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From the Ashes

February 8, 2008

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“You’re taller than I expected”
“I’m bigger in every department.”

Quick low-down on last night’s Ashes to Ashes launch. In a nutshell – not at all bad. Much better than I was worrying about. Obviously it’s no LoM, but it has its own charms. Namely Gene Hunt and Alex Drake, who have a fantastic, complex, sizzling relationship, full of verbal sparring, their sexual chemistry absolutely fizzling off the screen – but there are also quite tender, touching moments of unspoken understanding (certainly not something I expected from Hunt). I really look forward to seeing how they develop. Their simmering passion is just what we’ve been waiting for and it’s set to be the biggest ‘will-they-won’t-they’ since Ross and Rachel, Kat and Alfie…

Yes there are silly bits. The boat ‘chase’ at the end for one. And I didn’t like how they realised she was the new DI. That could have been handled better and was a tad clunky I thought. And I don’t like the clown. In the trailers he seemed more ominous (and certainly not as scarey as the Test Card Girl). When Zippy and George arrived I thought they’d turn them into figures of fear, but thankfully they didn’t. I don’t need any more childhood memories crushed.

Some uber fans have complained that ‘it’s just not the same without Sam’ and that they preferred it when Sam didn’t know what was going on. But I like that Alex knows. It makes it much more of a head feck. That she understands that her new surroundings are (as she puts it) “a subconscious construct brought on by severe cranial trauma” makes the whole thing more terrifying (for her at least) and the series darker (in amongst the fluro and glitter). And because with LoM the viewer didn’t know what was going on, it was OK for Sam not to know either. We went with him on his journey of discovery. Likewise with Alex. We know what she knows (literally, as Sam wrote notes that I’m assuming ran alongside LoM). So likewise, we too shall follow her.

I like the fact that she has a deep-rooted reason for getting back, I like that she knows she’s on the brink of death, I like that it’s following the same format of ‘there’s a big baddie you need to get to go home’. I love that Gene is still the sexist pig he always has been (but the world around him is changing, as Alex points out). There really is so much to love about this new series. Yes, A2A’s 80s London isn’t as gritty as the LoM’s North of the 70s, but with Gene’s Quatro, Drake’s Thelma & Louis-style shades and skinnies, no one can now say that the 80s weren’t cool. Pass me the perming solution…

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 8, 2008 8:53 pm

    I don’t know if I’m thick, but I didn’t really get it. Hopefully that was just the set-up episode trying to pack it all in.
    I thought it was very noisy too. Nice use of The Passions and Roxy Music though. Although you’re too young for that sort of stuff, eh?

  2. February 8, 2008 9:02 pm

    to young yes. but i still appreciated ‘vienna’ and of course, mr bowie esq…

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