TV wise I was (unusually for me) an avid watcher of Life On Mars but Brit TV knows not to milk a good idea for too long and so we reached a debatable conclusion after only 2 series even if primary actor John Simm thought the writers should have been braver and ended the final episode several minutes before they actually did (which would have been a much darker ending-NB: spoiler links).
As it was the writers couldn’t resist a happier ending and the option to carry some of the characters on. And so this coming Thursday will see the Life on Mars offshoot Ashes to Ashes attempt to carry on the formula whilst removing the whole coma/time travel mystery (the new visitor from the ‘future’ will not only know all the theories, she’ll already be familiar with the main characters also) and moves the ‘nostalgia’ period setting from 1973 to 1981 and from Manchester to London.
This will be a slightly different viewing experience for me as I was obviously that much older in 1981 than 1973 so the series will be trying to recreate a period that I experienced in a slightly more grown up state than 1973 though a lot of artistic license was used in the previous series and little reference was made to the main events of the day as really the series was just a creative pastiche and played on metaphors for concepts of reality,moving on, consciousness and dealing with death and self invented afterlife scenarios.
I hear that the whole early 80’s new romantics fashion will be recreated along with a depiction of the Blitz club. Obviously the series title is yet another Bowie reference and it looks like the pierrot clown of the original Ashes to Ashes video may be the equivalent of the test card girl in the original Life on Mars and a its recurring appearance may provide some of the darker elements in this series.
I wait to see if this is a series too far and if the Gene Hunt one-liners can remain funny.