Life on Mars – Bang!

Yes, this week’s review is a bit late, but then the episode in question was a week late after being postponed for some kind of sport thingy.[1] Anyway, back in 1973, Sam’s[2] still confused about his situation. Things get even more confusing when the Open University lecturer on TV starts arguing with the voice on the radio. They have a difference of opinion on whether Sam will come out of his coma with all his marbles. Sam prefers the positive option, but he would, wouldn’t he?

Enough of that, and on with the story. There’s a warning that the IRA have planted a car bomb outside a school. Sam doesn’t believe it for a minute – he knows what really happened in 1973, and he’s quite sure that the IRA were not doing business there at the time. He’s so convinced that it’s a hoax that he offers to check out the car while they’re waiting for the Bomb Squad. But in one of those typical bits of arguing and “nyah nyah, I’m braver than you”, it’s Ray who walks over to the car and gets caught up in the inevitable explosion.

While Ray’s in hospital, and everyone’s blaming Sam, Gene Hunt tries to arrest anyone who might have more than 10% of Irish in their ancestry. Things get more interesting when it turns out that a load of dynamite has been stolen from a builder’s yard. Sam still doesn’t believe it was the IRA, but as Gene puts it:

If it wasn’t the IRA, who was it, the WI?

And there’s lots more fun to come, including a classic “I knew it was the red wire”[2] bit, and some nifty detective work which leads Sam to find out what’s really going on, with some lovely interplay between Sam and Gene:

Gene: (being bullish as ever) So I was right
Sam: (holding in his frustration) We were both right
Gene: But I’m more right than you

All followed by a really very nice confrontation with the villain, with Sam coming out on top in the end. In the pub afterwards, Sam offers to buy Annie a Kit-Kat – and as she’s been so great, he’ll make it a Chunky one. Shame those won’t exist for another 26 years or so…

Sparkling stuff, well written, well acted, well put together.

[1] It’s no use asking me what kind of sport thingy. All that kicking, hitting and throwing of balls just passes me by.
[2] It’s always the red wire. Except when it isn’t.
[2] That’s Sam, not Sam, OK Sam? :wave:

2 thoughts on “Life on Mars – Bang!

Comments are closed.