I've now had the chance to see the final ever episode of Ashes to Ashes. Quite simply it didn't disappoint.
All the main questions raised over the course of both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes have been answered, but with a sufficient degree of ambiguity that everyone can take their own interpretation on the final details with them. And the acting was strong - while Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes have received much praise over the course of the whole show, the final episode was somewhat stolen by Daniel Mays who fully embraced the true nature of his character, Jim Keats. (Already I've seen people calling for him to be in Doctor Who as the next incarnation of the Master.) The environment they were all in made total sense.
Was everything subtle intended? Perhaps not. Take that shot of Dixon of Dock Green at the end. George Dixon was the classic example of the upright policeman from the 1950s and the clip was chosen just to represent Gene Hunt's original time. (SFX: Ashes Exclusive interview with co-creator Matthew Graham) But Dixon was also the first policeman to die in his first appearance (the film The Blue Lamp) and have a series after that - so was Dixon of Dock Green also set in the same place? And then there was also the 1980s TV movie The Black and Blue Lamp in which the villain and policeman from the earlier film travelled forward to a 1980s gritty cop show, to contrast the values of two separate eras...
All in all it's been a wonderful few years with the two series, but eventually all good things must come to an end. And this most definitely was the end - there may be an obvious way to create another spin-off but without the mystery it just wouldn't be the same.