Life on Mars promo shot with Phillip Glenister, John Simm and Liz White

Life on Mars – sequel series Lazarus has been scrapped

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Lazarus would have reunited Gene Hunt and Sam Tyler, but it hit insurmountable financial hurdles. 

A proposed follow-on series to the BBC’s terrific Life on Mars have been in the works for a number of years.

The original show burst onto our screens in 2006, mysteriously transporting the modern day police officer Sam Tyler (John Simm) back to the world of 1970s policing under the bullish Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister).

While Sam’s story concluded after two series, Gene Hunt shifted from Manchester to London (and to the 1980s). There he was joined by Keeley Hawes as Alex Drake for three series of Ashes to Ashes.

However, in April 2020 we learned that a sequel series was in gestation. Drawing its name from another David Bowie track, both John Simm and Phillip Glenister had signalled their interest in reprising their roles for Lazarus. But it is not to be, as Matthew Graham has revealed via his production company Watford & Essex‘s twitter account…

Graham goes on to suggest those interested could “raise a pint of tan n bitter to the Guv.”

Meanwhile co-creator Ashley Pharaoh suggests that they may possibly release the story in some other format.

Disappointing news indeed – let’s hope there’s future for the story somehow. We’ll keep you posted.