"Let's just redo The Sweeney," says co-creator Matthew Graham in the overlong Making Of, explaining the thinking behind 'Ford Granada' - the original title of this ingenious series.
Ingenious in its simplicity, really, as Life On Mars is essentially a blend of the roughhouse police drama and Quantum Leap. "My name is Sam Tyler," runs each episode's opening voiceover, explaining the dilemma of John Simm's detective, knocked down in 2006 and woken up in 1973, where his PC PC clashes with senior rozzer Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister). "Now maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home..." finishes the Leap-style scene-setter.
Crucially, Life On Mars surpasses Quantum Leap in many ways - especially with its acting, where Simm proves once again to be quite brilliant. The cinematic production values and witty, gripping scripts wouldn't mean nowt if it wasn't for the heart he gives to the high concept conceit.
It may be littered with sly genre nods, but Life On Mars is no cheap nostalgia trip. The clash of ideals provides substance, while the style is pure Get Carter.
BEST BIT: "Where's me mobile?" "Yer mobile what?"