Life On Mars/Ashes To Ashes complete box set uploaded to BBC iPlayer

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 8 voices, and was last updated by  steven87gill 6 days, 3 hours ago.

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  • #254190

    steven87gill

    On there for about a year apparently. LOM is my personal fave, but A2A was better than it got credit for.

    Series 1 has the best overall *feel* of the 3, although Alex admittedly is a little bit too arrogant & they had to tone it down a notch for later seasons.

    Series 2 was actually pretty good & had the corrupt cops story with Shaun Evans & Roger Allam (plus Adrian Dunbar before Line of Duty) The ending is totally batshit of course, but it serves as a great cliffhanger into the next series.

    Series 3 is an amazing conclusion to Life On Mars, but as a finale to A2A it’s a bit of a tonal mess, & the heavy handed religious subtext (particularly in the finale) manages to kill most of the tension & feels off putting. There are some great moments, & i like the *idea* of the final scene, but the whole thing comes off like fan fiction, it feels like the writers spent too much time trying to outwit the fandom and not enough time on a coherent story arc. Also the constant references to Sam Tyler feel deeply cynical considering John Simm was never asked to appear, & even if he had it would’ve been a quick cameo outside the pub at the end.

    Also, even if it was always the plan from day one of LOM to reveal what Gene’s world was, that doesn’t mean it was *ever* a good idea, it’s like trying to explain the mechanics of neverland, we don’t need to know why it is, it just *is* & that’s enough.

    The brilliance of Life On Mars’ finale was it’s perfect balance of ambiguity & finality. It gave closure & felt cathartic but had just enough questions unanswered to leave it open to interpretation.

    #254356

    Flap Jack

    Ashes to Ashes is just a rip-off of Red Dwarf Series IX.

    #254358

    Seb Patrick

    *checks for music substitutions*

    #254359

    Seb Patrick

    IT’S THE ORIGINAL MUSIC. Or at least, Wild Horses is definitely in place, which is the one I knew about.

    #254384

    si

    What changes did they make for the DVDs, then?

    #254745

    John Hoare

    G&T Admin

    I’ve been meaning to write a comprehensive article answering that question for years.

    Now might be my chance.

    #254776

    Ridley

    I was going to reply that series 3’s ending only works for series 3j not the show, from what I could recall from watching years ago but

    https://www.ganymede.tv/forums/topic/ashes-to-ashes-series-3/

    #254777

    Pete Part Three

    I’ve rewatched Life on Mars at least 3 or 4 times since it aired but never been inclined to revisit Ashes to Ashes, possibly due to misgivings about the ending. I remember very little about it beyond the opening episode, and the final scene where it disappeared up its own arse.

    #254778

    si

    Reading posts from nine years ago on that thread, with little memory of what actually happened but then-me telling now-me how good it was, has got me *really* wanting to watch it again now.

    #254779

    steven87gill

    ”Pete Part Three: I’ve rewatched Life on Mars at least 3 or 4 times since it aired but never been inclined to revisit Ashes to Ashes, possibly due to misgivings about the ending. I remember very little about it beyond the opening episode, and the final scene where it disappeared up its own arse”

    I think it didn’t help that series 3 as a whole moved away from Alex as its heroine, in a way that almost felt like defeat from the writers because they were struggling to keep her story compelling.

    Also the midway point of the finale where the characters discover they’re ghosts comes off a bit too awkward & meta, when unpretentious characters in a “cop show” are suddenly aware they’re in a high concept “fantasy show”, Keats going full ham & hissing & spitting didn’t help, you may as well paint red horns on his forehead whilst you’re at it.

    Thing is if you take away a lot of the heavy handed symbolism & red herrings (throughout series 3) the finale could roughly stay as is & still work: As for Alex i really don’t see the issue with her getting back to Molly or why the writers felt the audience wouldn’t want that, her becoming just another dead copper feels like a further sign of defeat from the writers who had more or less turned it into the Gene Hunt show by that point, where Alex’s was a side character in her own show (her only role in series 3 was to solve the mystery of who Gene Hunt is.

    #254834

    Plastic Percy

    It could’ve been a lot more meta. I remember reading that the original plan for the scene where DCI Keats destroys the CID office would involve knocking down the walls and revealing studio lights and equipment.

    #254895

    steven87gill

    Yeah, I remember reading about that. If memory serves, I think that’s when Jim Keats was only in the first two eps (from what i recall i think he was originally envisioned as a Guy Pearce from L.A. Confidential type character that Gene would run rings around for a few stories & then he’d disappear) & it would actually be Gene himself that trashes the office at the end revealing it as false.

    Only now rewatching the first two series do i realise how much the show worked best as a simple police procedural with aspects of the supernatural sprinkled in.

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