[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/LOM_9279.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[-You are surrounded by Armed Bastards.-] ]]

->''"My name is Sam Tyler. I had an accident and woke up in 1973. Am I mad, in a coma, or back in time? Whatever's happened, it's like I've landed on a different planet. Now, maybe if I can work out the reason, I can get home."''
-->-- '''Sam Tyler,''' opening titles.

BBC FishOutOfWater crime drama, 2006-2007; there was a deliberate decision to [[BritishBrevity end the show after two seasons]].

[[UsefulNotes/BritishCoppers DCI]] Sam Tyler is a normal, by-the-book 2006 police officer. Until the day he is hit by a car and wakes up in 1973.

He is still a police officer, but has been demoted to [[UsefulNotes/BritishCoppers DI]]. Now he has to get used to a policing world with no DNA profiling, no computers and no Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

The most rational explanation is that he's in some kind of coma, as messages from 2006 keep entering his head. But Sam's 1973 is so perfectly detailed, right down to details far too minute for him to imagine, that he has no idea what is going on.

More to the point, the criminal who kidnapped Sam's girlfriend on the day he was run over appears to be active in 1973. If Sam apprehends him in the past, can he save his girlfriend in the future and return home?

Remade into a American show, also called ''[[Series/LifeOnMars2008 Life on Mars]]'' and a Spanish show called ''Series/LaChicaDeAyer''. A Russian remake called ''The Dark Side of the Moon'' is in the works, sending their protagonist back before the fall of communism in 1979.

Followed by ''AshesToAshes'', which shared some of the cast. Although the first two series of that show were largely a standalone story, the third featured numerous connections to ''Life on Mars'', and finally explained the truth about what was happening all along. '''This means that even if you've watched the ''Life on Mars'' finale, this page still contains spoilers.'''

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!!This show provides examples of:

* AdventuresInComaland: Whenever 2007 Sam's health declines, reality goes haywire.
* AlmostKiss: That would be Sam and Annie.
* AloneWithThePsycho: Annie and [[spoiler: Don Witham]].
* AlternateEnding / DarkerAndEdgier: [[spoiler: The original ending was to have been a cut to black, indicating Sam's death and no afterlife.]] Both John Simm and the producers were sad they weren't allowed to use it.
* AlwaysMurder: Subverted in "The Stabbing", in which [[spoiler: the "victim" turns out to have been killed by a faulty textile loom]].
* AndImTheQueenOfSheba: While Sam, Gene and Annie are reminiscing about their lives during a hostage situation, Sam forgets himself and recounts his promotion to DCI in the modern day. Quoth Gene: "Was that the same day I became King of Egypt?"
** And when Sam tries to suggest that Patrick O'Brien isn't [[spoiler:a terrorist]]:
--> '''Gene:''' And maybe Enoch Powell's throwing one up ShirleyBassey.
* ArmedBlag
* AsTheGoodBookSays:
--> '''Gene:''' I'm not a Catholic meself, [[spoiler: Mr. Warren]], but isn't there something about "Thou shalt not [[HookersAndBlow suck off rent boys]]"?
* AsYouKnow: In the series finale, Sam is secretly taping an 'interrogation' in the lost and found. When Gene handcuffs the suspect to a chair, Sam describes for the benefit of the tape, to which Gene says '[[LeaningOnTheFourthWall What're you, the narrator?]]'
* {{Badass}}: Gene Hunt.
* BadGuyBar: Of a sort. The ''Trafford Arms'', the Manchester United pub that Sam and Gene go undercover in might count.
* BadHumorTruck: Gene's in [[FlippingTheBird no mood]] to share his ice cream with little kids.
* BankRobbery
* BatmanGambit: After episode seven's death-in-police-custody, Gene cracks down on Sam's attempts to find out who's responsible. Gene actually wants to find out the truth as much as Sam, but believes investigating his own squad would be "suicide for morale". Instead, he provokes Sam into working that much harder.
* BookDumb: Ray and Chris.
* BornInTheWrongCentury: Reg Cole
* BrawnHilda: Big Bird.
* BreakingTheFourthWall: [[spoiler: The very last thing that happens in the series is that the Test Card Girl walks up to the camera, looks straight into it and reaches up as if pressing a button just to the side of the camera making the screen go black like she "switches off" the viewer's TV set.]]
* BritishBrevity: Only 16 episodes total for the original show, and 24 for ''AshesToAshes''.
* BrokenPedestal: [[spoiler: Vic Tyler]] for Sam, and [[spoiler: Harry Woolf]] for Gene.
* CallBack: In 1973, Annie prevents Sam from leaping off the police station roof. [[spoiler: In 2007, he takes the plunge]].
* CartwrightCurse: Both reversed and subverted, interestingly enough.
* CelebrityParadox: Sam makes a ''Series/DoctorWho'' reference to Annie, so it would've needed to make sense to someone in the 70s, but John Simm played The Master in New Who. [[spoiler:But not until the year after Sam Tyler died.]] Incidentally, Roger Delgado ([[TheNthDoctor the first actor to play The Master]]) died in 1973 and his last Who story, "Frontier in Space", was on in the spring of 1973, when Sam arrived. Sam Tyler was also named after New Who's Tylers. In the American version, his mother is even named Rose.
* ChainedToABed: Sam ends up like this (and naked) after standing up to a crime lord, so that they can take blackmail pictures of him. Gene, to whom Sam has been ranting about 'coppers have to be above reproach', ends up discovering him and is beside himself with glee at the sight. So much so, that he invites DC Annie Cartwright into the room. Moral of the story: don't piss off crime lords. Or Gene Hunt. (Cartwright later admits she rather liked [[ShirtlessScene what she saw though]].)
* ClearMyName: Gene, in an ironic reversal.
* ColorWash: The colors are drenched in yellow to make the series appear 'vintage'.
* CommanderContrarian: Gene fills this role for Sam.
* {{Confessional}}
* CounterfeitCash
* CreepyChild: ([[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Test_Card_F the Test Card F girl]])
* CultSoundtrack: If it was a hit in the 70's, you'll hear it on this series.
* CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon: "You so much as ''spit'' out of line, and I'll have your scrotum on a barbed-wire plate."
* DisappearedDad: the final episode of series 1 has Sam meeting his just before he disappears
* DoubleStandardRapeFemaleOnMale: Subverted--the act is shown as nightmarish and disconcerting, and everyone at the station assumes Sam planned to get laid, essentially blaming Sam for his own assault.
-->'''Chris:''' Someone called for you, sir. Told 'em you were [[ObligatoryJoke all tied up]].
* DreamApocalypse
* TheDulcineaEffect: Sam's habit of inviting every girl he wants to help back to his apartment, although sweet, isn't necessarily the wisest course of action.
* EstablishingCharacterMoment: There's this example for Gene in the first episode, which might also be an Establishing Moment for the series:
-->'''Gene Hunt:''' They reckon you've got concussion - I couldn't give a tart's furry cup if half your brains were falling out. Don't ''ever'' waltz into my kingdom acting king of the jungle.
-->'''Sam Tyler:''' Who the hell are you?
-->'''Gene Hunt:''' Gene Hunt. Your DCI. And it's 1973. Almost dinner time. ''I'm 'aving 'oops.''
* EvenEvilHasStandards: Played for laughs in the following exchange with a convicted sheep buggerer:
-->'''Chris Skelton''': Look, Dickie, a lamb!
-->'''Dickie Fingers''': What do you think I am, a nonce? [[note]] A paedophile[[/note]].
* EverybodySmokes: except Sam.
* EvilAllAlong: [[spoiler:Vic Tyler, Harry Woolf, and Toolbox & Big Bird]].
** Also, depending how you look at it, [[spoiler:Frank Morgan]].
* FacialCompositeFailure: Which inspires Sam to pull in a caricaturist as a sketch artist.
* FairCop: A lot of the cast are really good looking, especially Annie Cartwright and Chris Skelton. Of course, fandom is gaga for Gene Hunt, [[strike:even when]] ''especially'' when he's running around in bad seventies swims and pasty white skin. And if you're not too keen on Gene's looks (*ducks fruit*), there's always Sam in those open-necked shirts and those tight flares that show off his legs ''marvelously''.
* FalseFlagOperation: The series finale, episode 208.
** Also happens in Series 1, Episode 5, to incite a football feud.
* {{Fauxreigner}}: Nelson the barman, who pretends to have a natural Jamaican accent.
* FingertipDrugAnalysis: Sam identifies heroin by taste.
* FirstEpisodeSpoiler: The collision and time travel sequence occurs about ten or fifteen minutes into the first episode. Up until that point, the show appears in all respects to be a perfectly mundane (if rather uninspired) contemporary police drama. The opening credits sequence, which explicitly spells out the show's premise, is not shown until the very end of the first episode, presumably to maintain this element of surprise.
* {{Flanderization}}: In Series 1, Gene Hunt is a taciturn grouch who occasionally raises his voice. In Series 2, you wonder why the veins in his temples aren't exploding from sheer rage.
** Similarly, Ray becomes even more slovenly and incompetent in Series 2, despite Gene's assurance that he collars "more villains than this entire department put together."
* FlashedBadgeHijack: Subverted in the first episode of Series Two. Sam is unable to move out of the way of an oncoming car. In a desperate attempt to do something, he holds up his badge, closing his eyes as he anticipates the crash. The car comes to a stop inches away. [[spoiler: Because its tires were punctured, courtesy of Annie Cartwright's [[strike:stringer]] stinger.]]
* FramingTheGuiltyParty: When Sam tries it, it causes {{Stable Time Loop}}s of a sort Sam doesn't really want. When Gene Hunt tries it, Sam objects.
* FunWithAcronyms:
-->'''Gene:''' Good work, Raymondo. I'm bumping you back up to DS... only this time make it stand for '''D'''etective '''S'''ergeant and not '''D'''og '''S'''hit!
* GivingRadioToTheRomans: Sam tries to introduce mid-Noughties police techniques (recording interviews on tape, surveillance, modern forensics and so forth) to coppers in 1973, as well as other radical and futuristic ideas like having a television in the pub.
** Is subverted on occasion: primitive forensics and proper procedures do exist, it's just that Gene Hunt doesn't want to use them.
* AGlitchInTheMatrix: Images and sounds from the future are frequently shown seeping into the 70s.
* GoSeduceMyArchnemesis: Steven Warren enlists Joni Newton for this purpose.
* GoodGirlsAvoidAbortion: Layla backs out of aborting her child, who turns out to be [[spoiler: Maya in the past]].
* GoodGuyBar: The [[MyLocal Railway Arms]].
* TheGreatBritishCopperCapture
* HaveWeMetYet
* HeKnowsTooMuch: [[spoiler: Harry Woolf bumps off Dickie Fingers for this reason]].
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: [[spoiler: Superintendent Harry Woolf]].
* HistoricalInJoke And a rather dark example too. In a flashback set in 1972, Ray briefly discusses the upcoming Munich games with Chris. He goes as far to say '''"it'll be one for the history books'''. Indeed.
* HolyBacklight: As Sam walks towards the police building during the first episode.
* HotScoop: Jackie Queen, the journalist Gene Hunt has a history (and a ''boatload'' of UST) with. She turns up in AshesToAshes as well.
* HurricaneOfEuphemisms: Gene uses one to explain to Sam that [[spoiler:Warren is a {{Gayngster}}]]
--> '''Gene:''' [[spoiler: Steven Warren]] is a bum-bandit. Do you understand? A poof! A fairy! A queer! A queen! Fudge packer! Uphill Gardener! Fruit picking sodomite!
--> '''Sam:''' ...He's gay?
--> '''Gene:''' As a ''bloody'' Christmas Tree!
* ICantBelieveImSayingThis: Sam asks Gene why they can't just fabricate evidence and "put the squeeze" on Tony Crane. Y'know, the Gene Hunt Special. In an ironic reversal, though, Gene has had a sudden attack of morals.
-->'''Gene:''' Because I am policing in the full glare of the public bloody eye, and the Chief Super is taking a personal interest, and we also have ''no flipping evidence''! [+And I CAN'T BELIEVE I JUST SAID THAT!+]
* IReadItForTheArticles: Lampshaded by Sam, who hides his tape recorder beneath Gene's copy of ''Jugs''. When Gene tries to snatch it, Sam professes an interest in the reading material.
-->'''Gene:''' You know what the really sad thing is? I believe you.
* ImMrFuturePopCultureReference:
** Sam and Annie pose as "TonyBlair" and "Cherie Blair". When Gene pops up unexpectedly, Sam promptly dubs him "GordonBrown".
*** "And his wife..." "[[CrowningMomentOfFunny Sookie.]]"
** "You know, ''Series/StarskyAndHutch'' have [[DrivesLikeCrazy got a lot to answer for...]]"
** "How do you think I spend my time here, Tyler?" "[[StarWars Building a Death Star?]]"
** During a fistfight with Gene at some point in the first season, Sam does the "BringIt" gesture from Film/TheMatrix.
** Series 1 Episode 3:
---> '''Ray Carling''': Yeah, but can you hit anything?\\
'''Sam Tyler''': You should see my Playstation scores.
** "Red rum! Red rum!"
* UsefulNotes/ICNumber: Subverted: IC codes haven't been introduced yet, and nobody understands Sam when he tries to use them.
* InsultBackfire: This exchange between Sam and Gene:
-->'''Gene Hunt''': Do you know you you're talking to?
-->'''Sam Tyler''': An overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding.
-->:'''Gene Hunt''': You say that like it's a bad thing.
* IronicEcho: Gene's assertion that he "never fitted up anyone who [[AssholeVictim didn't deserve it]]!", for which he gets thoroughly worked over by Sam. In the Series 2 episode "Helpless", Sam catches himself saying [[HeWhoFightsMonsters the exact same thing]] in his pursuit of Tony Crane.
* ITakeOffenseToThatLastOne:
-->'''Sam Tyler''': [You slept like] a 20 stone baby who burps, snores and farts.
-->'''Gene Hunt''': I do not snore!
* ItWillNeverCatchOn:
** When Sam suggests that they install a TV in the pub, everyone is extremely skeptical. Seriously, they look at him like he grew a third eye.
** Chicken? In a basket?
* ItWorksBetterWithBullets: Method by which Sam unmasks [[spoiler: his father]] as the killer they've been searching for.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Ray is always making disparaging remarks about Annie, as well as minorities and women in general, but we let Gene get away with it because we ''like'' Gene.
* KickTheDog: Gene publically shames and humiliates Ray for the Billy Kemble incident, demoting him to Detective Constable and [[CutHisHeartOutWithASpoon threatening to cut his heart out with a spoon]] if he even thinks of stepping out of line again. If that wasn't bad enough for poor Ray, Sam angrily batters Gene for being too light on him and pushes for him to be sacked!
** Ray gets a PetTheDog moment two episodes later when Gene bumps him back up to Detective Sergeant.
%%* LadyInRed: actually a plot point in Season 1, although instead of the usual seductive undertones it's to play off a Red Riding Hood theme.
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: Gene says this almost word for word about the events of series 1 episode 7, [[spoiler:where a suspect died of a heart attack in one of the cells, due to the actions of CID.]]
* LiteraryAllusionTitle: Named after the Bowie song.
* LookBothWays: The catalyst for the series.
* MagicRealism
* MagicalNegro: Nelson fulfils this role, with hints he might be aware what's happening to Sam. In ''AshesToAshes'', [[spoiler:it is revealed that he's the gatekeeper to the copper version of heaven, equivalent to Saint Peter.]]
* MaleGaze
* MeaningfulName: Gene calls Sam "Dorothy" on more than one occasion, one episode ends with EltonJohn's ''Goodbye Yellowbrick Road'', and a cover of ''Somewhere Over The Rainbow'' is played in the series finale. It's surely no co-incidence that Sam meets a man named [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0604656/ Frank Morgan]].
* MediumBlending: The claymation of ''CamberwickGreen''.
* MexicanStandoff: Between Gene and [[spoiler:Harry]] in Series 2, Episode 2. [[spoiler: Except Gene rather bluntly ends it by shooting Harry in the leg.]]
* MindScrew: The last two episodes.
* MissingWhiteWomanSyndrome: Makes sense, as it's the 70's.
* MoodDissonance: The last episode especially. [[spoiler:Seriously, the main hero's suicide shouldn't feel so... ''awesome''.]]
* MushroomSamba: 2007!Sam accidentally gets a drug overdose, leading 1973!Sam to hallucinate a memorable version of the childrens' show ''CamberwickGreen''.
* MustMakeAmends
* NobleBigotWithABadge: Practically half the cast.
* NoodleIncident: Whatever it is Mrs Luckhurst ''does'' that's "illegal in some parts of Wales" and makes Gene Hunt scream bloody murder.
* OddCouple: Sam and Gene (one's [[ByTheBookCop by the book]], the other's bring your own bottle), but also Chris and Ray.
* OffOnATechnicality: Sam's supposition that his 2007 case against Tony Crane fell apart while he was in a coma.
* OldFashionedCopper: Gene Hunt, Ray Carling
* OntologicalMystery
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: "Toolbox" Terry and "Big Bird".
** Richard Hands' real name is used once; after that, he's only named as Dickie Fingers, [[spoiler:even after he's murdered]].
* OopNorth: Manchester.
* PerpSweating
* PerpWalk
* ThePlan: [[spoiler:Frank Miller]] pulls one in Series 2, Episode 3.
* PocketProtector: Gene is saved from a bullet by a flask of whiskey. Lampshaded and parodied immediately.
-->'''Sam:''' What're the chances?
-->'''Gene:''' (pulls out two more flasks) Pretty good, actually. Well, you never know how far you're gonna be from a boozer!
* PoliceLineup
* PoliceProcedural
* PoliticallyCorrectHistory: Averted by most of Sam's new contemporaries, especially Gene Hunt. The rest of the squad, especially Ray Carling, aren't much better, with the exceptions of Annie and Chris.
* RashomonStyle: in 2.05, we see Bathurst's arrest retold from two different perspectives, Gene Hunt's vindictive view and Annie's more sympathetic one. [[spoiler:Annie turned out to be much more objective--Gene had gotten too emotionally involved in the case.]]
* RunningGag: "That's not how it goes!" (Sam constantly getting the YouDoNotHaveToSayAnything speech wrong); "You are surrounded by armed bastards!" (even carried over to ''AshesToAshes''); Gene's flasks and fondness for American [[TheWestern westerns]].
* SarcasticConfession: Two of the mill workers in Series 1, Episode 3 find out the wrong way that you do ''not'' joke about a confession to Sam Tyler.
* TheScapegoat: [[spoiler:Patrick O'Brien]].
* [[spoiler: SendMeBack]]
* SeriousBusiness:
** Football rivalries and riots are central to one episode, just as football hooliganism was on the rise. Football rivalries and riots were ''very'' serious business in the 70s and 80s.
** Also, this wonderful quote from Gene in series 1, episode 6, when Reg Cole pours Gene's flask onto the floor:
--->'''Gene:''' That was a ''single malt!'' What kind of monster are you!?
* SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong: The first episode has shades of this, seeing as the murderer from the ColdOpen introduction to the series gets linked to what's going on in Sam's first escapade in the 70's.
* TheSeventies: Manifested as seventies clothing, hair, and unfortunate blue eyeshadow.
* ShamefulStrip: Happens to Sam after he's slipped a mickey by a prostitute in a frame-up. He wakes up tied to a bed with Gene kicking down the door accompanied by WPC Anne Cartwright. Considering Annie's embarrassment and Gene's quip of "it's not all golf and badminton in Hyde, eh?", it's fairly safe to say Sam was naked.
* ShellShockedVeteran: Reg Cole [[spoiler: is made out to be one, but it turns out he didn't get to fight]].
* ShirtlessScene: Opening of Episode 2 features a couple of PC's going after a criminal in a Speedo. Only Sam's wearing a shirt.
* ShootTheShaggyDog: [[spoiler: Episode 7. Sam finds out the exact circumstances that lead to Kemble's accidental death due to the department's actions, but when he turns in the tape proving it to the superintendent, the superintendent immediately destroys the tape, saying that it could easily be a hoax.]]
** [[spoiler: It's heavily implied the superintendent is in fact a party to the cover-up (especially the bit in the toilets where he doesn't wash his hands, and Hunt exclaims "Not like you, sir").]]
* ShoutOut: Sam cites [[Franchise/{{Robocop}} Robocop's]] three prime directives as his view of the Police's duties. Gene seems to prefer [[Franchise/JudgeDredd Judge Dredd's]] catchphrase: "I AM The Law"
* SickbedSlaying: Tony Crane torturing the comatose 2007!Sam.
** [[spoiler: Toolbox & Big Bird]] dispose of Deekat in this manner, stabbing him through a preexisting bullet wound.
* SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty: The lighting filter used drastically changes between 2006 and 1973 for obvious reasons. After Sam wakes up from his coma, 2006 is also portrayed as a dull, concrete and glass jungle of hell, full of soulless bureaucrats and empty suits that Sam no longer relates to - leading to the decision he makes at the very end of the episode.
* [[SmokingHotSex Smoking Hot Fight]]: Although Sam and Gene have had a few of these, the one that really stands out has to be the fight between them in the hospital, after which Gene is shown smoking. [[HoYay Draw your own conclusions]].
* SuicideIsPainless: [[spoiler: Sam goes back to his own time, realises the [[CreepyChild Test Card F girl]] was right all along, and takes a running jump off the roof of the police station while ''Life On Mars'' blares triumphantly in the background.]]
* TakingTheHeat: A union leader tried to cover up a fatal industrial accident at his mill to keep it from being shut down (and his members losing their jobs) by confessing to having murdered the accident victim.
* TheTelevisionTalksBack: Sam's hotline to the 'real' world.
* TheReasonYouSuckSpeech: Sam delivers an ''epic'' one to [[spoiler: Peter Bond]], accusing him and people like him of ruining the joy of football by injecting it with hate and violence among the fans.
* TheyFightCrime: For the most part, the plots are standard police investigations, though occasionally made significant by Sam's techniques or history.
* ThoseTwoGuys: Skelton and Carling.
* ThousandYardStare: Ray is seen doing this, barely in control of his own senses, after he is caught and injured in the blast radius of an exploding car bomb.
* TimeTravelForFunAndProfit: Sam, when playing a sweepstake involving horse racing, offers to swap with someone who got Red Rum. Gene suspects he has inside information.
* TortureForFunAndInformation: aka Gene Hunt Interrogation Technique ; Life on Mars kicks off Gene Hunt's fine tradition of extracting confessions using some of the most [[BlackComedy ridiculously funny]] means possible:
** In episode 1.04, where Gene and Sam lock a suspect inside a meat locker until he confesses:
-->'''Gene''': My friend is going to ask you some questions. Personally, I hope you don't answer them because I want you to die in here and end up inside a pork pie.
** Episode 2.02, where he punishes Dickie Fingers for accusing Harry Woolf of being a corrupt officer by smashing Dickie's fingers with a telephone receiver.
** Episode 2.05 has the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHP3Jih_rfA Camberwick Green scene]], which really must be seen to be fully appreciated.
** Also a Spin-Off book that was supposedly written by Gene Hunt himself about modern policing in the 70's, there is a chapter about how to perform this, with diagrams, and covered in blood.
* TourettesShitcockSyndrome: And a ChekhovsGunman to boot.
* TrainJob: The climax.
* TrappedInThePast: And it's ''[[RealIsBrown brown]]''.
* UsefulNotes/TheTroubles
* TurnInYourBadge
* TwistEnding: The ending to [[spoiler:series 2 episode 5, where it turns out that the father of a girl who was kidnapped after pointing the finger at a murder suspect may have committed the murder that said suspect was accused of in the first place.]]
* UndercoverAsLovers: Sam and Annie pose as a married couple to investigate a wife-swapping group. Interestingly the most {{UST}} comes not from this situation, but in the scene where they're making up a MeetCute cover story.
** Not to be done in, Gene brings a {{Streetwalker}} along as his "wife".
* UnfortunateNames:
--> '''Gene:''' You're in for an even bigger disappointment than when we found out the plonk Doris Bangs was a name and not a promise!
* UpTheRealRabbitHole: Sam confides openly to Annie about his 'condition'.
* VigilanteMan: Toolbox & Big Bird.
* VitriolicBestBuds: Sam and Gene.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: [[spoiler:Morgan.]]
* WhamEpisode: The finale of the first series turns a lot of things on its head -- [[spoiler:Sam discovers that his father's a crime lord, and he lets him run away, thereby killing what he thought was his only chance at getting back to the present. Sam also ''changes the past'' for the first time in the series.]]
* WhamLine:
** The finale of the first series:
--->'''Sam:''' Oh my God. [[spoiler:''Dad'']]?
** In episode 2-07:
--->'''Gene:''' Sam. I, uh... [[spoiler:I appear to have killed a man]].
* WhatYearIsThis: "It's 1973, almost dinner time - I'm 'aving 'oops!"
* WhoopiEpiphanySpeech: "If you can feel, you're alive."
** [[spoiler: Which leads to a very dark {{inversion}} in the ending: when he gets back in 2007, he accidentally cuts himself during a meeting and realizes that he didn't feel it, leading to his decision to leave his 2007 life and go back to 1973.]]
* WitnessProtection: A central plot point of one episode.
* WireDilemma: In series 2 episode 3.
* YearInsideHourOutside: [[spoiler: Sam returns to 1973 in the nick of time to save his friends, mere moments after his departure. This despite having spent ''days'' in 2007]].
* YouCantFightFate
* YouCantGoHomeAgain
* YouDoNotHaveToSayAnything: Subverted. British police used a different caution in 1973 than the one Sam is used to from 2007. Sam repeatedly tries and fails to recite the 70's version, at one point coming up with the [[MirandaRights Miranda Warning]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: [[spoiler: Warren does this to Joni Newton after she reneges on framing Sam]].
* YouNeedToGetLaid: This is Gene's conclusion about Reg Cole, an armed hostage taker.
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-->''"Pub?"''
-->''"Pub."''