Last Night’s TV – Ashes To Ashes


So, the Quattro was fired up, everybody wore clothes that would make Tranny and Susannah throw up and Alex was/is still stuck in the past, but now she’s in 1982 and of course Gene Hunt is still loud, bullish and fabulously opinionated and has – thank the gods of TV script writing heaven – lost the annoying American accent that he adopted in Demons and is back to his Mancunian self. Praise be.

If I had to choose just one line that I loved from Gene last night, it would be when he exclaimed that signs should be erected in “every train station in the north saying the streets of London are paved with sh**”. Maybe it was left there by the talking Alsatian who ‘talked’ to Alex per chance…

So with the – I consider – wicked witch of Downing Street, Margaret Thatcher, at the helm of a failing but self-congratulatory country full of entrepreneurs in braces and with the Falklands war being the topic of conversation with everyone, Alex is still struggling to get back to 2008 – with a new twist in the form of someone else who seems to be trapped in time – as the premiere of the very confusing Ashes To Ashes commenced with a dead copper, a bent copper and an appearance by Alex’s daughter on Grange Hill!

Add to that an old lady who whispered at Alex in a man’s voice, the aforementioned doggy who had a few things to impart, and, quite understandably, Alex didn’t know who or what was her imagination or her reality… and nor did I.

The simmering sexual chemistry between Alex and Gene seems to be revving up too but even though he saved her younger self from the car bomb that killed her parents, she’s still not sure she can trust him, but as her bizarre world gets ever more confusing, she needs him more and more so maybe they’ll end up hopping on the good foot and doing the bad thing before the series is out.

The old faves are back too in the form of the ‘team’ which includes Shaz and boyfriend Chris who’re happily trying to be the perfect couple while Ray  spends most of his life taking the pee out of Chris over his romantic gestures. The remainder of Ray’s life in ’82 seems dedicated to opining that Margaret Thatcher’s the best thing since sliced bread and it’s all “the Argies” fault; and I think he meant everything, not just the war…

A new face is on the scene though in the form of ‘legend’ copper, Detective Superintendent “Supermac” Mackintosh who threw Gene a bit of a curve as his ‘gut’ told him the man wasn’t all he seemed, and as a Mac wearer – who has comedy belt-stuck-in-car-door mishaps aplenty – he was well placed to judge I reckon. And when new boss Supermac uttered the words, “Everything will be black and white from now on” you just knew they’d be anything but, and you’d be right…

This show has more twists and turns that Chubby Checker Night at Twister headquarters!

Last night’s other plot surrounded the death of fellow copper, PC Sean Irvine, who was found dead in a Soho strip club and at first glace, it looked like a sex game gone wrong so new boss Supermac ordered Gene and Alex to keep the case under wraps. Supermac reckons he’s going to clean up the dirty vice ridden streets of London, and Soho in particular… I was half expecting him to say something like, “Not on my watch” or “Let’s be careful out there”.

PC Irvine was supposed to be working on said street clean-up campaign but there he was, dead as a dodo and apparently a victim of auto-erotic asphyxiation but his Mrs didn’t believe he’d do that and Gene believed her; there was something fishy going on, and it had nothing to do with fishnet stockings… They were both right of course and it turned out poor PC Irvine had in fact been murdered, his death scene set-up to do exactly what it at first did – throw the police off the trail.

Then a vital witness was murdered too and then when it transpired that Supermac had been knocking off the deceased’s wife, the thick plottened and Gene’s gut was positively screaming at him vis-à-vis the new kid on the block.

And while all that was going on, Alex – and I – got ever more confused as to just what the doohickley was going on with red herrings and/or clues being bandied about all over the shop.

I have to say, I love Philip Glenister but I’m not sure how much Ashes To Ashes I can take; it’s just kinda silly and confusing and I’m a TV viewer of the lazy variety; I just want to sit like a slack jawed yokel staring at the screen and expecting it to entertain me until I can fall into bed – I don’t really want to have to do a lot of thinking…

The only exception to that rule is Lost – which I am in fact obsessed with, so maybe my limited brain space is too taken up with trying to figure that out to take onboard another head-scratcher… so I don’t know if I’ll carry on watching or not, the jury’s still out but what did you think of it? Too daft for words and pale by comparison to Life On Mars – and should we stop with the comparisons and judge the show on its own merits now – and either way, did you enjoy it? Let us know!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.