|Series:||Life on Mars (US)|
Sam Sam the Traffic Jam
|Significant others:||Annie Norris|
|UK equivalent:||Sam Tyler|
|Spanish equivalent:||Samuel Santos|
Detective Sam Tyler is a rising star in the 125th Precinct of the NYPD in 2008. He's investigating a string of homicides, when his girlfriend and partner, Maya Daniels, is abducted by the suspect, Colin Raimes. Looking for Maya, he is hit by a car while talking to female officer. When he wakes up, he's in 1973 wearing period accurate clothes. He doesn't realize he's in '73 until he spots the Twin Towers, still up and around.
Desperately looking for something familiar, he heads to his precinct, the 1-2-5, only to discover that it's a very different place. There's no DNA testing, no finger print databases, and apparently, no rules. All that matters is that the criminal gets caught.
Sam must figure out how to work with the anything-goes Lt. Gene Hunt while he tries to get himself back to 2008.
Throughout the series, he tries to uncover the mystery of how he traveled back to 1973, while working with his new co-workers to solve crimes and catch bad guys-the old fashioned way. Eventually, after getting shot by his father, Vic Tyler, he pieces together some information from almost all the cases he's worked on in 1973 and gets a possible lead on why he's gone back in time. He discovers an abandoned house with a single telephone which rings as soon as he enters. He receives the first of several calls from the Mysterious Caller who tells him to go to the basement. (for more info. see episode pages) Towards the end of the series he realizes that he actually enjoys living in the '70s and even decides to stay there when the Mysterious Caller offers him a chance to return to 2008.
"One more thing, one more thing and you are home, Sam." "Ya know what, pal, maybe I don't wanna go home so badly anymore. Wadaya think of that, huh? 'Cause I like 1973 and everybody in it, and because a long time ago someone I loved once told me that, 'Whatever strange place you find yourself in, make that your home.'"-Mysterious Caller and Det. Sam Tyler on returning to 2008
In reality, Sam isn't really a cop, but is actually one of 5 astronauts on board the Hyde 1-2-5 spaceship, on its way to the planet Mars as part of the US Aries Project in the year 2035. As it turns out, both of his lives in 2008 and 1973 were fictional; he had been in a virtual reality program called the "Neural-stim" on the spaceship during their voyage to Mars. Although he had chosen his neural-stim to make him a cop in 2008, the system malfunctioned when the ship ran into a meteor storm, causing Sam to "travel" to 1973 while retaining all of his "memories" from 2008.
"Morgan, we need to talk. Waddja do to me? My trip got...trippy." "Well the ship ran into a meteor storm, but with Wendy's help we were able to keep all life support and navigation systems within range, but there may have been some glitches in your neuro-stimulation program." "Yeah, well, those glitches knocked me back to 1973, with all my 2008 memories intact."- Sam and Franklin Morgan explaining why he ended up in 1973
- Maya Daniels is Sam's partner and girlfriend in 2008.
- Annie Norris is Sam's subsequent girlfriend in 1973.
|Characters of Life on Mars (US)|
Det. Sam Tyler / Lt. Gene Hunt / Annie Norris / Det. Ray Carling / Det. Chris Skelton / Maya Daniels