Life on Mars Wiki
Jim Keats.jpg
Jim Keats
Series: Ashes to Ashes
Rank: Detective Chief Inspector
Aliases: Jimbo
Pencil Neck Jim
Other Guv
Actor: Daniel Mays

Detective Chief Inspector James "Jim" Keats appeared to be a police officer sent from the Discipline and Complaints department of Scotland Yard to assess the Fenchurch East division of the Greater London Metropolitan Police (led by DCI Gene Hunt) as part of Operation Countryman. However, in reality, Keats was actually the Devil who threatened to bring down Gene Hunt and his world and drag Hunt's colleagues down to his department.

Early life[]

Little is known about DCI Keats before 1982. He had learned from the bible ("from his upbringing" according to Keats) and had received 2 A-levels in his youth.

He had read about DI Drake's shooting by DCI Gene Hunt following Operation Rose in November 1982. He also knew that the story of death of Sam Tyler had been altered. While in a coma in 1982-1983, Keats once visited Alex in the hospital who talked to her about being more significant than the others and warned her not to have the same fate as DI Tyler in 1980. (A2A Series 3: Episode 1)


DI Alex Drake formally met DCI Keats in February 1983 shortly after waking up from her coma. He revealed to her and her colleagues that he would be assessing Fenchurch East police station as part of Operation Countryman because they were specifically chosen following the shooting incident after foiling Operation Rose.

When he began to assess Fenchurch East, Keats took control to a certain extent. He permitted Hunt to remain in CID however, Hunt was banned of being in command or from using firearms which he disobeyed when he and the team attempted to arrest the kidnappers of young Dorothy Blonde during the first exchange. While Gene Hunt was inside his office during the celebration of Dotty Blonde's rescue, Keats intimidated Hunt by revealing his plans and his knowledge of DI Tyler's death. (A2A Series 3: Episode 1)

While CID was investigating the discovery of a severed hand in the post, Keats interviewed members of CID individually to support his assessment including DS Ray Carling and DC Chris Skelton. As part of Keats' plan to bring down Hunt's "kingdom", he encouraged WPC Sharon Granger who felt unwelcome to the team to quit the Metropolitan Police which she later agreed to. However, after going undercover she felt a special part of the team and decided not to quit. While celebrating Shaz's contribution at Luigi's, Keats briefly discussed Sam Tyler's death with DI Alex Drake, hinting that Gene Hunt killed him. (A2A Series 3: Episode 2)

On the day he was expected to depart, DCI Keats announced that he would be continuing to work with Fenchurch East to assess the three previous years of cases and the long-term efficiency of the department to which DCI Hunt referred to as snooping. When at the arson attack of a polling station, in another attempt to bring down Gene Hunt's "kingdom", he encouraged DS Ray Carling that he didn't have to prove himself "after some mistakes he made in the past". Carling responded to this by attempting to save a person inside the trapped building but became overcome by the smoke. He was eventually saved by fireman Andy Smith. While investigating the arson, Keats attempted to persuade Carling to be independent or join him but refused. When he discovered Falklands war veteran Andy Smith had been arrested on election day, he protested to Hunt. After arresting Smith, Keats once again discussed with Hunt what may happen to him. (A2A Series 3: Episode 3)

After foiling a suspected drugs robbery near Fenchurch East, DCI Keats briefed CID about DC Louise Gardiner and her undercover work. Keats approached and protested Hunt and DI Alex Drake following the interaction with undercover Louise Gardiner. While protecting Gardiner in Fenchurch East the DCI comforted her and encouraged her to "keep going". After talking to Alex Drake at the police station in the early hours of the working day, it is revealed that DCI Keats had an empty social life and felt compelled to work excessively. During the same conversation, Drake revealed to him that she was being haunted by the police officer with the severely damaged face (though she did not mention this specific detail). After beating up Daniel Stafford in anger for raping Gardiner, DCI Keats accused DCI Hunts of his actions and decisions for Chris. Angry with Keats for recommending him to transfer to his team, Hunt departed after purposefully spilling the DCI's coffee. On the following day, Keats revealed that the beaten Daniel Stafford had escaped an ambulance while being transported to the hospital for treatment. He again blamed Hunt for his actions because the young Stafford could seek revenge on Louise Gardiner (which he eventually did by kidnapping her). When attempting to rescue the kidnapped Gardiner, Keats accompanied the team, although Hunt was very reluctant. After Stafford collided with DC Gardiner when attempting to escape in a drugs van, Keats comforted the dying DC. When asked to file a report about DC Skelton's assault on Daniel Stafford, he defended him by concluding it was accidental/self defence. (A2A Series 3: Episode 4)

Before investigating the theft of 2000 pounds from the Manchester Police Widows Fund, DCI Keats briefed the team with Hunt's former Manchester colleague DCI Litton of the situation and announced that Litton would be sharing office with the CID. Minutes after, Keats asked DC Skelton to percolate some filed procedures which he accepted to do but was stopped by DCI Hunt when he asked Skelton to dispose of copies of illegal pornographic videotapes. Keats later asked Skelton whether he did percolate the procedures which Chris denied. It is later revealed that Keats reintroduced the tape recorder to the police interviews in Fenchurch East which Hunt deliberately spilled tea on. While working on comedian Frank Hardwick's psychological profile, the DCI offered some advice to DI Drake regarding her associating with DCI Hunt. After stopping DI Bevan from killing Hardwick, Keats announced to DCI Litton that he had been suspended and was to face a tribunal charge for not controlling his colleague Bevan. (A2A Series 3: Episode 5)

In the aftermath of the Prison Riots, Keats shows part of his evil side when Viv James is shot and Keats is the only one around. Instead of trying to save Viv, he just holds him and stares blankly at Viv until he dies from his injuries. This might have been part of his plan to bring Gene's world down, as the loss of a colleague shook the entire team up. ( 2A Series 3: Episode 6)

In the final episode, after the truth is revealed about Gene's world, Jim forces Alex and Gene back to Fenchurch East and reveals Gene's true human form to Shaz, Ray and Chris, beating Gene to the ground and taking manic delight in destroying the office, ultimately causing the roof of the station to disappear, revealing the star lit void that surrounds and contained Gene's world. Shaken and traumatised by the truth of their half-existence and Gene's deception, Shaz, Ray and Chris agree to accompany Jim to his department. Alex chooses to stay with Gene and tells Jim to "go to Hell". He seems to take this as a literal suggestion. However when Jim, Shaz, Ray and Chris arrive outside the lift which threatens to take them down to Jim's department, they realise the truth of his dark nature. Alex contacts them over a radio picked up by Chris and invites them back to help her and Gene take down some gem smugglers. Ultimately, the threesome turn their back on Jim and return to help Alex and Gene, ultimately finding redemption. They pass through the doorway of "the Pub" and presumably ascend into Heaven. Jim appears to taunt Gene and Alex one last time outside the pub. He attempts to delude Alex, now dead, into thinking that he can take her back to the world of the living and to Molly. Alex rejects him one last time and Gene punches Jim in the face. He falls to the ground emitting demonic screeching noises and writhing in an animalistic manner. Alex passes on and Jim rises to his feet, mocking Gene for his loneliness and continuing to taunt him with his unnatural screeching. Gene forcefully pushes Jim away from him and the demon slinks into the night, laughing insanely and singing "We'll meet again, dont know where, don't know when but I know we'll meet again."


DCI Keats

Charming and charismatic Keats often showed a loyalty and confidence in the presence of his temporary colleagues at the Fenchurch East police station but when alone with DCI Gene Hunt he was often menacing and revealing, intimidating the usually fearless Gene. Vain, manipulative and ruthless, he could be slyly influential towards his colleagues (especially DS Carling and WPC Granger in separate attempts to bring down Hunt). Jim had a twisted sense of humour and could be extremely sadistic. He usually maintained a calm and controlling demeanour but was prone to violent mood swings with a fiery temper that often bordered on psychosis. His true demonic nature was alluded to by his dim, humid office.

His character was likely named after the 19th century English romantic poet John Keats.

Key Life Events[]

  • Achieves two A-levels by the age of 18.
  • Joins the Metropolitan Police at some point in the 1970s.
  • Becomes a DCI.
  • Takes part in Operation Countryman between 1978 and 1983
  • Visits DI Alex Drake in hospital in 1982.
  • Transferred to Fenchurch East to assess CID. (Series 3: Episode 1)
  • Begins an ongoing rivalry with DCI Gene Hunt and begins to bring down his "kingdom".
  • Interviews members of CID (Series 3: Episode 2)
  • Encourages WPC Sharon Granger to quit the Metropolitan Police but fails.
  • Announces that he would continuing to assess Fenchurch East. (Series 3: Episode 3)
  • Encourages DS Ray Carling discreetly to prove himself to Gene Hunt and later attempts to persuade him to work for Keats.
  • Commands division of police in an (alleged) attempt to save Sergeant Viv James during the HM Prison Fenchurch riots.
  • Reveals his satanic origin (Series 3: Episode 8)

External Links[]

Keats' letters to Superintendent Callahan regarding Fenchurch East

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