Monday, August 25, 2008



Okay, so the brilliant Life On Mars has been hijack by the American television networks and it’s anybody’s guess how the American version will compare to the original (if you’re a betting person, I’d look at the track records of other American cop shows copied from British originals – case in point, the disasterous American version of Cracker or the better, but underappreciated, Snoops).

Rather than forcing us to watch an inferior retread can’t BBC America IMMEDIATLEY import Ashes To Ashes – the follow up series to Life On Mars, which British critics found as brilliant or more so than it’s parent series.

According to Wikipedia:

As with the parent series, the show's name comes from a David Bowie song of the era in which it is set, in this case the 1980 single "Ashes to Ashes".

It is established that DI Alex Drake, a trained police psychologist, has been studying the suicide of DCI Sam Tyler and is familiar with the detailed description he recorded of his experiences of life in 1973 (whilst he was actually in a coma in 2006).

When Drake herself is shot during a hostage situation and finds herself transported back to 1981, it is her familiarity with Tyler's world that leads her to deduce she is "hallucinating". She also draws upon her knowledge of Tyler's experiences in 1973 to inform her decisions on how to act in the world of 1981. For example, she spends time finding and tuning a powerful radio so that she can receive information from the "real world", because this is how Tyler received information about the progression of his coma in his world of 1973. Alex does eventually receive messages via radio and television from Zippy and George, characters from Rainbow - a well known British children’s program.

Drake is also stalked by a sinister clown in a Pierrot costume which resembles David Bowie's appearance in the "Ashes to Ashes" music video. The clown appears to echo the role of the Test Card girl in Life on Mars.

Drake learns from DS Ray Carling that Tyler returned to Manchester in 1973 and spent seven years serving faithfully alongside Gene Hunt. In 1980 he drove his car into a river during a car chase and is presumed dead, though the body was never found.

A newspaper clipping paying posthumous tribute to Tyler's achievements hangs in Hunt's office. Hunt subsequently transferred to the Metropolitan Police, taking Carling and Skelton with him.

As in the case of Sam Tyler in Life on Mars, from Hunt's point of view Drake has asked to be transferred to his division from elsewhere. Unlike Tyler in Life on Mars, Drake is a DI in both the present day and the past.

I’m not asking much from BBC America – just a break from their constant repeats of How Clean Is Your House and sexploitation specials. There is already a second season of Ashes To Ashes in the works – Listen up BBC America – Give us Ashes to Ashes NOW!



The King Of Cool said...

I've heard of this one, but would love to a chance to see it. I love British entertainment. The Brits have so many wonderful television shows across the pond.


Got be honest Ashes to Ashes was utter crap. Life on Mars was brilliant but the follow up was badly thought out drivel.