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This review is from: Ashes to Ashes: Complete BBC Series 1  [DVD] (DVD)
Everyone is aware that is not life on mars and this series is quite short of what life on mars was. However, the direction that this show took the whole franchise into was very sensible. Gene Hunt is somewhat toned down due to the changes he had experienced in his personal life, the police force and his country's state. If he had continued in the manner we had saw in the previous series, he would have quickly became some tiresome novelty act. The characters of Ray and Chris were developed more-so which gives the show a whole new dimension of interest. Many will say they find the performance of keeley hawes in this particular series annoying and snobish, but i think this is simply the result of good acting and a strong portrayl of the character, which is what the writers were trying to acheive. Alex Drake is not Sam Tyler, both have different personalities and come from different backgrounds which, in a a sense, is more interesting to watch. The relationship between Hunt and Drake is compelling as both are almost complete opposites and there is also a tension which lingers as they are opposite sexes. Anyway, overall, some parts of this series are very good, the last episode in particular, and also many are not so good which i think s the result of a rush job. The second series of this show far surpasses this, but ths series was solely for helping the show find its feet. It's still entertaining, nobody can say its not, and those who cannot help but rubbish it in comparison to life on mars are rather deluded in my opinion. Apart from references made about sam tyler on rare occasions, this show is now one in its own right and name. Early episodes are undeniably dissapointing but from the last episode onwards into the second series it has become the most gripping thing on british TV. So yeah, its the best thing on TV when its on, i think its worth a watch, if you do not like this i would still strongly reccomend wathcing the second series, which wont dissapoint. Enjoy, if you can...
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Initial post: 5 Jan 2010 19:17:58 GMT
Last edited by the author on 5 Jan 2010 19:39:52 GMT
Mr. L. M. Pomeroy says:
Even you yourself admit that this is not as good as Life On Mars so why get on other the case of other people who also take that view? They are only voicing their opinions and therefore it is a little bit rude (and not in keeping with the rest of your well-mannered review) to label them as deluded.
Also - a will-they-won't-they scenario in Ashes To Ashes has been done many more times before than I care to count. The time-travelling cop aspect and the play-off of old policing methods against newer policing methods was done before, too - in Life On Mars itself. Therefore this show is far less ground-breaking than Life On Mars.
Yeah, I'm sure the actress does a fine job and perhaps the script writers (as you maintain) wanted her to be aloof. If that is so then the script writers have made a blunder IMHO. She is suppose to be the leading character and in this respect she is not someone I sympathise with. I think that is a major problem in any series - the hero has to be someone we "root for". I would have thought that anyone who had been transported back into the past would have very little about which to feel assertive or self-righteous (or "smug") - this is where the Life On Mars time traveller's script beats its Ashes To Ashes counterpart - Life On Mars is just more convincing in how you would imagine the main character to behave when in such a compromised situation.
As for Gene Hunt becoming a tiresome novelty act if he carried on as he did in Life On Mars ... speak for yourself! Persumably the previous and current public and critical acclaim of The Sweeney and the (old) Minder are due to the shows becoming tiresome novelty acts? I do like your explanation that Gene Hunt has matured from his work and life experiences, though.
Another area where I think you miss the point: for many, the whole issue of this series and Life On Mars is the old style of policing versus new methods - the pros and cons and contrasts of each approach. If this has been toned-down, as you (correctly) maintain, then IMHO this is the WRONG direction for the franchise to go in as this is precisely what distinguishes the drama from anything else. What is the point of having a time travelling cop if the old era policing methods are more and more similar to the current era? (oh, yes - the costumes will be different - big deal).
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