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I've seen cesspits with more brains!
~ Gene Hunt
Gene Hunt

DCI Gene Hunt is the deuteragonist and anti-hero of the BBC series Life on Mars and its sequel series Ashes to Ashes. He is the often brutal, self-important superior officer of DI Sam Tyler in 1973 and DIAlex Drake from 1981 to 1983. In 1980, following the apparent death of Tyler, he transferred from Manchester to Fenchurch East in London with his colleagues.

In reality, he was a young police constable in 1953 who was shot dead and awoke in the same decade in the supernatural plane of existence which came to be known as Gene Hunt's World. Although he forgot or suppressed this fact, he believed it was his duty to assist those who had been victim of trauma to accept their death so they were able to progress to "the pub" and move on.

He is portrayed by Philip Glenister.

Appearance and Personality

Gene is best described as an old school copper. It is said that the character thinks of himself as a sheriff at high noon in a western genre film. Philip Glenister, the actor who plays Hunt has described his character as "intuitive" and "instinctive". Glenister has also drawn similarities between Hunt and football managers, José Mourinho and Brian Clough on account of his "arrogance" and way of thinking.

Throughout both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes, Hunt often makes comical remarks, which have led to him being labelled a folk hero and cult figure by a national newspaper. During Life on Mars, Hunt is described by the protagonist, Sam Tyler, as an ""overweight, over-the-hill, nicotine-stained, borderline alcoholic homophobe with a superiority complex and an unhealthy obsession with male bonding" to which Hunt responded "You make that sound like a bad thing." The BBC explains that in Ashes to Ashes, Hunt's personality remains unchanged, apart from him "losing grip on the power he had as a police officer".

During Life on Mars, Hunt often wore a beige camel coat with a white shirt and striped tie, grey suit and trousers with white slip on shoes, typical of the period. In Ashes to Ashes, he is often seen wearing a black suit, Crombie coat and snakeskin boots.

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