BBC axes third series of popular drama as show bosses admit to ‘financial hurdles’
The third part of the popular BBC drama Life on Mars has been scrapped.
While the original series, released in 2006, was a huge success, show bosses have now revealed that “financial hurdles” were too much to overcome.
The creators – Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah – released the sequel, Ashes to Ashes, in 2008 and had announced details of a sequel in 2020.
The project – called Lazarus – would be connected to the Life on Mars universe, with viewers hoping to see characters from both previous shows come together.
But despite revealing that a script for a pilot episode had been completed last year, in a statement posted to Twitter on Sunday, Matthew revealed the disappointing news that the project had stalled.
End of the road: The third episode of hit BBC drama Life on Mars has been scrapped, show bosses revealed on Sunday
He wrote: ‘What sad news folks. After many months of planning, we are not going to make Lazarus now. I can’t go into details, but the hurdles were not financially creative.
‘Of course everyone involved is as sick as a jungle full of parrots. Not least myself and Ashley Pharoah.’
He continued, “It was a great concept – relevant to our time. It had a whole new round of things to say about the relationship between the public and the police.
And it was damn funny too. But that’s, as they say, showbiz baby. Forgive us if we don’t answer questions about the decision or what happens next for Gene, Sam and the gang.
“But we wanted to let those interested know so you can bring a pint of tan n bitter to the Guv instead.”
Co-creator Ashley added, “Really disappointing news, but we handled it well.
“We’re still thinking about a way to share the script with you or get it out in another form. See you then… pub?’
Life On Mars ran for two seasons between 2006 and 2007 before a three-series spin-off Ashes To Ashes appeared.
Not anymore: While the original series, released in 2006, was a huge success, show bosses have now revealed that “financial hurdles” were too great (Photo: John Simm and Liz White)
Sequel: The creators – Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah – released the sequel in 2008, Ashes to Ashes (photo Keeley Hawes and Philip Glenister).
It followed the story of DI Sam Tyler (played by John Simm) who got into a car accident in 2006 and mysteriously went back in time to 1970s Manchester.
Meanwhile, in the sequel, Ashes to Ashes, he learns that he has a boss in the form of Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), an old school DCI.
In the three series that ran until 2010, he succeeded his chief in the force in the eighties.
A new series or one-off Life On Mars program was reportedly previously rejected by the BBC in 2020, according to Graham’s co-creator Ashley Pharoah.
In 2018, he said it had “made no financial sense” for the company to make a mooted 1970s Christmas special.
Both series are notable for combining the genres of mystery, supernatural, science fiction, time travel, period and procedural police drama.
It won the International Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series twice and has since inspired international remakes.
Disappointing: The project – called Lazarus – would have been connected to the Life on Mars universe, with viewers hoping to see characters from both previous shows come together