WELL, it’s been a while.
Filming for the second series of Ashes To Ashes is approaching the half way mark.
I’ll be on set to talk to the cast later this month.
And, hopefully, also talking to Philip Glenister at the launch of his ITV1 drama Demons the following week.
Phil gave an update on the new series of Ashes when he was interviewed on BBC Radio Five Live this afternoon.
As we know. It’s set a year on in 1982 – the year of the Falklands War.
He told the always excellent Simon Mayo that he hoped it would be screened on BBC1 from next March.
Update: My hunch had been that this may be the last series of Ashes To Ashes.
And that Phil was possibly getting ready to say farewell to Gene Hunt.
But it appears – ratings allowing – we will get a full three series.
Writers Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah have always said they need that many to tell the full story
Including the revelation of “the bigger picture”.
Thanks to the ever watchful Wibble for pointing me in the direction of Michael Ball’s Radio Two interview with Phil on Sunday.
Asked how much longer Ashes could go on, Mr G replied: “I think there’s one more series in it.
“I don’t want to push it and for Gene to become a sort of caricature.
“But we’re contracted for another series after this and then, maybe, we’ll call it quits, we’ll call it a day.”
On Five Live he spoke about playing an iconic figure – and the danger of being typecast.
“I don’t think we’ll go any further than ’82…I think that…yeah.”
That prompted Simon to ask: “So is this the last series?”
Phil replied: “We’re contracted to do another series – so, we’ll see.
“But after that, I’m not sure, I think we might have run its course, actually.”
Here are some of the other highlights from the Five Live interview relating to the new series:
*“We’ve got quite a good police corruption storyline which will sort of be the underlying story for the first half of the series, which is quite fun…because there was quite a lot of it going on at the time.”
*As with previous series of Ashes and Mars, the writers put down in the script the choice of music they’d ideally like to be playing in the background. ”We were shooting a piece on Saturday where I have to be in the Audi Quattro. And we sort of spin it round and we’re looking for Alex Drake, and the writers had written, ‘The Eye Of The Tiger kicks off again.’ And you think, ‘Yeah.’”
*As already trailed, the second series of Ashes has gone darker. “Doing this series, we learned from the first what worked and what didn’t. We had chats and talks about it. So, hopefully, this series we’re more sure-footed, a bit more confident about where we’re going with this one – and we’ve brought in some new semi-regular characters.”
*”We’d had some criticism for Ashes – some of it justifiable, some of it unjustifiable. It’s a personal opinion but I think we got a bit too comedic in places and there was a danger of caricaturing the situation. That was my biggest concern about it. I think a lot of the unfair criticism was towards Keeley and her performance. And I think they got quite personal. I thought it was pretty much unfounded, really, and unfair. And when it becomes personal like that, I don’t think there’s any place for it, really.”
*He told how Harvey Keitel rang him for advice about playing Gene Hunt in the American version of Life On Mars. “He said, ‘You did a real good job on the English version and how am I going to follow you?’ And I said something really naff and rather luvvy-like…he said, ‘Have you got any notes?’ I said, ‘Just enjoy.’ I’ve seen the first episode and it is shot, virtually, exactly the same as our own version, down to the same camera angles, even the dry ice and the smoke in the background – it sort of defeats the object. You might as well just show ours.”
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
Life On Mars Blogs
Philip Glenister Official Site
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