DCI Gene Hunt, (Philip Glenister) the Neanderthal copper last seen in Life on Mars is back. Joined in London by his faithful sidekicks, DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews), DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster) and a brand new red Audi Quattro, Gene is ready to take on the "southern Nancy" criminal scum and show the Met a thing or two about policing.
Only this time it's 1981 and the world has changed: Charles and Diana are about to marry, there's been rioting in Brixton and there are perms, pastel suits and cocktails all around him. Worse still, Hunt has finally met his match with the arrival of DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes), a sexy, sophisticated police psychologist from 2008 who has studied the world of the now deceased Sam Tyler.
When Alex is shot and wakes up in 1981, she realises she has assimilated Sam's fantasies with her own experiences to create this world. She needs to do everything in her power to keep fighting, to stay alive and to get back to her daughter Molly. To a soundtrack of Duran Duran, The Clash, OMD and The Human League, sparks fly as Hunt and Drake grapple with each other and the world around them.