DCI Sam Tyler’s world is about to be turned upside down. Moments after his girlfriend and colleague, Maya, is kidnapped by a serial killer, Sam is knocked unconscious by a car and wakes up, in 1973. Sam discovers that in this strange new world full of cigarette smoking, gum chewing, unreconstructed men. He’s a DI starting his first day in a new precinct and he needs to prove himself to his new DCI, Gene Hunt.
The team arrest Kim Trent, an elusive criminal high on the CID’s wanted list. When Sam realises that Gene has planted evidence to secure Trent’s conviction he intervenes and releases Trent. Gene is furious and believes that human rights are for human beings and Trent doesn’t qualify and, besides, Gene’s never fitted up anyone who didn’t deserve it.
When Sam responds to a fatal stabbing at Crester’s Textiles he’s shocked to discover that Crester’s is the converted mill where he lives in 2006 and the dead man is quite literally lying in his kitchen. Sam sets up a forensic investigation but Gene thinks he’s wasting his time as there’s a rule in these sorts of cases – first one to speak did it. Sam has found his fight. As he gets to know Ted and starts to uncover the truth of what happened at the mill, Sam realises just how much the concept of family and community has changed since 1973.
Sam’s belief in doing the right thing calls into question the ethos of his whole department as he takes on local gangster Stephen Warren in an attempt to stamp out police corruption.
The murder of a football fan near his local pub sends the team undercover on the eve of a big match. With the press using the murder of a Manchester United fan to fuel the flames of hate between rival fans, Sam believes the only way to prevent a full-scale riot is to prove that the murder was not football-related. Under pressure to solve the murder before the tensions destroy the community, Sam suddenly finds the riot is not only upon them but it has also brought him face to face with the killer...
Sam hears his mother’s voice saying goodbye to him and that his life-support machine is to be turned off at 2pm. He is terrified; he’s alive and determined to make himself heard. But how, when he is still stuck in the 1970s? Before he can do anything, a call comes in about a man who has taken people hostage at the local newspaper, the Manchester Gazette. The gunman is threatening to kill the hostages at 2pm. Is this Sam’s way of saving his life in 2006?
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