Life on Mars Wiki
Annie Cartwright
Series: Life on Mars (UK)
Rank: Police Constable (formerly)
Detective Constable (1973 onwards)
Aliases: Cherie Blair
Significant others: Sam Tyler
Actor: Liz White
US equivalent: Annie Norris
Spanish equivalent: Ana Valverde

Woman Police Constable WPC (later Woman Detective Constable) Annie Cartwright was a female police officer of the Manchester and Salford Police and the eventual girlfriend and then wife of DI Sam Tyler.

Annie was the only person that Sam spoke to about his origin. Although she remained sceptical, she recognised Sam's skills as a police officer and his more progressive attitude. In 1973, she was promoted to Woman Detective Constable on Sam Tyler's recommendation. Many years later, she and Sam married and in 1980, they went to "the pub" together, suggesting that she was also a victim of trauma; she may have been killed, and not assaulted, by Vic Tyler in 1973, but this is merely speculative, and should not be considered as canon.

She is portrayed by Liz White.

Early Life[]

In "Blood,Bullets and Blue Stratos" it is implied that Annie's dad was murdered in the 60's, Sam witnessed the murder through the "eyes" of a police officer who witnessed the murder. It was implied that she may have be forced to marry a criminal against her will, but again it's not known if that could be true . Not much is known about Annie's past. Judging by her apparent age, and using actress Liz White's age as an estimate, Annie would be about 26 in 1973. She was then likely born around 1946.

Annie attended university and got a degree in psychology, ironically making her far better educated than most of her superiors. On her graduation day, she jumped off a twenty-foot bridge into a weir, with a bottle of Mateus Rosé in one hand and her bra in the other (LoM S1:E6). Presumably, she would have gotten her degree around 1967–68 at 21 or 22.

Although she might have joined the police force right away, a woman with a degree—and a father who didn't want her to join the police—might have taken more time to consider her options or try to get work in her field. (Annie would later recall her father telling her that entering the police force was too dangerous for a girl LoM S2:E3.) She told Sam that she was a barmaid for six months before signing up (LoM S1:E5). So although she could have had as much as six years experience on the force in 1973, she might have had as little as three or four. Although this is reasonable and doesn't seem to contradict anything, it is meant as a rough guide, and cannot be considered canon.


In early 1973, WPC Annie Cartwright first met Detective Inspector Sam Tyler while working for the Manchester and Salford Police. Annie interprets Sam's story of being from 2006 as a result of concussion at first, and then later as a psychological problem. Shortly after they met, Annie talked Sam out of jumping off the roof of the station when he became convinced that doing so would send him back to the "real world".

After Tyler's arrival, Annie began to make significant contributions to some important cases, mainly due to Sam's willingness to listen to her ideas and respect her judgement.

Over time, Annie and Sam grew closer, without yet becoming a couple. She was the only person that Sam confided to about his life in 2006. Although at times worried, at times frustrated with him, Annie remained a loyal friend.

Annie was later promoted to Woman Detective Constable on the recommendation of Sam. She was the only female detective on DCI Gene Hunt's team, and, given the times, likely the only female detective in Manchester CID. For the most part, her fellow detectives accepted her, but some, like Gene and DS Ray Carling, felt no qualms about making insulting remarks about having a "bird" on the team.

Annie nonetheless continued to make important contributions to CID's cases, through observation and undercover work. Her psychology training was instrumental in convincing Frank Miller not to set off a bomb that would have killed her and the team, and she was undercover during the extremely dangerous takedown of cop-killer Leslie Johns. It was shortly after this case that she and Sam became a couple.

Later Life[]

In the late 1970s, Annie and Sam married and were "the happiest couple ever seen" according to friend and journalist Jackie Queen. However, they did not have children (A2A Series 2: Episode 4). Although it's presumed that Annie eventually "went into the pub" with Sam, this is not said explicitly, but implied when Jim Keats says that his office can't trace her (A2A Series 3: Episode 8). Strangely, he refers to her by her maiden name, "Cartwright" even though she would have almost certainly changed her last name to "Tyler". Some have speculated that Annie was murdered in 1973, beaten to death by Vic Tyler, (witnessed by a young Sam) but this is never said in Life on Mars or Ashes to Ashes.

Behind the Scenes[]

WPC Annie Cartwright is a fictional character of BBC One's science fiction/police procedural drama, Life on Mars. The character is portrayed by Liz White.

Characters of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes
Sam tyler thumb.jpg  Gene hunt thumb.jpg  Cartwright thumb.jpg  Ray carling thumb.jpg  Skelton thumb.jpg   Alex drake thumb.jpg   Sharon granger thumb.jpg
Sam Tyler / Gene Hunt / Annie Cartwright / Ray Carling / Chris Skelton / Alex Drake / Sharon Granger