WARNING: This article contains extensive spoliers for episode one:
DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes) has risen rapidly through the Metropolitan Police and has an added string to her bow. A trained psychologist, she is writing a book on colleagues who have suffered trauma, and spent several months studying Sam Tyler � the DCI who found himself in 1973 when he was hit by a car and fell into a coma. Brilliant at her job, but at the expense of her home life, she has no relationship save that with her 12-year-old daughter, Molly.
As Alex drives Molly to school on her birthday, she is called to a hostage scenario where drug-addled Arthur Layton (Sean Harris) holds a gun to the head of a busker. When Alex tries to reason with Layton, he tells Alex that he knew her parents � both of whom were killed when Alex was only eight years old. Layton manages to get Alex away to an abandoned boat where he shoots her in the head.
Alex later opens her eyes to find herself in 1981, dressed in a tiny red skirt with Ultravox ringing in her ears as hedonistic city boys and prostitutes party on a boat. The next surprise in store is that when the police crash in, they are Sam Tyler’s creations � DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister), DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews) and DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster).
Desperate to get back to her daughter, the only clue Alex can find is surveillance footage on Layton. She is convinced that Layton, in 1981 just a down-at-heel junk dealer, is the mastermind behind the case she’s just walked into � a major drug bust that Gene has been after for months. Gene believes that the man responsible is Edward Markham, a man whose pastel suits and arrogance typify the Eighties yuppies he hates.
For Alex, catching Layton might be the only way to grab control of her destiny and provide the trigger that gets her out of 1981, back to her old life and to her daughter Molly.
BBC One, 7th February 9pm