Life on Mars: Episode 2
Not in the 1970s. Not in Life on Mars.
This week's episode delivered another cracker, with all the complexity of a feature-length movie, and slightly less of the mystery surrounding Sam Tyler's 'mission' in the past.
A recap really doesn't do the plot justice, but if you're easily put off by spoilers, you might want to watch this week's episode before making the jump...
Where do I begin with something this complicated? A known safe-cracker released from jail for police questioning who is promptly kidnapped by armed men? A chief superintendent determined to pin a series of robberies on a local crime boss? A black officer from Sam's future on secondment, who will eventually become his mentor in the future and die?
I honestly can't remember crime drama being this good since The Sweeney in the 1970s -- the very show Life on Mars is based on.
But as ever, Sam and Gene set out on their usual quest to locate X marking the spot, but soon uncovered a far more complex crime taking place than a local gang robbing banks and post offices, and when they started leaning on the local Mr Big, they quickly discovered that the finger of blame was pointing inwards at their own police division.
What ensued was a series of denials, counter-blame, deception and lies which ultimately led to a horrible betrayal when Gene eventually accepted the truth about his own mentor, chief superintendent Harry Wolf - the real mastermind criminal
I really can't praise this show enough; from the cool tunes (this week we had Mott the Hoople, Mungo Jerry, Uriah Heep, The Hollies and a superb end credit song from Elton John), to the fantastic sets, locations and wardrobe, right down to the witty one-liners and the fantastic pay-offs.
This week was no exception; including a Mexican stand-off at the end which didn't conclude with the stereotypical cop-out finale.
I can't believe there's only six episodes left.