Thursday, February 07, 2008

Ashes to Ashes

I've just seen the first episode of Ashes to Ashes, the much vaunted sequel to Life on Mars. Some thoughts from while watching it:

  • The opening sequence with the gunman by the Thames sees yet another appearance on television for my old school, the City of London School. Why did I never see television cameras when I was there?

  • Has Alex been hit or missed?

  • Alex Drake's outfit when she comes to in 1981 has to be seen to be believed. I can't remember 1981 - was it really like this?

  • Gene Hunt's shoes! Did people really wear those?

  • Gene, Ray and Chris are back and just the same, although Gene's got a new coat and car.

  • In the police station there's at least two black policemen - will there be conflict over racial attitudes?

  • Quite an introduction for the men!

  • Ah Zippy and George! Who of my generation doesn't have fond memories of Rainbow?

  • Alex finds herself in a world she thinks she understands but is it what she imagines?

  • Gene seems uneasy with "modern" policing - is he as out of place as others?

  • Alex is quite open about her situation - will this cause her problems in the station?

  • Zippy and George in the police station - quite a surreal sequence!

  • And is it me or has Roy Skelton provided their voices?

  • The clown is quite scarey!

  • Shadwell is quite close to QMUL but I don't immediately recognise the railway arches seen.

  • Sam Tyler lived in the past for seven years before drowning - or is he still alive somewhere?

  • When Alex walks into the restaurant why do I immediately think of Bergerac?

  • Gene knows that the knives are out for his type of his policing - will he act on borrowed time?

  • We're getting scenes that Alex isn't actually present for, something not done on Life on Mars - is this a sign that this really is 1981? Come to think of it, when in the present day Layton remembered Alex's mother, was he actually remembering Alex herself?

  • "I'm The A-Team." It hadn't started in 1981, had it?

  • What would happen if Layton died? A wake-up, a paradox or what?

  • Alex thinks she's done what it takes to get home, but is it that simple?

  • Even Alex found Gene's cavalry boat ride to be over the top!

  • Have Alex's parents already died yet? Or will we meet them soon?
The trailer for next week - and Alex's mother is alive...

All in all a good start to the series, showing it's very much a different beast and not just a rehashing of its predecessor. I'll keep on watching...


Jack Yan said...

You hit upon quite a few things: no, I don’t think we got quite as bright and white clothing-wise by 1981 though the trends were there. What Alex wore was technically available but I don’t remember anyone dressing like that (disregard the fact that I was nine). And yes, The A Team thing was out of place: a few years early here!
   I think we have three months to go before Alex’s parents are blown up.

Paul Burgin said...

I think Gene was using a phrase rather than a reference, although it's likely this is all in Alex's mind, so a bit of minor licence can be got away with.
I never, ever liked Rainbow, so was pleased to see George and Zippy in a rather creepy scene.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Plus one of the nice touches of both series is to have lines that have only a single meaning for the contemporary characters saying them but which both Sam/Alex and the viewer can read a double meaning into.

What was wrong about Rainbow Paul?

Paul Burgin said...

I found it twee and patronising, and Zippy's voice irritated me. Play School was more refined, pleasant, and just, well, so BBC

Chris Palmer said...

To be quite honest, I thought that the first episode of Ashes to Ashes was not very good at all when compared to Life on Mars.

The second episode wasn't much better either, though I did like the quote by Gene Hunt near the end which went: 'Useless spotty anarchic twat, nil. Royal Family and Gene Hunt, one.'


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