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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite series of the franchise!
I've been a LOM and A2A fan right from the word go, and this series, for me, is probably the best yet.

It's got the darkness and grit of Life On Mars, but still manages to keep the crazy 80s vibe which I loved in the first series of Ashes To Ashes. But the thing I love about it the most is the development of the characters, especially Chris and Ray (giving...
Published on 15 Aug 2009 by Synesthesia

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality
Poor picture quality spoils viewing. It is still watchable but it is disappointing.
Published 2 months ago by Mrs Louise Bull


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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Possibly my favourite series of the franchise!, 15 Aug 2009
By 
I've been a LOM and A2A fan right from the word go, and this series, for me, is probably the best yet.

It's got the darkness and grit of Life On Mars, but still manages to keep the crazy 80s vibe which I loved in the first series of Ashes To Ashes. But the thing I love about it the most is the development of the characters, especially Chris and Ray (giving Marshall and Dean a chance to flaunt their skills), Alex's increasing dependency on Gene, and the issues this leads to, and of course Alex's continued battle to get home.

Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes really do shine together, and the more grounded, level headed Alex we see in series 2 is even more likeable than her series 1 persona, and the emotional development in Gene really does show what a truly complex and above all, human character, he is.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire Up The Quattro - LOM Team has done it again!!, 10 Jun 2009
Normally you don't write reviews before the DVD release date but this time i have to. I was a big fan of LOM and after the first episode of A2A i was not sure if this show could keep what LOM already delivered. But after seeing episode after episode i got thrilled by this show just as i was with LOM. I preordered the DVD set of series 1 and enjoyed it very much. When series 2 was ready to preorder i ordered it without having seen even one episode of the series. Now after the completion of series 2 on BBC i am very glad that i preordered the set because it only gets better and better. Gene Hunt, Alex Drake, Ray Carling, Chris Skelton, Shaz (does she have a surname?), Luigi all so loveable characters. Those added with twists and turns, 80s feel and music, great one liners and some big question marks leaving you begging for more! I just love the show and i can recommend it to everyone who likes well written scripts, great characters and thrilling quality TV. They have done it again: i'm totally hooked. So, fire up the Quattro an let it be the realease date of season 2 so i can watch it again and again :)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Get Enough Of This Show!, 13 Jan 2010
By 
Michael Royer "ex-Disney cartoonist" (Medford, Oregon, USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Thanks to friends in the UK and having in my home an all region player I was lucky enough to discover LIFE ON MARS and ASHES TO ASHES many moons before other USA media nuts like myself. Don't need to go into detail on how much I enjoyed LIFE. The US version sucked rubber donkey lungs in my opinion, with the exception of the unaired David E. Kelly first pilot. Already a Keeley Hawes fan from the US A&E airings of MI-5(SPOOKS) I was eager to see ASHES TO ASHES although a bit skeptical about it equaling LIFE. What a surprise! Loved it. And then came series two of ASHES. To quote Higgins from MAGNUM P.I.: "Oh my Gawd!" It just keeps getting better and better. Love the growth of the supporting characters and ol' Gene Hunt (the 80's version of Ryan from THE SWEENEY) and of course Keeley won my heart ages ago. Great writing, wonderfully shot and if Alex and Gene don't do something pretty damn soon about their mutually denied attraction to each other...gad. You can cut the sexual tension with a knife, or maybe I'm just projecting my own feeling towards the lovely Ms. Hawes...who knows...who cares...it's a damn fine show, great actors and compelling story lines. Is this a review or a love letter? Don't bother me with motivations, okay. I love this show. Am delighted there are plans for a series three. Just go out and BUY IT...of course, from AMAZON UK. Ramblin' blather from a fan in The States. 'Nuff said.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A2A 2.0: Darker, funnier, and better, 11 Jun 2009
I was a fan of the original LOM and Series 1 of A2A had its moments. I liked that Alex was the complete opposite of Sam. She was sure of herself, didn't care what anyone thought and was pro-active. Some thought her smug, I thought her wonderful. I didn't care for Gene Hunt in LOM, he bent the law, drank too much, and beat people up thinking he'd get confessions.He thought he was above the law. Yes, he was decidedly un-P.C. but I didn't care for him...I was in the minority as some found him heroic.

In A2A, Gene evolved. He wasn't policing in the 1970's anymore and Alex helped him use more modern techniques. A grudging respect blossomed.
In Series-2, the respect and working relationship has bloomed. Alex has settled in nicely with the team. The banter is wonderful as ever but the over-arching mysteries of this series are deeper, darker and more sinister.
A growing police corruption scandal is present throughout as is Alex's completely upended vision of where exactly she is and how to get out. The rules of this world aren't what she thought. The ground is constantly moving under her feet but she has found a bit of traction with the team and particularly Gene Hunt. Ray, Chris, and Shaz are there for support and a spot of learning but something is amiss.

I won't spoil it but this does crescendo beautifully to a final two-part conclusion which had our family simultaneously holding our breath and screaming. Pins and needles this one.

The writing is far more assured in Series-2 and so is the direction. Hawes and Glenister shine and they do have chemistry to burn: it's deeper than sexual chemistry and neither will admit it. They are both supremely gifted at speaking volumes with their eyes. The supporting cast each get their moment in the sun and they shine. I particularly loved the Alex-Ray relationship and how it developed through the season. Marvelously played with a deft touch by both.

If you like to get lost in mysteries and love to theorize, this is your show. You do have to watch and re-watch. I miss half the clues on first watch. The producers are careful to plant clues from the first seconds of episode one that reverberate all the way through the finale.

Well done!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars We know Major Tom's a Junkie..., 24 April 2010
Like many others I was seduced by Life On Mars' heady mix of action, intrigue, and police brutality. I also enjoyed Ashes to Ashes series 1, once I'd got used to Alex 'Bols' Drake and how different she is from Sam Tyler. However, this second series of Ashes to Ashes is absolutely superb; it just keeps getting darker as the episodes pass, and with the likes of Roger Allam as the sinister DCC Mackintosh jumping on board, the quality just keeps going up too.
Gene Hunt retains his brashness and caustic wit from the earlier series', but it is clear that his morality is more in line with that of Alex, and the relationship between the two has become more ambigious as Drake leans more heavily on him in her quest to return home. The episode where Gene joins the masons, and the ongoing intrigue caused by the seeming presence of another of Alex's contemporaries from 2010, are just two of the great aspects of this series, and I have high hopes that series 3 (currently being broadcast) will see this outstanding series go out on a high.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The GeneGenie Returns, 14 July 2009
Having been a gigantic LOM fan and also watching series 1 of A2A, I was really astounded by series 2. The overall darkness and tougher direction of the show was a vast improvement. The grounding of Alex into the team really helped to establish the direction of the episodes. Having said that A2A is about suspending your dibelief and I personally was caught up in the overall 'feel' of the show, the music, lighting, staging and setting of the series. A2A has a very particular 'mood' and 'essense' which gives it an other worldly quality. However one slight criticism is that I personally felt this time the character of Shaz was slightly ignored and I would have liked to have seen more character development. it is not often that I am reduced to tears or shout at the telly but LOM and A2A has managed to reduce me to this each time. I think what I love mostly, is that I really care about the characters and what happens to them, Alex predicament is heart wrenching and Keeley Hawes is an astounding actress with an ability to deliver such complex emotions. As for Gene and Alex I hope in series 3 there is a resolution of their 'so called relationship'. I have no idea how on earth they will be able to resolve the show with the two central charactes stuck in different decades, but I can't wait to find out. I will be devastated when this show finally ends, knowing we will never have the joy of watching Philip Glenister strutting purposefully, coat flapping, cigarette in mouth, through the corridors of Fenchurch East as the enigmatic Gene Hunt.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it :), 17 Aug 2009
Well, first off, I'm a huge fan of Life on Mars as it was something so much better and different than any other cop show I'd ever seen. None of my friends watched it (which they will regret once I force them to see what they're missing), but every episode had me hooked on the edge of my seat, and I reccomend the series to everyone.
Like some other reviewers, I too saw the first episode of Ashes to Ashes and thought it was lacking something...first off I thought it was because DI Alex Drake wasn't a very likable character as Sam was...but as every episode goes by it built up more and more and your love for the series grows.
Here in series two there's even more laughs with the crew, mystery as Alex tries to find out why she's actually here in 1982, and of course, those catchy tunes of the 80's.
Ashes to Ashes will keep you totally hooked that you can't miss a single episode, as you explore 1980's crime with the great and lively character's we all love.. DCI Gene Hunt, DI Alex Drake, DS Ray Carling, DC Chris Skelton, Shaz and many more :)
I highly recommend it to anyone,as there's all sorts of things to suit everyone's tastes....comedy (mostly provided by Ray and Chris), drama, crime, mystery and twists and turns that'll keep you on the edge of you're seat!!! even you weren't around in the 80's (I wasn't) you'll love it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great series, Don't know about the DVD, 14 Jun 2009
I missed the first series of Life on Mars but caught it on the re-run. Since then I've been hooked.
Despite all the criticism leveled at Ashes to Ashes I enjoyed it from the start. Series 2 ended with a really neat twist in the tail.
I'll do the same with the A2A s2 DVD set as I did with all the previous series: Add it to my "Save for later" list and wait for the price to come down to something sensible.
Can't wait for series 3.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Top Quality Drama, 21 Jan 2010
By 
John R. Hirdman "Moon Drifter" (Perth, Australia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
My daughter introduced me to Life on Mars when it was half way through the 1st series on TV. I couldn't get the point. When we watched from the beginning on DVD I was absorbed and just loved the characters, the "historical" ambience and the intriguing plot. Ashes to Ashes has lost a few favourite characters, but has introduced some new and appealing ones. The focus has become more "serious" in that we gradually gain an understanding of how gritty being a "Copper" can be - especially if you want to make a change. Just love the music tracks being played -very nostalgic. Ashes to Ashes is a lovely place to "visit'. Still cannot work out "what is real", but have just been reading about string theory and parallel universes so maybe this is similar??? Looking forward to season 3. A pity that some things must end - "All things must pass".
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ashes to Ashes Season 2 rocks, 25 Sep 2009
By 
This series just gets better and better. The mighty Philip Glenister is on top form as usual, with the storyline forever keeping the viewer guessing. Complemented by a great soundtrack, this slice of eighties nostalgia reminds us what was good (and bad) about that time and how political correctness has changed the UK.
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Ashes to Ashes - BBC Series 2 (New Packaging) [DVD]
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