There are now three timelinesThere is the real timeline, currently at 2008; Sam Tyler's personal timeline, where it's still and always will be the 1970s and he's living happily ever after with Annie, Gene, and the team in Manchester; and finally, Alex's timeline, where it's 1981 and Sam got shot years ago. Status: Jossed. Alex's 1980s and Sam's 1970s are part of the same timeline, and Sam really did die before Alex arrived.
Alex Drake was The Girl In The Red Dress in Life on Mars, not AnnieShe said that she was wearing red herself, which may have been a clue; her daughter looks and sounds almost exactly like the Test Card Girl from Life on Mars; and we saw a flash of a girl in a red dress holding hands with a boy wearing what looked like Young Sam Tyler's buckled shoes from S1 of Life on Mars.
Gene Hunt is JesusIt is revealed that Gene has the nickname "The Manc Lion". A scant few scenes later, Alex discusses with her father how he would read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to her at bedtime. This is clearly to set up that Gene is Aslan. And if he's Aslan then, by definition, he's Jesus. Status: Jossed. Gene Hunt is another human being in a similar condition to Sam and Alex.
Alex Wasn't ShotHer daughter, Molly, was. In the 2008 sequence of the pilot, Arthur Layton drags Molly offscreen, and a gunshot is heard; Alex runs after them and finds Molly, alone, unhurt, with Layton nowhere in sight and no way to explain how he got undetected from there to the parking lot where Alex's car was. This makes no sense whatsoever in terms of continuity; the logical answer is that Molly was shot, Alex suffered a mental break, and both Molly's reappearance AND the shooting that apparently sent Alex back to 1981 were hallucinations.
People are deliberately using comas to time travelThe man in the coma in 2008 and who's harassing Alex in S2 has gone back to interfere with Princess Diana's history (what specifically he intends to do remains to be seen, though it's likely to be an attempt to prevent her death in 1997 in some way). He thinks Alex is another person deliberately time travelling via coma, hence his interrogation of her after confirming that she's from his time.
Chris will die in the series two finaleJossed.
Gene Hunt is the Spirit of Britain or King ArthurSam is Lancelot or Galahad. Alex is Guinevere. Ray is Percival. And Chris is Gawain.
Gene Hunt is himself a time traveller.
Sam Tyler will appear in the final series of Ashes to AshesOk, I am slightly cheating by already having seen the first episode of series 3. But- Alex is now investigating Sammie's death, we've seen a spooky, shadowy bloke with a suspiciously Sam Tyler-y jacket; not to mention the newest addition to the Ashes To Ashes cast has had a talk with Gene over Sammie's demise. If Tyler doesn't have some kind of crucial role in this season, the BBC are royally screwing with us and what's left of our minds.
Gene and the gang are part of a police training video that the protagonists of both series have seen early in their careers.This would explain why both see the same Gene Genie, and Alex recognises him. It's likely (especially since the season one finale) that Gene was in fact a real person. He also seems like too much of an example of how not to police to not be this. Status: Jossed.
The man Alex saw on the tv and who was staring at her when she was looking at Sam Tyler's file in episode 1 is Sam Tyler.It is hinted during episode 1 that there's something odd about Gene. It's that he's killed Sam Tyler. That's why he has his file, to prevent any investigation from pointing the finger at him. Sam in fact did not drown, but ended up disfigured.
Sam and Alex were sent to the flash-sideways universe from LOST.
Shaz is pregnant
Jim Keats is from the future
Jim Keats and Gene Hunt are the original time travelers
Jim Keats Is The Devil
Gene is Sam Beckett; Jim Keats is the Evil Leaper.
The show is set on a simulated Earth space station in the manner of Dark CityThe space station is run by aliens who are playing with humans. The "Earth" is split into different time periods, such as the 70s, 80s and 00s. Every so often they decide to move people from one place to another, such as Sam and Alex. The reason Shaz and Ray have seen stars in the middle of the city is because the sky is a simulation. It occasionally breaks down, causing them to see what's really out there - space. Gene Hunt is one of the aliens in charge, or rather was. He's decided to play along with the humans. And Jim is here to stop him. And Sam discovered what was really going on, and Gene killed him because of it.
Gene didn't kill Sam 3 years ago, he helped him disappearOther time travelers (such as Martin Summers) were trying to find Sam and stop him...he needed to disappear and Gene helped him fake his death. This will lead to Sam returning for the final episode.
"Thordy" is the real Sam.He really is Sam, but there was a cover up and the records were switched so that files and photos that show the guy played by John Simm, is shown to be DI Tyler, but is actually the real Thordy. He looks like that in Life On Mars because of the Literary Agent Hypothesis.
Keats and Hunt are both psychopomps.The universe of the show is a kind of anteroom to the afterlife for troubled coppers. It's Gene Hunt's job to help them let go of their issues and move on to the next stage, but he's not doing it properly — despite helping Sam and Alex deal with their childhood trauma, he wants to keep them on his team. He loves them too much to let go. Keats has been sent to sort him out.
The world Alex and the rest of CID inhabit is collapsing somehow, and will soon disappear.Throughout Season 3 the number of people seeing stars and having strange experiences has increased massively compared to previous seasons. Even Gene, who has not been shown to have any, seems to recognise that the end is fast approaching from his comments in 3.7. This could well be a sign that the world, whatever it is, is about to collapse and fall apart.
Ashes to Ashes is a sequel to Dixon Of Dock GreenOkay, this is based solely on the Grand Finale: At the end of the Finale a clip of Dixon doing his end of episode speeches is shown, however the character of P.C. Dixon appeared in the film The Blue Lamp where he was shot and killed. They spun the series off from that. They spun the series off from a dead character, which means that when we watch that we are seeing the first appearance of the dead coppers world. Chilling.
Alex has been dead since 1981This is based mainly on the finale. The opening sequence in Season 1 never quite made sense. Arthur Layton took Alex's daughter hostage, a gunshot was heard and then Molly emerged but the man didn't - making it look like he either killed himself or ran away. But the police didn't seem to be looking for him. A few minutes later, he appeared in the back of Alex's car, took her down on the wharf and shot her. Clearly, he wasn't quite real. In the Season 1 finale, Alex's parents died again and Alex saw her younger self take Gene Hunt's hand. Given what we know from the series finale, it could be that Alex actually died as a child with her parents. Evan White (also dead, presumably killed by Alex's father) then took her away from Gene with the promise that she would never know what her father did (or that she was in fact, dead). Alex then grew up in the afterlife, married and had Molly. Her entire life was not real. Molly was not real. She met Sam Tyler when he thought he had woken up from a coma but that entire sequence took place in the afterlife - Sam was also dead all along. Arthur Layton appeared at the beginning of the series to force her back to Gene Hunt's time so that she could realise she was dead and go to Nelson's.
Keats is the one who killed young GeneIt's why they have such animosity.
The dimension in which dead coppers are sent is a form of the Reaper's Game
This series is actually set in the same reality as Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'EmSee Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em for more.
Ashes to Ashes isn't real, just the product of Sam Tyler's imaginationHe really is Sam Williams from 1973 and imagined his entire future existence. For this to be true, he must have imagined Alex Drake as well. Maybe he imagined her when he "woke up" in 2006, and started becoming somehow intrigued/obsessed by her, and imagined what if she were in a similar situation to the one he imagined himself in. The ending to the series is perhaps an attempt to rationalise things, badly, in his mind as to what has happened- he still can't quite believe it so imagines they're all trapped in purgatory. (It sounds a little too daft to believe, anyway.) OK, so it's a long shot, mostly to allay my disappointments with the endings of both series. But still...