Sam's policing method from 2006 is causing conflict with Gene Hunt, his DCI who's policing method is rooted firmly in 1973. Unable to determine whether he really is in 1973 or a coma, he gets on with his job. When Kim Trent - high profile criminal is arrested, Sam discovers that Gene has planted evidence on him to secure a conviction, Sam intervenes and releases Trent to Hunt's fury. Sam argues that even Trent has human rights, Gene tells him he's never fitted up anyone who didn't deserve it. Between them, they set out to nail Trent using Gene's unorthodox methods and Sam's 21st century policing methods.
Sam Tyler, a police officer from 2006, is in the middle of a kidnapping investigation involving his girlfriend when he's run over and knocked into a coma.
He wakes up in 1973, a world ruled by local gangsters and football yobs. A world where there's still black and white television sets, and where sexism against women is still socially acceptable. Sam quickly realises that something is wrong, and is determined to get home, but things are never that easy.
Just as Sam is adjusting to his new life trapped in the past he begins to hear the voices: his own Mum crying out to him, doctors telling him to stay calm, and relax. Worst of all is the test card girl, who comes at night warning Sam...
Is Sam simply trapped in a coma like all the signs are telling him? Is he dreaming it all? Is he really from 1973, just dreaming that he's from 2006? Or is he just plain mad... ?
Life on Mars - Series 1, Episode 2 Synopsis and Schedule