Sunday, December 14, 2008

ASHES TO ASHES!

ASHES TO ASHES!

LIFE ON MARS MAY BE NEW TO AMERICA (AND DOING QUITE WELL), BUT IT HAS ALREADY RUN ITS TWO SEASON COURSE IN BRITAIN AND SPAWNED A SPIN-OFF, ASHES TO ASHES (WHICH I ALSO ENJOYED). NOW ASHES TO ASHES IS READY FOR A SECOND SEASON. HERE'S WHAT THE BRITISH PRESS IS SAYING (COURTESY OF DIGITAL SPY) . . .

That's right - Ashes To Ashes is back for a second series in 2009, and as producer Beth Willis tells us, this time it's all about corruption...

The storyline with Alex and her parents found its resolution at the end of the last series. Is there a new mystery to see us through this series?

"Yes there is. Alex had a lot of certainty last time: as soon as she landed in 1981 she knew she was there for a reason , which was to see her parents. At the end of the series, she realised that that wasn't why she was there. It wasn't about saving [her parents] or stopping what happened because as far as she's aware, you can't change things in this world. It was actually about learning something about herself. In series two she starts off with a lot more uncertainty. It's been about six or seven months since we left her - it's now 1982 - and nothing's happened for a long time. But in episode one she gets news which alters her view of what's going on in 2008 and what's happened to her. And she also gets some news in 1982 which makes her think this world is not as straightforward as she thought it was!"

You've previously said that series two "moves in a slightly different direction". What did you mean by that?

"I think it's slightly darker. There's a big backbone across the series concerning police corruption in Gene's world. That's something that Gene and Alex have to deal with, seek out, battle against and survive amongst. I think that adds an element of darkness to their world, which is quite exciting and hopefully quite historically accurate, because there was a great deal of police corruption in that time. We wanted to explore what Gene would think about that and where his morals would lie. It's still massively fun, though."

This year the legendary Supermac makes an appearance. What does he bring to the team?

"Supermac is Gene's boss, and he is somebody who they all look up to in a big way. In episode one we find out that he is possibly involved in this corruption story, so that's a force that Alex and Gene are having to battle with across the series."

How does the relationship between Alex and Gene develop this series?

"At the end of episode eight last year, she realised he'd essentially saved her as a little girl, which made her have a respect for him that she hadn't had in the rest of the series. Not just for Gene in fact, but all the characters in the world. She'd spent a lot of time saying 'you're all constructs, so I don't really care what happens to you and it doesn't really matter'. Between then and now she's learnt to respect, and possibly even love, the people in this world. It feels very real to her now and she's been there enough of a time to feel as if that's her real life. One of the heartening things for Alex is that this world is gradually becoming more real to her than the real world is. In some ways she's willing to accept her feelings towards Gene more - but they'll still battle it out, flirt, disagree, shout and swear at each other in an incredibly appealing and sexy way!"

Does Sam Tyler crop up again in this series or have we drawn a line under that now?

"I think we've essentially drawn a line but he does crop up a couple of times. We have a character from Life On Mars who will come up at some point during the series and that will inevitably reopen questions about Sam..."

Is it possible you could have John Simm back?

"I'm sure that would be an interesting thing to do but I think it would have to be story-led. What we know thusfar is that Sam Tyler's car went into the river and he died. So that would be a bigger picture we are exploring if he were to come back!"

When the show launched earlier this year Phil Glenister said he saw Ashes as a two-series show. Was he right? Will this be the second and last series?

"I think there's definitely a bigger picture which could be explored in a third series. Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharaoh (exec producers) have always talked about the third series and we've always known in our heads what that would be. Fingers crossed that it's commissioned! It's not something we can say for definite but there's definitely a story to be told. In the meantime we've come up with a pretty exciting story for series two."

How far do you think this could go? When Ashes To Ashes ends, could you launch another spinoff show?

"Never say never. Certainly in our heads, we know about three series and we've got that far in terms of stories. That's not to say we couldn't do something else, of course."

2 comments:

ARCHAVIST said...

Got to be honest I was an huge fan of Life on Mars but I thought AShes to ashes was a pale imitation. Am looking forward to the US life on mars.

Lee Goldberg said...

Oddly enough, I like ASHES TO ASHES more than LIFE ON MARS which, in my mind, fell apart in season two. That said, both ASHES and the original LIFE are far, far better than the American version. It's hard to believe, but Harvey Keitel isn't half as good as Phil Glenister.