WHEN the TV awards are handed out next year, two names should be at the head of the list.
Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes have brought Gene Hunt and Alex Drake alive on screen.
Which is quite an achievement when you step back and consider the basic premise of Ashes To Ashes.
The relationship between Gene and Alex ranges from exasperation to genuine affection and love.
No more so than in this week’s series finale.
If you haven’t done so already, you can read my preview of the final episode here.
Regular readers will know of my admiration for Keeley Hawes’ acting.
And of my view that certain myopic critics have behaved disgracefully.
But don’t take my word for it.
Read the latest blog entry here from the always excellent Dean Andrews, who plays Ray Carling – “borrowed” by Alex this week for a special mission.
Aside from defending Keeley, he also points out that Ashes is a brilliant piece of television thanks to a total team effort.
I’ve now been lucky enough to watch episode eight a total of three times – and I’m more impressed on each repeat viewing.
Not just with the superb performances on screen from all concerned.
Or the marvellous script from Ashley Pharoah, which manages to encompass both sea scallops with pineapple rings and a quote from Henry David Thoreau.
As with Life On Mars, there’s so much to enjoy in Ashes.
That includes the production, direction, lighting, costume, art work, props, stunts, make-up, titles and music – both original score plus choice of individual tracks.
On the third viewing of the first series finale I suddenly spotted a clue as to how Alex’s story may eventually conclude.
Or it may have nothing at all to do with it. That’s all part of the spell weaved by this show.
As is the way with TV drama, it appears the scene in this last episode which was due to feature Gene singing has not made the final edit.
But Ray’s musical moment survives.
The closing minutes on Thursday leave you with a warm glow and simply demand a second series.
Life On Mars reached out of the television screen to touch the hearts of viewers.
And while a different show, Ashes To Ashes has – against all the odds – done the same.
You want TV with soul? Gene Hunt will give you soul.
Scroll down the page for more links.
David Bowie: Ashes To Ashes
Dean Andrews Official Website
Philip Glenister Official Website
Keeley Hawes Fansite
Henry David Thoreau
Ashes To Ashes: The Land Of The Living
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
Ashes To Ashes TV Features
Life On Mars Blogs
The Railway Arms Ashes and Mars Fansite