Friday, 21 May 2010

ashes to ashes finale

The Railway Arms
I've been quietly enjoying the "Ashes to Ashes" series, which finally ended on Friday night, including some neat wrapping of its interplay with the prior "Life on Mars" series.

I'm not sure whether the plot links would have been considered when the preceding Life on Mars series were made, but it was certainly well done, even if some of it had been retrofitted.

At it simplest level, Ashes to Ashes allowed a modern action police series to be set in the 1980s, be politically incorrect and break many modern day policing regulations. The blend of the surreal moments and the intrusion of cosmic forces added a certain spike to the show alongside some regular moments, such as the boozing in the subterranean Italian bistro. Indeed, even in the complex finale episode, there was also a diamond heist crime story in amongst the main storytelling.

The part I had guessed was that the Police Station was a sort of Underworld staging post and that maybe the new DI Kemp was a Charon figure ferrying souls to his variation of a Hell.

What made it fun, though, was that there was still enough originality in the scripts and ending, so that unless you'd sat down and analysed the show (I expect some did this), then for the average viewer there was a good chance to still be surprised.

As an example, I'd worked out the nemesis role, but hadn't picked up on the three lost souls that would form part of the ending. The moody lighting and cutaways in the final episodes helped to signpost this, but until Episode 7 I'd not really picked up the pointers (I watched the last two episodes together - travel, don't you know?)

I also didn't really figure out the Gene Hunt back story until it was unfolding, and found this to be a satisfying way to see the edges of the reality start to melt away.

I also smiled with the final scene, which even had a door slightly ajar during what was really a reset of the reality.

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