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Ashes to Ashes: Dust to Dust…

My name is Alex Drake… and your guess is as good as mine.

– Alex introduces us to the third season

Ashes and Ashes wound up last week. It seems to be the time of year for shows wrapping up. I could remark on how I’m hooked on this eclectic collection of British and American shows, but can’t find a decent Irish television show to watch week-in-and-week-out, but I’ll save that rant. It would appear that we have seen the last of the iconic Gene Hunt. And, you know what, it was nice. As nice as an attempt to give the old-fashioned politically-incorrect copper some closure could ever really be.

Gene Hunt takes some parting shots...

Note: This article will discuss the final episode of Ashes to Ashes and also has the capicity to retroactively spoil Life on Mars. You have been warned.

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Life on Mars USA

Well, that was… weird. I seem to be the only person on the planet with love for the American iteration of Life On Mars. It got a lot of hate for being too conventional, for not being as ‘out there’ as its British predecessor and basically being unoriginal. And I can appreciate those critiques having watching the first season – they are all relatively fair. On the other hand, isn’t it a little unfair to measure it directly to the original series, like comparing apples and oranges? New York of the 1970s was a very different place from Manchester of the 1970s and the new series had its own aesthetic. I won’t pretend that the show was a masterpiece of television history, but I do think that Life on Mars certainly deserved a second season.

Is there life AFTER Mars?

Note: It seems impossible to discuss a show like this without discussing the (incredibly divisive) ending. I will be doing that, in gory detail, below. However, as per usual, I will flag it a paragraph or two beforehand, so you can avert your eyes or navigate away or do whatever you need to do. Consider yourself forewarned.

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Ashes to Ashes, Funky to Funky…

Caught the finale of Ashes to Ashes on the Beeb last night. It was actually quite good, all told – though it did end on the twist that I had predicted erroneously that Life on Mars would end on. Still, though the second series was a vast improvement over the first, I couldn’t help but think that Ashes to Ashes remained in the shadow of Life on Mars throughout its run. It was solidly entertaining television and one of a handful of shows I’d watch week-in and week-out, but it wasn’t really spectacular. And it had so much potential…

Here come the fashion police...

Here come the fashion police...

Update: Apparently Ashes to Ashes is to have a three-season run, confirmed by Philip Glenister on BBC Breakfast yesterday, so this article is rather premature. I’m not sure if this changes how I feel about that  brilliant  final scene, but I’ll be tuning in…

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