Ashes To Ashes: Don’t Be Distracted

THE former Sheriff of Manchester looks the part in episode three of Ashes To Ashes.
Gene Hunt does his best Clint Eastwood impression as the 1981 team go undercover at a fancy dress party.
As I’ve said before, it doesn’t do to get ahead of ourselves.
Episode three isn’t on screen until a week on Thursday.
But I thought you might like to see these newly released photos from the episode – with Ray as James Bond and Chris as Superman / Clark Kent.
Before that, there’s a dynamite episode of Ashes this week, with Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) right on cue.
If anything, it’s better than last week’s opener with a story set around the Docklands development in east London.
There’s also that marvellous Blitz Club sequence, including Steve Strange singing Fade To Grey.
Plus more clues about what may be happening to Alex (Keeley Hawes).
That scary clown still appears to symbolise death, telling DI Drake: “We are waiting for you, Alex.”

And what’s the significance of the flashback involving the schoolgirl Alex and her lawyer mum Caroline Price (Amelia Bullmore)?

It’s the day of the royal wedding involving Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer – but young Alex is left behind at school.
“Make sure she concentrates,” her mother tells an unseen character. “She’s easily distracted.”
Then there’s a scene where the camera lingers on Gene’s face for longer than most other TV dramas would dare.
Just what is he thinking? Can he really make a difference?
The music tracks are, again, very well chosen, including an evocative song which you can check out at the bottom of this blog.
Have you also noticed the number plate on Gene’s red Audi Quattro – JLY 75IV?
If you add the 75 to the I and then the V, it can be read: July 1981…the month Alex arrived in Gene’s world.

Here are 10 more things to watch out for in episode two on BBC1 at 9pm on Thursday:
1. David Dimbleby’s message for Alex.
2. Moxey from Auf Wiedersehen, Pet.
3. The name of the docklands pub.
4. The return of a favourite biscuit.
5. Supermarket Nostalgia.
6. Gene’s Big Break.
7. The date on which Alex’s parents were killed in a car bomb.
8. An archive newspaper ad for Operation Drake.
9. The cloakroom attendant at The Blitz Club.
10. A blue moon near Finsbury Square.
There’s plenty to look forward to later in the series.
As Phil told today’s Chris Moyles Show on Radio One: “It’s got some great twists coming up.”
*As it happens, I was lucky enough to be the MEN’s lead reporter inside St Paul’s Cathedral for the wedding of Charles and Diana in 1981.
The press positions were surprisingly close to the couple as they tied the knot, nearer than almost everybody aside from the two families and the officiating clergy.
And, sadly, I was again close by inside Westminster Abbey for Diana’s funeral just over 16 years later.
You can read more here.
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
Ashes To Ashes TV Features
Life On Mars Blogs
Operation Drake
The Railway Arms
Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark (OMD): Souvenir:


Filed under Ashes To Ashes

2 responses to “Ashes To Ashes: Don’t Be Distracted

  1. Jen "Scully" Z.

    Love your past blogs on A2A, LoM, and of course, Doctor Who–I always find myself checking in with you every day just about. 🙂
    Regarding A2A, I think it is interesting how you are as equally interested in the choices of music as you are the plot–not many people would bother to pay attention to the subtle nuances in the music selection, or the “messages” contained therein.
    I feel that Graham & Co. use music to tell just as important a story as the one being played out on screen, and most of the time the music holds small clues as to the “real deal”, the crux of the matter.
    I have used music for the same purpose in my own life for as long as I can remember. Every song tells something about a specific period. Many times I can recall how old I was, where I was, what I was doing, how I was feeling when I first heard the song, because the song “spoke” to me in some way, and then once I looked up the lyrics it was almost spooky how accurately the song described my life at that point.
    It is a very thoughtful way of telling a story, and it’s something I have appreciated about these writers since even the first episode of LoM.
    Anyway, thought I would impart my two cents’ worth about it since it didn’t seem like it had been mentioned yet.
    Looking forward to more great blogs!
    Jen Z.
    Olathe, Kansas, USA

  2. Ian Wylie

    Thanks Jen. As you point out, music plays an important part both in Life On Mars and Ashes To Ashes – not least in the choice of titles for both shows. I had a look the other day and I appear to have vinyl copies of almost every track used in Ashes, plus later CD copies. Needless to say, there are more excellent music choices coming up later in the series.

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