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Lazarus: Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes Sequel Series Not Moving Forward

Life on Mars co-creator Matthew Graham confirmed on social media that follow-up sequel series Lazarus would not be moving forward.

It was a little more than a year ago that we first learned that Life on Mars' Matthew Graham and longtime collaborator Ashley Pharoah had penned the pilot for a follow-up sequel series, Lazarus (named after David Bowie's final single release). The series would look to tie up the story that began with the original series and continued into Ashes to Ashes, with John Simm and Philip Glenister having both expressed interest in returning to their roles as Sam Tyler and Gene Hunt, respectively. But since that time, things had gotten quiet – so much so that Simm shared back in March that he & Glenister "read and loved" the pilot script but had no idea what the status of the project was. Unfortunately, we have an update – and it's not good news. "Some sad news, folks. After many months of planning, we will now not be making [Lazarus]. I can't go into details, but the hurdles were financial, not creative. Naturally, all who were involved are sick as a jungle full of parrots. Not least myself and [Ashley Pharoah]," Graham wrote to kick off a series of three tweets breaking the news to the fans.

life on mars
LIFE ON MARS – (Image: Life on Mars: BBC/BBC Studios)

"It was a cracking concept – pertinent to our times. It had a whole new round of things to say about the relationship between the public and the police. And it was bloody funny too. But that, as they say, is showbiz, baby. Forgive us if we don't take questions on the decision or on what happens next for Gene, Sam, and the gang. But we wanted to let those who were interested know so that you could instead raise a pint of tan n bitter to the Guv," Graham added. Here's a look at the first of the three-tweet update shared via Watford & Essex earlier today:

And here's a look at a tweet response from Pharoah, sharing that they're looking for a way to bring the script to life in another manner or release it to the fans:

Graham wasn't shy in the past when it came to sharing how he would like the show to continue, teasing that the sequel series would take place in the '70s, '80s, and '90s, as well as an alternate modern-day. "So Ashley Pharoah and I have completed the pilot script for Lazarus. It contains the words – Hanging, Boogie, Creme Fraiche," Graham wrote in a tweet via his production company Watford & Essex in April 022:

"We would never make another 'Mars' unless we really had something to say and could push the envelope all over again. Finally, we have something," Graham announced during a Twitter webchat back in 2020 before the global pandemic kicked in. "There are bad things, and there are monsters. These things are real. But to get to you, they have to get through the Guv [Gene Hunt]. And the Guv is putting his driving gloves on."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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