Life on Mars Wiki
LOM Episode 2.jpg
The New World
Air Date: 16 January 2006
Written by: Matthew Graham
Director: Bharat Nalluri
Antagonists: Kim Trent
Previous episode: The Crash
Next episode: The Stabbing

The second episode of the first series of the British time travel police procedural television series, Life on Mars, was first broadcast on 16 January 2006. The episode, known erroneously as "The New World", was produced by Kudos Film & Television for BBC One.


An armed robber is brought in with no evidence, as a preventive measure. Tyler allows him to be bailed, and the man then goes on to commit a further robbery from a jewellers', resulting in an innocent woman working in CID being seriously injured. After the forensics is messed up by Chris, Sam finds new hope in solving the case with Leonard. Sam tries to persuade him to testify by offering him police protection, but Gene, Ray and Chris don't take the detail seriously, resulting in the lives of Annie and Leonard being at risk.


Sam is still very uncertain as to whether he is really in 1973 or in a coma in 2006 and dreaming the whole thing up. He decides that all he can do for the time being is help the team with their investigations. Nothing else seems to be bringing him closer to an answer. The team arrest Kim Trent, a notorious armed robber recently returned to Manchester, on suspicion of taking part in a violent robbery at a bookies, along with his accomplices Gordon Ricks (a.k.a. "Brickster") and Freddie Wilson. Sam realises that Gene has planted evidence to ensure that Kim is successfully convicted and is disgusted with his boss and his underhanded methods. He contacts Trent's solicitor and releases him without charge, causing a clash between Sam and Gene. Sam overhears June, a cleaner in CID, and her friend discussing her engagement ring. She is advised to take it back to the jewellers' to be adjusted.

Later. Sam and Gene are called to a blag at a jewellers'. They arrive just as the three masked armed robbers are fleeing the shop. Gene calls out to them and one of the robbers opens fire. Sam and Gene leap into the back seat of a nearby parked car and the bullets crash into the vehicle. After the robber has gone, they check they are unhurt, but looking up they see June slump sideways in the driving seat, riddled with bullet wounds. Gene is furious at Sam for allowing Trent back on the streets, particularly as one of their own people has been harmed, even making him clean June's blood off the road with his jacket. Sam is furious at being blamed and insists procedure must be followed. Visiting June lying in a coma in the hospital, Sam and Gene have a knock-down fight which alleviates some anger and Gene tells Sam he has to make things right by making sure Trent is caught.

Trent is pulled in again. After DC Skelton botches fingerprint evidence at the scene of the crime, they get a break when Sam and Gene see a partially deaf streetsweeper named Leonard Pitt near to the jewellers'. Sam notices his cart is damaged, and paint fragments on it point toward Trent. Back at the station, Leonard is questioned and it turns out he saw Trent without his mask, and his cart was damaged as a warning to stop him talking. Shown Trent's picture, Leonard identifies him. Needing a formal identification, a line up is organised, Sam tells Leonard it'll be alright as he will be behind special glass. Unfortunately, in 1973 there is no such thing, and Leonard comes face to face with Trent. Buckling under Trent's intimidation, Leonard walks out, saying it was none of them. Sam offers him police protection and Leonard identifies Trent from inside an ice cream van with Gene flicking the V's at three little girls wanting ice cream.

Gene isn't keen on Leonard as a witness due to his handicap, but seems to go along with Sam's methods, Annie Cartwright will stay at Leonard's flat whilst DC Skelton and DS Carling keep watch from a parked car in the street. When Annie calls in that the suspects are there, it is discovered that Chris and Ray are in fact at the Railway Arms with Gene playing darts, Annie is in real danger and Gene heads back to the station and Sam heads to the estate alone when Annie's radio cuts out. Sam finds Annie and Leonard at the back of the old Waterworks just as Trent, Brickster, and Wilson arrive, and they run into the factory, Sam knocks Brickster out, but they are soon cornered by Wilson and Trent. Pointing his gun at them, Trent says he will kill Sam last so he can see the results of his actions. As his finger tightens on the trigger, Gene arrives and knocks him to the floor.

Once again, Trent is in an identity line up, this time with spotlights shining in his eyes. However this time Leonard has no hesitation in walking straight up to Trent and pointing him out because, as he tells Sam later, "You said you'd protect me and you all did". At the hospital it is confirmed that June is going to be all right.


Cultural references[]

  • Asked his whereabouts during a previous robbery, Trent says, "Cookery class, I’m having it off with Fanny Cradock." Fanny Cradock (1909–1994) was a British restaurant critic, television cook, and cookbook author.  She appeared from the mid-50s until 1976 on a variety of BBC cookery shows, and thereafter did the chat show circuit. Fanny introduced the public to unusual dishes from France and Italy, often suggesting cheaper ingredients, especially in the post-war period. She is credited with the invention of the modern prawn cocktail.
  • June offers to clean up one of the cells, telling Sam, “I might be able to splash a bit of Dettol in there later.” Dettol Antiseptic Liquid Disinfectant is the name of commercial liquid and solid antiseptic products belonging to a household product line manufactured by Reckitt & Coleman, now known as Reckitt Benckiser. The traditional liquid product is a light yellow colour, but becomes milky white when diluted in water.
  • Gene reaches into his filing cabinet and comes up with a hand dripping in jewellery, saying, “Aladdin’s cave.” This refers to the tale of Aladdin, a poor young man who is directed to a cave to recover a magic lamp. In addition to the lamp, the cave is filled with treasure.
  • Complaining about Gene’s methods, Sam says, This place is like Guantánamo Bay.” The Guantánamo Bay detention camp is a detainment and interrogation facility of the United States located within Guantánamo Bay Naval Base at the southern end of Cuba. The facility was established in 2002 by the Bush Administration to hold detainees from the war in Afghanistan and later Iraq. Many countries and human rights organizations have protested the legal status and physical condition of detainees at Guantánamo.
  • Gene shouts at his officers kicking a ball in the office when they nearly knock down his Gary Cooper poster. Frank James “Gary” Cooper (1901–1961) was an American film actor, now considered one of the greatest film stars of the twentieth century. He was known for his quiet, understated acting style and his stoic screen persona. Gene's poster is Cooper in High Noon, a film now considered a classic, for which role he won his second Best Actor Academy Award. (See Gene Hunt’s office.)
  • As the ambulance attendants take June away, Sam gives the driver medical information on her condition. The driver replies, “I'm not a doctor, chief. I'm the ambulance driver.” Sam is used to modern emergency services which have trained, professional paramedics in most ambulances. In 1973, however, civilian paramedicine in the UK was in its infancy and not widely available.
  • At the Railway Arms , Sam loudly wishes he could be sent to another era and lists the luxuries available in 1988, which, he says, makes it seem “like bloody Star Trek compared to [1973].” Star Trek is an American science fiction TV programme created by Gene Roddenberry (1921–1991) that depicts space travel in the 23rd century and was originally broadcast on NBC in the US from 1966–1969. Nelson would have known of the original series from its first BBC run from 1969–1971, and its regular repeat runs thereafter. The series became a fixture on BBC1 with repeat episodes sometimes listed in the Radio Times as "Holiday Star Trek" and as such, was, after Dr Who, the most well known sci-fi show on UK TV in 1973. BBC1 repeats of the series lasted until the mid 80s with a final slew of repeats on BBC 2 in the 90s including transmission of the full colour version of the Pilot episode "The Cage", not to mention the animated version of the series featuring the original cast broadcast during the BBC's kids TV slot in 1973/74. By 2006 the franchise encompassed six TV series, 11 films, hundreds of novels, and more.
  • When the power goes out in the pub, Nelson says, "these cuts are getting worse, you know, man. Mr Heath had better sort himself out." Power cuts were a particularly grim feature of the UK in the 1970s, in addition to surging oil prices, high inflation, a bursting housing bubble, mass unemployment, and labour unrest. Sir Edward Richard George "Ted" Heath, KG, MBE, (1916–2005) was a British Conservative politician who served as prime minister of the United Kingdom (1970–74) and as leader of the Conservative Party (1965–75). Prime Minister Heath introduced highly controversial policies to deal with the crisis including a three-day week to save energy. By 1975 he had been defeated as prime minister and as leader of the Conservative Party.
  • At the pub, Nelson calls Sam “kemosabe”. "Kemosabe" is the term used by the intrepid and ever-faithful fictional Native American sidekick, Tonto, in the very successful American radio and television program The Lone Ranger. Although its exact origin and meaning are unclear, the term was used in the original radio series in the belief that it meant “trusty scout.”
  • Sam tells Annie, that he doesn’t remember much of 1973 because, “I was four. I was still playing with Tonka toys.” Tonka is an American toy company most known for its signature toy trucks and construction equipment. In Sam’s boyhood, the toys were still all metal and famous for their rugged, durable construction.
  • When Sam and Gene fight in the hospital, Sam does a couple of "martial arts-style" moves ending with the famous Bruce Lee "Come and Get It" hand gesture later used by Neo and Morpheus in The Matrix trilogy.
  • Not concentrating on work quite as hard as he should, Chris asks Sam, “you fancy a 99, boss?” A 99 Flake ice cream, or more commonly a 99, is an ice cream cone, usually made with soft serve ice cream, with a Cadbury Flake bar inserted, and often sold by ice cream vans and parlours.
  • Gene yells at Leonard, "Oi! Deaf Aid!" Electronic battery-powered hearing aids for the deaf were refered to as deaf aids in the UK as late as the 1990s. Another example can be found in the The Avengers episode "Maneater of Surrey Green" where Steed and Emma use deaf aids to block the impulses from the deadly plant from outer space. Never once do they call them "hearing aids".
  • When Leonard’s hearing aid makes the police radios whine, Gene says, “oh, don't fret, Phyllis, it's him. Lieutenant Uhura.” Lieutenant Uhura was a character on the American science fiction TV show, Star Trek (see above). Gene is no doubt referring to Uhura’s position as communications officer on the starship Enterprise and comparing Leonard’s hearing aid to the futuristic ear-piece Uhura used.
  • Sam asks the Test Card Girl, “What are you smirking at, Mona Lisa?” The Mona Lisa is a portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci (1452–1519) in the early 1500s, widely considered a masterpiece and the most famous painting in the world. One of its many intriguing elements is the subject’s enigmatic smile.
  • Gene says to Sam, “well, come on then, Brainiac. Surprise us with your new way of policing.” Brainiac is a fictional enemy of Superman appearing in DC Comics since 1958. His name has come to mean "genius", typically used sarcastically. The name itself is a portmanteau of brain and maniac, with influence from ENIAC, the name of an early computer.
  • Sam describes the suspects as being, “three IC1 males.” IC codes are shorthand terms used by the British police to describe the apparent ethnicity of a suspect. The codes are based on a police officer's perceived view of an individual's ethnicity, as opposed to that individual's self-definition. According to the Metropolitan Police Authority Website Archive , in 2007 "IC1" was defined as "White — Northern European".
  • Villain Kim Trent scoffs at the idea of being arrested by “the bird and the spastic.” “Spastic” is basically a medical term for certain muscular conditions. In American slang, the term, (and its short form, "spaz") is largely inoffensive, and has been generally used as a casual word for clumsiness as far back as the mid-1950s. In the UK however, the word has evolved into a highly offensive and derogatory term for a handicapped person. However, the fact that the British children’s show, Blue Peter used the term in 1981 to describe a featured guest with cerebral palsy indicates that in 1973, "spastic" did not have nearly the shock value it would later acquire.
  • Gene puts up a new poster from the movie, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. (See Gene Hunt’s office.)
  • Gene tells Sam he can get him a transfer, picks up the phone and says, “Hello, is that the Wizard of Oz?” Then to Sam, “The Wizard'll sort it out. It's 'cause of the wonderful things he does.” This is one of many allusions to The Wizard of Oz in Life On Mars. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children's novel written by L. Frank Baum and published in 1900. Although it has appeared in many versions, the best known are the original book and the 1939 musical. The film’s title song contains the phrase, “because of the wonderful things he does.”



Original broadcast[]

  • "Live and Let Die" — Wings
  • "No One Came" — Deep Purple
  • "Drum Song" — Willie Lindo & The Charmers Band
  • "Saga of the Ageing Orphan" — Thin Lizzy
  • "Lazy" — Deep Purple
  • "One of These Days" — Pink Floyd
  • "Dream Land" — The Upsetters

International version/DVD release[]

  • "Live and Let Die" - Wings
  • "You Shouldn't Do That" - Hawkwind
  • "Jungle Lion" - The Upsetters
  • "Saga of the Ageing Orphan" - Thin Lizzy
  • "Juniors Wailing" - Status Quo
  • "One of These Days" - Pink Floyd
  • "Dream Land" - The Upsetters

Episodes of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes
Life on Mars:
Series 1 (2006): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8
Series 2 (2007): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Ashes to Ashes:
Series 1 (2008): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Series 2 (2009): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Series 3 (2010): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Mini Episodes:
Fire Up the Quattro (2008)   Ashes to Ashes does Sport Relief (2010)