his quest to find the truth about his new circumstances, as well as battling to lock up the criminals of 1970s Manchester.

In episode one it becomes clear to Sam that the killer who is holding Maya in 2005 started his killing spree here and now in the early Seventies. Could catching the perpetrator be the key to Sam's return to the future?


25 February 2005

Michael French moves to Chicago!

The publicity poster for Chicago the musical

Michael French is currently starring in Chicago at the Adelphi theatre in London. He is playing the lead male role of Billy Flynn. Depending on which website you look at he is taking on the role from the 28 February - or he has extended his run until the 27 March 2005. Either way - book your tickets now to see him!

Call the box office on 08704 030303 to book your tickets.

A publicity photo from Chicargo showing Michael French as Billy Flynn     Another publicty shot from Chicago showing Michael French as Billy Flynn

1 October 2004

Crime Traveller DVD Competition winners announced

A image of the cover for the Crime Traveller boxset

The draw for the Crime Traveller DVD boxset was held today (1 October 2004) and the two lucky winners are:

Stuart Baker from Colchester, UK

and

Paul Van Rompay from Ann Arbor, USA

Prizes are on their way to you!

Once again - thanks to Revelation Films for giving me copies to give away in a competition.


24 August 2004

Crime Traveller DVD Boxset released

The cover of the Crime Traveller DVD boxset For those who haven't seen the DVD box set containing all eight episodes of Crime Traveller is now available in the shops. Released by Revelation Films, the box set contains everything the two part release of the series does, with the added bonus of an interview with the series creator and writer, Anthony Horowitz.

The interview is nice and lengthy and has Horowitz revealing why the show was never recommissioned, what he thought about the show, and how and why he came up with the idea in the first place.

Crime Traveller DVD Boxset Competition!!

Those lovely people at Revelation Films have kindly given me two copies of the new DVD boxset to give away. So answer the simple question below and email me your answer to be in with a chance of winning.

And the question is...

If you don't return to the machine in time what will you be caught in?

A - A loop of eternal bliss
B - A loop of infinity or
C - A loop of circuitry

Pick your answer and email me at liane@crimetraveller.co.uk!

Good luck!

Rules

  • The competition is open to anyone who wants to enter who is old enough to watch a "Parental Guidance recommended" (PG) rated DVD. By entering this competition, you are stating that you are able to watch a PG rated DVD.
  • Only one entry per person will be accepted.
  • The winning entry will be drawn on the 30th September 2004 and the winners will be announced on this website as well as notified by email - please ensure you supply a valid email address.
  • All entries should include your name, address and email address as well as the full answer in your entry
  • Entries without a name and address will NOT be put into the draw.

Data Protection

Any personal information you give will be used only to inform you of winning the competition and to post out the prize of one DVD boxset of Crime Traveller the complete series - should you be a winner - it will not be passed onto a third party or be kept on a database for future use by me.


18 February 2003

Crime Traveller released on DVD and Video

Finally, after all these years of waiting, Crime Traveller is to be released on video and DVD. As reported on the Crime Traveller site maintained by Matthew Brant, the much awaited release starts on the 24th March 2003. The series will be released in two parts each of four episodes.

Mathhew reports that the releases will be followed up by a complete box set of all the episodes in October 2003.

DVD Extras

Each release will consist of a two-disk set. The first release (i.e. the first four episodes) will contain a biography of Michael French and Chole Annett, an episode guide and a synopsis of each of the episodes.

An image of the Crime Traveller DVD cover
Crime Traveller DVD

2003
An image of the Crime Traveller video cover
Crime Traveller Video

2003

23 September 2001

UK Gold to show Crime Traveller again!

Yes those lovely people at UK Gold are going to be showing Crime Traveller again starting this coming Friday (2nd July 1999) for the full eight week run. It's a late start again, so don't forget to set your videos for a 22:20 GMT start!


19 January 1999

Crime Traveller to be shown on UK Gold

Yes my friends, Crime Traveller returns to British screens courtesy of UK Gold. It starts it's eight episode run on the 16th February, at 21:40 GMT, so don't forget to set your videos!


18 August 1998

My thanks to Di Solomon for sending this info in!

Attention Michael French Fans

Michael is to start work on a new series for the BBC 1 in the Autumn.

From: Michael French

Michael French plays a 'Dishy Doc' in a series on BBC1 which is a 'spin off' from Casualty. It will deal with all parts of Holby General.

Mirror.

Michael French Fanzine / Website

Michael is very interested to see proposals which I am putting together for a Fanzine / Website. I would love to hear from Michaels fans that would like to join in.

I am looking for:

  • Witty stories of your meetings with Michael.
  • Pictures of Michael you have taken and like to have printed.
  • Hints you have in getting hold of articles and pictures.
  • Maybe help in comming up with ideas for articles for the Fanzine or Website
  • Any ideas on what to call the Newsletter and Site
  • Infact, anything at all that would be of interest to fellow fans.

For more information and details please contact me, Di Solomon:-

3 Hinton Walk
Houghton Park
Houghton Regis
Dunstable
Bedfordshire, LU5 5RB
United Kingdom

or email me at geordie.rose@cwcom.net

or contact Liane

Depending on the response to this is whether the Michael French Fanzine / Website goes ahead.

We would all like to thank Michael for taking 'time out' to take an interest. Also to wish him Good Luck in his new series.


9 October 1997

Crime Traveller Misses Out on Awards...

Last night on the National Television Awards none of the awards that Crime Traveller was possibly up for went their way! Out of the original listings that each category had, Crime Traveller sadly failed to be a finalist in any of them.

Unfortunately it's easy to see why. The show, even though it achieve quite high ratings for a show of it's genre, could not compete with the other shows in the categories. The other shows are well established main stream shows, which appeal to the masses.

However the highlight for Crime Traveller fans was an appearance by Michael French, who presented the award for Best Comedy Actor, which he gave to David Jason (for Only Fools and Horses). Michael looked extremely handsome in a tux, and sadly wasn't given enough screen time, but hey that's just my opinion!

It's a shame such a fine show doesn't get the recognition it deserves. Sadly this just gives the BBC yet another reason to not bring back the show.


27 July 1997

Vote for Crime Traveller in the National Television Awards!

The National Televsion Awards give the public the oppotunity to vote for their favourite television shows instead of some committee or other! The good news is that Crime Traveller has been nominated in three categories!

  • Most popular Drama Series - Crime Traveller
  • Most popular Actor, Michael French - Crime Traveller
  • Most popular Actress, Chloë Annett - Crime Traveller

What's more it couldn't be easier to vote! Simply pop down your local post office and pick up a leaflet, fill it in and return it to:-

The National Television Awards 1997
PO Box 6000,
Belfast, BT1 1RN.

Votes have to be in by 1st August, so be quick!

The Awards Ceremony takes place on the 7th October 1997 at the Royal Albert Hall, and will be screened on ITV.

Apologies for the lateness of this news, but I only found out myself a few days ago! SO GET THOSE ENTRIES IN!!!! Who knows if Crime Traveller picks up an award, perhaps the BBC will change its mind about cancelling it!


14 June 1997

Crime Traveller Cancelled....

Well, the worst has happened. A report in the latest edition of TV Zone has the following story....

"Chloë Annett's availability to return as Kristine Kochanski has been enhanced by the BBC's decision, as confirmed to TV Zone on 3rd June by the office of executive producer Caroline Oulton, not to recommission Crime Traveller for a second season. The fall in viewing figures from a start point of 11.46 million to a low of 7.35m has sapped the BBC's confidence."

TV Zone Issue 92 p. 6

It would appear the BBC is too scared to make another series, which is a shame as it had such potential. Thanks to all of you who wrote to the BBC expressing your support, and sorry it didn't work.


23 May 1997

Crime Traveller Renewed?

Thanks to Richard Riley for pointing out the story in TV Zone.

As many of you may have seen, TV Zone in their June 1997 (#91) edition had a little snippet about Crime Traveller on page 10. In it Dominic May says that even though Teletex ran the renewal story, the Executive Producer of Crime Traveller Caroline Oulton, knew nothing about it (as of the 6th May 1997).

Carnival Films, the production company, have a similar story. When asked, they response that no decision has yet been made, and they don't expect one for several weeks.

What does this mean? Well it means early reports of a series renewal are premature, and should be taken with a pinch of salt! It also means that we should keep writing to the BBC to show our support and get a second series commissioned! You can write to the BBC at the following address:-

Viewer and Listener Correspondence
BBC
Villers House,
The Broadway,
LONDON, W5 2PA.
Tel: (0181)-743-8000

We will have to wait for a least 6-8 weeks for a decision, so get writing and keep your fingers crossed!


8 May 1997

!Get the Crime Traveller Theme Tune!

Yes a very nice man has placed the Crime Traveller Theme Tune up on the World Wide Web! Amongst Mr. Data's feature article on our favourite show rests a 5.7Meg .wav file which is the best recording of the entire theme tune I have ever heard!

Due to my limits on the server these pages are on, I can not put it up here, so if you want a copy, go visit Mr. Data's site by clicking on the above link!

The Mr. Data pages are maintained by Eddie Marshall, and full credit must go to him for putting the recording up on the web! THANK YOU EDDIE!!


1 May 1997

BREAK OPEN THE CHAMPAIGN!
!!!CRIME TRAVELLER HAS GOT A SECOND SERIES!!!

Yes it's true! I received an e-mail from Rebecca Payne (Thank you Rebecca!) who had spotted a piece on teletex page 127 which reads as follows:-

Fans of the BBC's new scifi series Crime Traveller have got their way - a new series is to be made. The show, starring Michael French, currently draws eight million viewers and fans have inundated the BBC with demands for a second series.

Many thanks to those of you who wrote to the BBC!