Home Forums Ganymede & Titan Forum Matthew Graham Reveals Details Of Life On Mars/Ashes To Ashes Sequel

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  • #259196
    steven87gill
    Participant

    https://www.radiotimes.com/news/tv/2020-04-02/life-on-mars-final-chapter-april-fool/ I don’t know how I feel about this. On one hand I’m excited, as I had serious reservations with how Ashes ended so a chance to conclude things on a slightly brighter note is a positive, but on the other hand I’m worried, as I had serious reservations with how Ashes ended so I fear that the writers will just double down on the direction they took the story last time, but on the other hand I’m excited, as what he’s suggesting sounds completely fucking batshit in a good way, but on the other hand i’m worried, as i… etcetera, ad infinitum

    #259197
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Assuming that this wasn’t later revealed as an April Fool, count me as interested but not excited. I don’t think Ashes to Ashes could have been any less open for a sequel. It’s done.

    Also, I know this was months agp, but it feels extra weird to think about a new police-centered TV drama right now, when the world has erupted in righteous anti-police protest.

    Granted, Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes are not so much straightforward cop shows as they are meta-commentaries on the cop shows of the past compared to the cop shows of the modern day, but still.

    #259199
    By Jove its holmes
    Participant

    As long as Creepy Test Card Girl’s doll comes to life and goes on a rampage, I’m in.

    #259205
    si
    Participant

    Assuming that this wasn’t later revealed as an April Fool, count me as interested but not excited.

    Not an April Fool.

    #259369

    I’m always interested to see how writers go about doing more of a show they clearly put to bed. And I enjoyed both shows a lot, so will look forward to more.

    He’s been talking about this for a while, so I’m glad it’s maybe coming to fruition, though likely not for a while now.

    Also, I know this was months agp, but it feels extra weird to think about a new police-centered TV drama right now, when the world has erupted in righteous anti-police protest.

    Fun thing about Life on Mars (and Ashes) is that it very bluntly shows you police brutality, and tells you its wrong over and over and over again

    #259370
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    It’s true, but the basic point is that 70s/80s police (or rather, 70s/80s cop shows) were the ones who had issues with brutality and corruption, while the modern police that Sam and Alex are a part of are much more fair, reasonable and accountable. So one could still make the argument that it glorifies policing as a profession.

    On top of that, as each series progresses the main character warms up to the old Gene Hunt way of doing things – and Sam eventually rejects his actual life in favour of it – so it isn’t even telling the audience that it’s so wrong, really. They always get the bad guys, so ultimately the past police are still depicted as righteous and successful despite their flaws.

    Of course, Life On Mars and Ashes to Ashes aren’t so problematic in the grand scheme of things. I’m not arguing that this new project should be stopped or anything. It’s just hard not to view things like this through a post-George Floyd lense when I hear about them.

    #259401
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    If it’s not called Hallo, Spaceboy – the perfect 90s Bowie title – I’ll be disappointed.

    I’m relatively excited for it, but wondering what they can really do after revealing Gene Hunt is a post-modern Charon, ferrying dead coppers to the afterlife.

    If Life on Mars was The Sweeney and Ashes to Ashes was The Professionals, I’d quite like to see them go for an Inspector Morse theme this time around. An ageing, verge-of-retirement Gene Hunt tooling about the Oxford countryside in a Jag.

    #259412
    steven87gill
    Participant

    It’s true, but the basic point is that 70s/80s police (or rather, 70s/80s cop shows) were the ones who had issues with brutality and corruption, while the modern police that Sam and Alex are a part of are much more fair, reasonable and accountable.

    An important point to make is that it will be mainly set in the present day because unlike the “now” of LOM/A2A, which was *relatively* sterile & dull, the world we’re living in now is anything but that, & in fact a lot of parallels could be drawn to the more chaotic, transitional times of the 70’s/80’s, in terms of where we are as a society with sexual politics, racial tensions & police brutality, which I think is something Matthew Graham & Ashley Pharoah both have something to say on. (that was actually their “eureka” moment for bringing it back in fact)

    It was actually setting it in the present day wasthe eureka moment that got Matthew Graham back into it.

    #259423
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I guess we’ll just have to see. If they can make a TV show with police protaganists and also say “all cops are bastards though” I’ll be impressed for sure.

    #259450
    Manbird
    Participant

    it feels extra weird to think about a new police-centered TV drama right now, when the world has erupted in righteous anti-police protest.

    one could still make the argument it glorifies policing as a profession.

    An important point to make is that it will be mainly set in the present day because unlike the “now” of LOM/A2A, which was *relatively* sterile & dull, the world we’re living in now is anything but that, & in fact a lot of parallels could be drawn to the more chaotic, transitional times of the 70’s/80’s, in terms of where we are as a society with sexual politics, racial tensions & police brutality, which I think is something Matthew Graham & Ashley Pharoah both have something to say on. (that was actually their “eureka” moment for bringing it back in fact)

    If they can make a TV show with police protaganists and also say “all cops are bastards though” I’ll be impressed for sure.

    Sorry, I’ve been trying not to get caught up in this discussion but you’ve forced my hand. I add the following link purely because it’s worth thinking about:

    Largely reasonable points have been raised in this thread, but some of the language is getting a little deterministic. If you want to discuss crime statistics relating to police brutality and hate crime in the UK and US we can do that, but idly throwing statements around and assuming a consensus opinion without the use of facts is deeply problematic.

    #259451
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I do get that there’s nuance in the conversation about police powers and crimes committed by the police against their own populations – and that the UK is different from the US due to the police generally not being armed and such – but I’m not sure what that infamous footage of a New York police union official going on an unhinged rant about protests is supposed to demonstrate? Other than American police unions acting like protection rackets, obviously.

    And come on now, I just semi-seriously referenced a popular slogan that exists to emphasise that the problems with the police are institutional and systemic, and institutions/systems are controlled by people. Ain’t nothing “deterministic” about that.

    #259452
    Manbird
    Participant

    I’m not sure what that infamous footage of a New York police union official going on an unhinged rant about protests is supposed to demonstrate? Other than American police unions acting like protection rackets, obviously.

    The point he’s making is that the police have been left out of the conversation and are being vilified by the media. There’s nothing unreasonable or “unhinged” in raising that issue. If there are systemic issues within the US and UK police forces then we need to make sure everyone’s at the table to discuss it, not just the ones who think spray painting “All Cops Are Bastards” outside their local supermarket makes them activists.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being censorious or having a go – I just think we need to be very cautious when discussing this issue. When I said the language was becoming a little deterministic I was refering to sentiments such as how the world has “erupted in righteous anti-police protest”.

    #259453
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    I disagree that police have been left out of the conversation, because, well, if they weren’t the dominant voice in the conversation then people wouldn’t need mass protests just to be heard.

    I’ve probably let this get a bit too off-track from Life on Mars, though, so I’m sorry about that. I just wanted to share my own feeling of whiplash from hearing so much anti-police stuff in the news to hearing about a new cop show.

    #259454
    Manbird
    Participant

    Hey, don’t apologise. Fair points. I’m sorry if I gave the impression I was chastising you in some way. That wasn’t the intention.

    As for Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes: check out the Russian remake The Dark Side of the Moon about a 21st century cop having to navigate his way through the bureaucratic and repressive Soviet police force of the 1970s. It’s a wonderful spin on the concept.

    #259459
    Flap Jack
    Participant

    Oh, wow, I never realised that was a thing. Can’t say I’m really expecting to easily find it on any streaming services.

    #259460
    si
    Participant

    There’s one set in the nineties somewhere, isn’t there? Japan or Korea, somewhere like that.

    #259463
    Ian Symes
    Keymaster

    But all cops *are* bastards.

    #259557
    Kris Carter
    Participant

    John Simms hinting on Twitter with the hashtag #lazarus… which I believe is a Bowie track title, right?

    #259567
    si
    Participant

    Interview in the new (August) SFX magazine with Matthew Graham.
    “One scene we have planned is going to take place in 2021 in the Jimmy Savile Wing of a hospital.”
    Sounds fun. :)

    #259569
    Manbird
    Participant

    In the meantime, you may wish to check out The Black and Blue Lamp (1988), an episode of the BBC2 drama anthology series Screenplay about a criminal from a 1940s police drama who mysteriously finds himself in a 1980s cop show…

    #259695
    steven87gill
    Participant

    I’m intrigued as to where the dramatic tension/narrative threat will come from given we know what is really going on with the world, surely the old formula of 90% standard crime drama with a bit of weird stuff happening can’t work now. “Gene, if we don’t hand the drugs over they’re going to kill Phyllis… oh, hang about”.

    #259848
    worldsgonemad
    Participant

    Well. For me the one thing about the ending of ashes to ashes. Is Alex really at peace? Despite moving to the “after life” we know Gene isn’t as he has stayed in the between world and such.

    And the new outlook of the world being we know there all dead could be an interesting spin on things. Rather than focusing on how a person returns to the ‘real world’. It gives us a chance to expand on the between world and the rules associated with it. While gene tried to keep those he loves close to him.

    #259902
    Pete Part Three
    Participant

    What I liked about Life on Mars was the mystery element, the interesting characters, the generally well written individual stories, the witty dialogue and the interesting examination of 70s versus 00s police procedures.

    What I liked about Ashes to Ashes was the way Gene Hunt called Keeley Hawes’s character “Bols”.

    #259908
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    I’ve seen reports that are suggesting the series will be a show-within-a-show concept and called ‘Tyler: Murder Division’, and that Graham is actively seeking John Simm to return for it. I’m not sure how I feel about that as a concept.

    #259927
    steven87gill
    Participant

    What I liked about Life on Mars was the mystery element, the interesting characters, the generally well written individual stories, the witty dialogue and the interesting examination of 70s versus 00s police procedures.

    What I liked about Ashes to Ashes was the way Gene Hunt called Keeley Hawes’s character “Bols”.

    I’d had no desire to re-watch Ashes or Mars since 2010, mainly because of serious reservations with how it ended, but it hit the iPlayer the other year & I gave it a go, & I have to say I’d forgotten how much I loved Ashes at the time (& slightly preferred it to Mars) That finale really tainted the show for me in retrospect.

    I’ve seen the tidbits of Lazarus on Twitter & I get the concept of setting it across the 70’s/80’s & today, but I still don’t fully understand how we get from the end of Ashes to the beginning of Lazarus. Most of the characters are “in the pub” & there’s no mystery anymore since the nature of the world, who Gene is & where they all were has been explained. So how exactly is this going to work?

    And it’s only 4/5 eps sounds awfully rushed to me considering how expansive the story is.

    #259935
    Plastic Percy
    Participant

    I think I slightly preferred Ashes to Ashes as three series gave the show more time to breathe, and allowed to feel like more of an ensemble show. Chris got to be more than the bumbling simpleton and went to some really dark places, and Ray was allowed to move on ever so slightly from being just a racist pig and explore some really tough issues relating to trauma.

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