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Customer Review

52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bollinger-Knickers takes on the Gene Genie, 28 Mar. 2008
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This review is from: Ashes to Ashes: Complete BBC Series 1 [2008] [DVD] (DVD)
It would be very tempting just to say this isn't quite as good as Life on Mars, but the only thing that's really missing is the originality of the concept. Psychologically-trained copper DI Alex Drake is fully aware of what happened to Sam Tyler in Life on Mars - she's studied his case and she knows all about Gene, Ray, Chris and the rest. She thus enjoys something of a separateness from the action, totally convinced that none of it is real and that those in the 1981 world are 'constructs' created by her, rendering the dreamlike quality much more haunting and niggling this time round. She's also a little smug (Gene calls her Bollinger-Knickers, but clearly fancies this 'posh bird' something rotten). Some female viewers I know find her very annoying - I, like Gene, find her very sexy!

The best episodes are the first and last. In the first, you suspect the writers had a deliberate checklist of things to include to hook Life on Mars fans: an intriguing setup; a new car; the most memorable tunes of the era; Zippy and George from Rainbow (remember Basil Brush and Camberwick Green from Life on Mars?). This may be a little arch, but it's what we viewers want! As for the last episode...no. No clues!

Along the way there is much fun to be had, together with inspired touches like bringing the real Shaw Taylor out of retirement for a Police 5 segment.

It's addictive, it's a winner. Yes, it's a bit uneven, occasionally too tricksy, occasionally historically inaccurate. But knackers to that, as I'm sure Gene himself would say!
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