BBC Life on Mars UK: Sleuthing for Gene Hunt

Flashback to Gene Hunt as a younger child in 1972, on a visit to Greater Manchester Police (formerly Salford and Manchester Police). This is when he first receives a new 402 Corgi Ford Cortina Mk3 police car aged 9. Little Gene Hunt meets an adult Guv not a milion miles from himself, the car he will have eight years later and gets a glimpse into the CID he will be working in the future!

A nine year old Gene Hunt was busy playing detectives with his mates in the poorer parts of Manchester, streets full of terraced houses in the background with cobbled roads, he was going to receive a visit to the Manchester and Salford Police station; he was showing his new Cortina toy off, it was his pride and joy, setting the scene for his love of upmarket Fords. Little Gene was excited about going to the police station for a visit and learning everything he could to be a detective!

Gene was seat belted in the front seat next to the fuzzy man holding his toy Cortina, they had turned the corner and the fuzzy man stopped the car.

"So Eugene," the fuzzy man asked. "You want to be a police officer?" Gene nodded in excitement.

"More than anything, Guv sir." Gene nodded happily impressed, it wasn't often that he or Stu had big treats like this since their old man would be harsh with them by beating them senselessly like the suspects at work with their mother used as a bargaining chip.

"I see," the fuzzy man nodded. "Think we should drive like proper police men then don't you?"

"Are we going to go fast?" Gene asked excitedly and bounced in his seat.

"Do you want to?" asked the Guv, who was Gene Hunt's old man.

"Yes please!" Gene squealed happily. "Really, really fast like we're chasing robbers!"

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"Like we're chasing robbers!" The fuzzy man agreed and Gene felt his cushion sliding to the floorboards as the fuzzy man slammed his foot on the gas pedal. He thought briefly about trying the radio so that he could have music in the background of the excitement and then decided against it as he slid across the seat, holding the door handle when the fuzzy man took a corner on only two wheels.

"WHEEEEE!" Gene screamed in delight. "Let's do that again, Dad!" They did it four more times and he was beginning to feel a little sick in his tummy before they slammed to a stop in front of the station.

"Jesus Guv!" Little Gene Hunt heard Big Sammy scream. "What are you doing?"

"We were chasing robbers," the fuzzy man said smugly. "Me and my lad Eugene."

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"We took a corner really fast and the car went on it's side!" Gene screamed excitedly and clung to the fuzzy man's hand.

"Oh God," Big Sammy muttered and then his face drained as he looked at Gene. "I should get back to work."

"Hello," a pretty woman said as she kneeled down in front of Gene. "Are you Eugene Hunt? I'm Annie."

"Hello Annie," Gene said and stuck his hand out. "It's nice to meet you." Gene was minding his manners just like his mam had told him to. Eugene Hunt was such a good boy for his mother as he would always be the better man, took his Dad's insults turning them into energy and Denise Hunt was always proud of him.

"DC Cartwright," the fuzzy man broke in. "Could you get me Eugene's toy police Cortina from the backseat and take it inside please?"

"Course Guv," she agreed. "Where will you and young DC Hunt be then?"

"We will be inspecting the cells and then we're going to go to the canteen for a snack. Gwen has promised to have some pink wafers put back for us."

"Should I ask DI Tyler to join you?" She asked as she reached for Gene's toy police Cortina.

"No, he'll find us when he's done with whatever he's doing." DCI Stephen Hunt told his only female Detective Constable in Salford and Manchester Police, it was 1972 after all; so his police women had to do as they were told. "Yes Guv!"

There was a conversation buzzing around the smoky smelling CID room about how Gene was the spitting image of their Guv. "He looks just like the Guv doesn't he?" A man whispered to Annie as they walked back inside. "Ain't a bit of his mum in him. He's a miniature of DCI Hunt."

"We shouldn't talk about it Ray," Annie said quietly as moved on to tidying the reams of files "If the Guv wanted us to know he'd have said something."

Three hours later and little Gene Hunt was happily running amok around the police station. He'd played football with a young detective known as Chris. Had helped the fuzzy man everyone called the Guv organize the files for Big Sammy to look over. He'd been very careful and followed the Guv's advice to make sure the files were well mixed up and that every third sheet was upside down or backwards. The Guv assured him this was proper filing procedures and Annie had been proud of how thoughtfully Gene had worked on it. Even making sure to leave jam prints on the paper as the Guv had asked.

Then Gene had let Annie fingerprint him and had fingerprinted her. It hadn't looked as neat as when she'd done it but the picture was much prettier little Gene thought. Now he was busy with the man Annie had called Ray and had lost sight of him. Ray was sitting at his desk and looked over at Chris with a happy grin and Chris was giggling but he couldn't see Gene. He was going to have to go looking for him. Then he'd have to find Big Sammy.

"Gene!" He heard Annie shriek. That was when he heard the giggles from underneath her desk and the other two men broke out into loud whoops of laughter.

"What?" Big Sammy said as he opened the door to the Guv's office. "What's wrong?"

"Eugene's handcuffed my ankle to the desk!" The other's laughed harder. Gene could even hear the Guv laughing from inside his office. "Ray get the keys and unlock me!"

"Can't," Ray laughed. "Time for the second part now Gene Genie mate."

Gene's blue eyes widened as he saw the Detective Inspector walk in, he looked like Sammy only bigger. "Ray!" DCI Stephen Hunt announced sternly. "Unlock Annie! Sammuel Christopher come on out here now."

The man called Ray came over and unlocked Annie's leg. "Was just teasing Annie." He said quietly. "Sorry."

"Apologize," Big Sammy told the little Gene Genie firmly. "Apologize to DC Cartwright."

DCI Stephen Hunt tensed on his chair when he saw Eugene's lip wobble. "I'm sorry DC Cartwright." Gene whimpered.

"For what honey?" She asked as she kneeled in front of little Gene Hunt and took him in her arms. "Don't cry. We were having fun weren't we?" Poor Big Sammy, he thought. She was looking at him like a particularly nasty piece of garbage.

"Uh huh," Gene nodded as he wrapped his arms up around her neck.

"Well then you don't mind DI Tyler." She said gently. "He doesn't know how to have any fun. Let's go down and visit Gwen. I bet she has more treats for you."

"I'm lousy with kids," Big Sammy confessed. "They scare me." How could Gene's old man have a Detective Inspector who was frightened of kids, maybe he just wasn't good with little people.

"Guv!" Big Sammy shouted. "I have an idea!"

"What's that Sam?" The Guv answered from his office.

"Gonna make the boy cry again?" Ray asked sullenly.

"Nope," Big Sammy answered. "Cops and robbers."

"Cops and robbers?"

"Complete with handcuffs and jail cells," Big Sammy laughed loudly. "Get the radios and come on."

They chased each other around the station, Big Sammy and little Gene playing the cops and arresting the other detectives before locking them in a jail cell. Pardoning Annie when she was caught because surely she couldn't be the very dangerous Garibaldi thief. For rescuing her from the big bad robbers Gene was rewarded with a hug and a big kiss on the cheek. The others were made to beg and plead, promising to be very good and not steal any more cookies ever again before the little Gene Genie let them out of the jail cell.

Now they were all in the office passing the afternoon away. Little Gene Hunt was resting on the Guv's lap with his head curled up against his shoulder.

"Is he asleep?" Annie asked quietly.

"Dead to the world," Big Sammy confirmed.

"We wore him out," Chris chuckled.

"Don't know about you but I could have a nap as well," Ray retorted.

"I'll second that," Annie yawned.

"Time to bundle me lad off home then," the Guv announced. "Tyler you can carry Eugene. Save my back until we get there to me missus."

"Guv?" Big Sammy asked.

"You can stay in the car when we get there. Don't want a tongue lashing from your cousin Ruth Tyler when I promised me Eugene a treat!"

Big Sammy nodded as he stood and shifted little Gene in his arms, it had been a brilliant day for the blonde haired, blue eyed little 9 year old boy who dreamt of being a Guv like his old man and of fast Cortina GXLs chasing after the bad people mam warned him about whenever he went out to playing with Stu in tow during their adventures. It was nice having the little Gene Genie around!

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This was my idea on how a 9 year old Gene Hunt got his nickname "The Gene Genie", sees his adult life by visiting the Salford and Manchester 'A' Division and written from his point of view. I love writing ideas on how little Gene became the grown up Guv you see on Ashes to Ashes with hints of a tiny Philip Glenister, hope you enjoy reading this chapter as much as I did writing it!

Stay cool!