Sam arrests the henchman of Stephen Warren, a local Mr Big, when he learns the whole of CID are on his payroll. Sam also visits his childhood home to interact with his mother (using name of "Bolan", a reference to the glam rock star Marc Bolan), who was being threatened by the landlord, one of Warren's men. Sam tries to help her by giving her some money and she mis-understands his gesture. When Sam tries to go all out after Warren, he finds himself in fix when Warren sets him up in a honey trap. The girl involved in the honey trap sees the error of her ways only to be cuddled by Warren. Gene disagrees with Ray who says that if they don't play the game people get hurt and helps Sam bring down Warren finally putting his guilty conscience to rest. Sam also attempts to persuade Gene to swap his Red Rum for Tyler's Proud Percy in the Grand National sweepstakes.
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 4 Synopsis and Schedule