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Ashes to ashes – BBC One

Gene Hunt is back, but itÂ’s the 80s and heÂ’s partnered with a woman, DCI Alex Drake. Life on Mars in 2006/7 saw Sam Tyler launched into a coma but back into the 70s to work with Gene Hunt, a police detective, with an interesting perspective on policing rules. Ashes to Ashes, the new BBC one series, sees DCI Alex Drake join Gene Hunt, Chris Skelton and Ray Carling in the 1980s. This Spin-off, also named after a David Bowie track, began mid-February this year.

Ashes to Ashes dropped onto our screens to see DCI Alex Drake, kidnapped in the 00Â’s, almost shot and sent back to the 80Â’s. The premise of the series centres around AlexÂ’s need to get home to her daughterÂ’s birthday party and to try and prevent her parents death in the 80Â’s. AlexÂ’s experience is filled with images from her past including direct contact with her parents and partnership with Sam TylerÂ’s old team, Hunt, Skelton and Carling.

Although quite upsetting to find out about Sam TylerÂ’s death and the lack of evolvement of Hunt, Carling and SkeltonÂ’s characters, (although Tyler was supposed to have influenced them for 7 years!), it is reassuring to think that they may have a second opportunity while working with a woman this time in London. The new series, while using a mix of science fiction and drama, connotes many issues to do with race, sex, gender and, most prominently, the law. Questioning the ethics in place within a policing system, the series, alike to the other series, attempts to reflect the good and bad of the present and past police system.

Gene Hunt is certainly a representation of past systems, if not truthful to the past, the BBC certainly present it as such. The series alike to Life on Mars is a treat for those around in the 80Â’s to look back at life as it was. One might wish to question how accurate they are in actuality. The BBC is an impartial (?) network so they might want to be careful considering how they have slightly touched on Thatcherism, already, in the second episode.

The series seeÂ’s potential to continue on Life on Mars track in its exploration of the past, from the presentÂ’s perspective, although hopefully will have a little more character development, and a little more resolve in where Drake actually is. Ashes to Ashes is probably enjoyable mainly to those who were present in the 80Â’s (but older than five), but cannot be written off to the rest of us. If you enjoyed Life on Mars, this looks good, but if you got frustrated with the slow pace of the story arc, it seems itÂ’s heading the same direction; however much Alex Drake wants to get back to her daughterÂ’s Birthday party, itÂ’s doubtful itÂ’ll happen soon.

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