Ashes To Ashes: Stairway To Heaven

THE busker started playing his guitar as I walked towards the escalator heading up to the street.
Piccadilly Circus underground station in London at 1pm today.
And his choice of song?
Stairway To Heaven.
I felt a sudden shiver down my spine.
Not due to any resemblance between an ascending Piccadilly Line escalator and the title of Led Zeppelin’s classic song.
With all due respect to Eros, Piccadilly Circus isn’t most people’s idea of paradise.
More to do with the fact that I was on my way to interview Philip Glenister ahead of the second BBC1 series of Ashes To Ashes.

Was this a clue to the big mystery at the heart of Ashes and Life On Mars?
With somebody, somewhere, trying to tell me that, yes, Alex Drake really is stuck somewhere between Heaven and Hell?
Or just a meaningless co-incidence?
Who knows?
As with Life On Mars, Phil is tireless in his efforts to promote Ashes To Ashes.
Even though there must be times when he’s feeling absolutely knackered.
Having just finished a very long shoot.
He’s always polite, friendly and engaging company.
With plenty to say about Gene Hunt’s adventures in the second series of Ashes.
I know from the blog comments and emails that fans are desperate for news.
There’s so much to tell about the return of Gene, Alex, Ray, Chris and Shaz.
Sadly…and I hate typing these words again…not just yet.
The Ashes interviews and other linked material remain under embargo until closer to the date of transmission.
That’s just the way it works.
At the risk of repeating myself, it’s as frustrating for me as it is for you.
All I can say is that it’ll be worth waiting for.
Which is what we’re all going to have to do for a little bit longer.
As Phil’s website states, the new series is now due to start in April.
As also already reported elsewhere, he’s banished his Demons.
With everyone hoping a third and final series of Ashes will be green lit for filming later this year.
Everything I’ve heard over the last few months suggests we are in for quite a ride.
There’s every chance that creators Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah will be able to tell the full story via the third series.
Finally revealing that “bigger picture” and the “big mystery” about Gene Hunt.
Never mind the exasperating wait on the long escalator ride between series.
I’m looking forward to some brilliant television once it reaches 1982.
How about you?
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
Life On Mars Blogs
Philip Glenister Official Site
The Railway Arms Ashes and Mars Fansite



Filed under Ashes To Ashes

58 responses to “Ashes To Ashes: Stairway To Heaven

  1. Izzy D

    It’s frustrating having to wait for interviews etc. until nearer the show’s airing, but by the sounds of it, it’ll definitely be worth it. I’d love there to be a 3rd series, it’d be utterly fantastic!

  2. Rina

    You’re evil. 😛
    Can’t wait for the new episodes as I’m more curious than with Life on Mars as to what Alex and Gene’s story will be. But *sigh* April it is…

  3. Maria

    Hes give with the one hand ..and taketh away with another…
    Thanks for the ickle update all the same..

  4. Glover

    The only frustration involved is that there is a second series and the terrible threat of a third. I wish people would stop being taken in by the hype, take the blinkers off and try thinking for themselves for a change. Then they’d see that this was the worst piece of television to (dis)grace our screens for a very long time. Rarely have I seen such appalling acting, been tortured by such banal scripts, been subjected to such misguided casting. Alex Drake is the nastiest character to be foisted upon the viewing public for years. Let’s hope that bullet does us all a big favour and hits hard and soon.

  5. Sasha Loncar

    hi Ian,
    just knowing that you have all that data ready on, waiting for a green light to be published makes me happy, very very happy!
    Good things are worth waiting for so April is fine, primavera and Ashes…what a combination.
    I’m sad to see that old ghosts are creeping around. If I hate something soooo much I don’t even bother writing about it, because the more you talk about it the more free advertising it gets. Not the result you hope to achieve!?
    Anyway, I can’t wait for your material to be published, and “Stairway To Heaven”…hmm

  6. andy

    The wait is painful, first it was March now April (prob not to go out the same night as Red Riding)…….
    Let’s hope it’s worth the wait, third series, ohhhhh. dunno, let’s see what happens with this one….Deano’s site hints there maybe a third, but it may end on this one (not my quote)……
    Now wasn’t John Simm asked by deano recently be in it………….

  7. Glover – you do know your TV has an off switch don’t you?
    Anyway, thanks for the update Wylie. I, for one, am really looking forward to the next series.
    I reckon the Alex Drake is a fascinatingly complex character, full of human frailty but at the same time very very smart. And Keeley Hawes was magnificent in the role.
    Roll on April!!!

  8. Susan

    Can’t wait for the new series to start in April,. I’m excited to see the new storylines and what will happen next between Gene and Alex.

  9. Gaelle

    All this teasing… think of our poor little hearts, Ian, already weakened by (almost) a year of waiting!
    That said, I can’t wait to see what you have to tell us about the second season (are we there yet?). I’m so desperate for news or a trailer that I’ve resorted to watching the first series again for the nth time. We need new material!
    Anyway, thanks for the heads up 😉

  10. Claire

    Is ‘he’s banished his Demons’ is meant to mean he won’t do a second series of it even if miracles happen and that do green light it?
    What a pity. I would have loved them to have given it one more shot to fix the problems – which were with the scripts, not his acting.
    Hope if ITV do want it again, they’ll show him some good scripts and change his mind!

  11. Eleanor

    It was so very wonderful to see Philip Glenister come to the fore in ‘Life on Mars’ after so many years doggedly working away to build himself a professional reputation. ‘Mars’ was a fantastically intelligent and witty series, the like of which doesn’t come along very often. So very sad, then, that his choices since have been so terribly ill-informed. First with ‘Ashes to Ashes’ where the brilliant character of Gene Hunt was reduced to a pathetic caricature, then the utter embarrassment of ‘Tue£day’ and ‘Demons’, and now ‘Ashes to Ashes’ yet again. Philip is fast becoming a laughing stock. Surely he can afford a new agent to help him make some wiser decisions before he is reduced to cameo appearances on ‘The Bill’ and ‘Heartbeat’. He should have got out whilst the going was good with his reputation intact rather than in tatters.

  12. Donna Roberts

    Hi Ian,
    Once again, a wonderful blog to read, if not slightly cruel lol! But I understand why you have to stay tight lipped!
    I can not wait for the second series to begin, it feels like an eternity since it was last on!
    In regards to ‘Glover’s’ comment. There is no need for me to take my ‘blinkers’ off, I’m not wearing any. I’m perfectly capable of basing my decision of whether a TV show is good or not, and I certainly don’t base my opinions on hype, as you put it. ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is a highly enjoyable and original programme, and it certainly beats the multitude of dross that passes as ‘Television’ nowadays.
    You don’t like it, fair enough, but not everyone shares the same opinion as yourself.
    Kindest Regards,
    D. Roberts

  13. JJ

    Can’t wait to see what develops in the second series. Finally, something interesting and entertaining back on my TV.
    April can’t come quick enough!

  14. Madeleine

    A colleague who is a professor of cultural and media studies recently described “Ashes to Ashes” as “Mars-lite for the critically and intellectually challenged who demand to be spoon-fed banality.” It earned him a unanimous round of applause, which just goes to show that there are more people out there than perhaps you’d like to think who really can’t see the appeal of the show! It would be refreshing if you could perhaps acknowledge this fact rather than forever pretend otherwise.

  15. Scottie

    This dismal LoM rehash should have been put out of its misery at the end of the first series. It’s a lazy cash-in that took the iconic Gene Hunt, one of the greatest TV characters to appear on UK television in years and reduced him to a second rate romantic lead.
    As for any criticisms of the show somehow promoting it, judging by its rapidly diminishing viewing figures last season, I’d say it needs all the help it can get.

  16. Ian Wylie

    Madeleine – not sure if your comment is directed at me, or not, so I’ll answer it just in case:
    Of course I know there are lots of people – professors or otherwise – who can’t see the appeal of Ashes To Ashes. That’s just the nature of any television programme and it’s a bit redundant to acknowledge it. I happen to be a fan, hence the positive blogs.
    You are, of course, entitled to your opinion, as is the Prof. But, personally, if – as a viewer at home – I don’t like a TV drama, I don’t watch it and certainly don’t waste my time posting negative comments about it long after eight episodes in a first series have been screened.
    Scottie – what can I say? You don’t like Ashes. Pick up the remote. Move on.
    As for the viewing figures…episode one of Ashes attracted 8m viewers, episode eight was watched by an impressive 6.2m. The series average was 6.7m compared to 6.4m for the second series of Life On Mars. Ashes was also one of the most watched programmes of 2008 on the BBC iPlayer.

  17. Scottie

    I was hoping it would improve.
    It didn’t.

  18. Charise

    Ian, I appreciate your feelings of wanting those who don’t like the show to “move on.”
    I hate it and have moved on. I loved LOM and think Ashes is a travesty hanging on to the coattails of a great show and forever trashing its memory.
    As to watching it? Never again.
    Thank you for reading.

  19. Genny

    I’m really looking forward to the second series. Thanks for the article, Ian.

  20. Trixie

    Another one here who has moved onwards and upwards.
    Right from the start of episode one, it was clear that Ashes To Ashes was going to be another one of those run of the mill,cliched, third rate offerings that sully our tv screens so often these days.
    What will I be doing when Ashes returns to our screens? Probably pulling out my teeth without anaesthetic; it would be more enjoyable.

  21. Janet

    Thanks for clearing up the viewing figures point Ian. Not sure where the myth that Ashes performed less well than Mars came from but it is absolutely not true as you have shown.
    Also, it’s worth remembering that Ashes aired on a Thursday evening whilst LOM S2 was broadcast on a Tuesday. The general rule of thumb with tv viewing is that larger audiences are easier to come by at the start of the week – with more people tending to go out as the weekend approaches – so that makes the Ashes audience even more impressive.
    The other misconception often voiced is that Ashes attracted an audience that was somehow less intellectually challenging than Life On Mars. Fairly crude I know, but if we split the audience to both shows by socio demographic profile, BARB data shows that the average Ashes audience skewed more ABC1 than the average audience for LOM S2.
    Very much looking forward to reading all of your Ashes blogs Ian.

  22. Scottie

    Thanks for the info, that’s interesting reading. However, the fact still remains that A2A lost nearly 2 million viewers from the first episode to the last. I believe it had quite a considerable drop on the last episode too, when I would have expected it to have increased, the way LoM did.

  23. Sasha Loncar

    i like when people “move on” but are STILL reading articles about A2A and EVEN leaving comments! Only *move* i can see here is from A2A serial 1 to serial 2. Like so many other critics of this PHENOMENAL show.
    I LOVE both, I loved Gene’s sheriff attitude in LOM but continuation with it in A2A would be totally wrong considering massive hate towards police in the 80’s and BIG change that modernised and regulated police work. Portraying of the Gene Hunt in the A2A is true to the core. Only a man with a great dedication and love for his work will go under such a transformation, accepting even humiliation pushing himself to accept modern day policing, method that was not so totally new to him after tutoring given to him by Sam.
    Gene was not surprised with the change. Change just finally made a sense of all those b*****s that Sam was talking about.
    His acceptance of the change is his way of showing his respect to Sam. He transformed him self because Sam told him that is the way policeman should be!
    LOM and A2A are not just original way of filming about some sort of the “time traveling” it is about resolving dark side of our selves, confronting our demons, making connections and lots of lots of positivity, fun, friends, pubs, love, hate, clever talk all those small but very important little feelings and things we take it for granted and DARE calling them banal.

  24. Emmie

    Ian–thanks again for keeping us updated. Can’t wait to read once the press embargo is lifted.

  25. Quentin

    Dear Ian
    I feel that your advice here to ‘move on’ shows that you, like the makers of the show also, have failed to grasp the true depth of feeling experienced by many viewers of Mars by what they were given in Ashes. It is a very deep and genuine hurt and anger, not simply a dislike of the show.
    Ashes exists because of Mars. This is an inescapable fact. If Ashes had been aired without that forerunner there is no way it would have garnered the audience it did. That was completely due to Mars. Some people would have loved it, some would have hated it, some would have been indifferent, but it would not have generated the horror in many viewers that has been expressed both here and elsewhere.
    The hurt and anger results from what many believe to be an utter betrayal by the programmes makers: the productions team, actors and writers. Mars was a brilliant, ground-breaking show and people loved it. Loved the daring, the difference, loved being asked to have their expectations challenged. Gene Hunt especially was an amazing creation, full of hidden secrets and truths as well as being the voice that dared to speak what others dared not.
    People didn’t set out to hate Ashes, although this seems to often be assumed. When Ashes was announced, Mars fans were understandably excited. Although Sam was gone they expected to see the same standard of writing, acting and production but many felt this was not only failed to be delivered, but that the programme makers had no respect for the emotional investment fans had made in the show, in fact they deliberately rejected this. Ashes came across as nothing less than a slap in the face.
    Alex is, as been said elsewhere, a thoroughly nasty character. Sam wasn’t particularly likeable, but his despair at his situation was genuine and he worked towards understanding and interacting with the people he found himself with in 1973. Alex comes across as nothing more than a smug, selfish bitch whose main worry is where she’s going to get her next shag from. Her character is the one that the viewer is supposed to identify with, our way into the narrative. To give the viewer such an unattractive access point shows a terrible lack of understanding by the makers, despite all their previous experience, of the grammar of interaction between a programme and its viewers.
    It doesn’t help that the plot lines are partly recycled from Mars and partly from (often far superior) fanfic. Yes, Alex is reinterpreting what she learned from and about Sam’s experiences, but there is not sufficient added invention, not sufficient twist to make this work. Added that the weekly crime is so obvious and so lacking in suspense does not add up to a gripping programme.
    The worst part of the problem is what has been done to Gene Hunt. Again, yes, we are now seeing him through Alex’s eyes rather than Sam’s, but to take a much-loved, fully three-dimensional, totally realised character and degrade him into a pale shadow of his former self, a cardboard cut-out cipher relegated to a caricature of his past greatness is something many fans have found to be unforgivable.
    This demonstrates a massive miscalculation by the writers. A central character should progress through the course of the story, not regress. Again, a basic lack of understanding of the grammar of narrative. Some rules are there to be broken, this one is not unless it is done with consummate skill and control. This is not the case with what has been done to the Gene Hunt we are given in Ashes.
    No doubt some will argue that we’re still only half way through the story arc, that there is much more yet to discover and that the characters may eventually redeem themselves. Let’s hope so, but it’s an incredibly dangerous game to play in television where the good will of viewers is paramount. To alienate a large proportion of your fanbase – and it is large, whatever you or other die-hard Ashes fans would like to believe – is not an intelligent move.
    Mars will stand the test of time. It was and will forever remain a landmark drama in the history of television. Ashes at best might be seen as suffering from ‘bad second album’ syndrome, though sadly this is a case where the first album was on a par with ‘Sergeant Pepper’ and the second with ‘Timmy Mallet sings Paris Hilton’s Greatest Hits’, only worse. That Mars is now tarnished with the brush of Ashes is truly a shameful thing. For the many fans who were prepared to buy in so completely to the characters offered in Mars, to the apparent genuine commitment to and understanding of their product by those involved in making the programme, it is a betrayal the hurt from which will take a long time to heal or forgive.

  26. Sly

    If ‘Life on Mars’ hadn’t been a hit then ‘Ashes to Ashes’ would never have been commissioned. To repay the fans who got them where they are now with such a shoddy product after such initial brilliance is consummate rudeness and the writers and actors can only expect a subsequent back-lash.
    We find it difficult to ‘move on’ because we have been so betrayed and insulted after the part we as viewers played in making ‘Life on Mars’ the great success that it was. We were promised a further installment of a great mythic story and were given second-rate rubbish instead.

  27. Ian, please ignore the fanatics of the ‘Back to 1973’ forum who try to spoil the fun of the Ashes fans.
    Bullies are best ignored.
    Me…I can’t wait for series 2! 🙂

  28. Gem

    Oh wow, you’ve really opened up a can of worms with this blog Ian…lol!
    Never mind though, the real fans of Ashes know that most of those that have posted here are part of the minority group that insist on watching and slagging off Ashes.
    Good work as always Ian, I look forward to seeing what you can offer once the embargo is out of the way

  29. Vic

    Note to A2A haters: get a life, move on and go watch something else. Blog-moaning will not make the BBC cancel it, so you’re just here to annoy people, including me.

  30. Alexandra Slater

    Hi Ian
    Well, I (as one of the ladies known collectively as Hunt’s Housewives) love Ashes truly, madly and everso deeply!
    Yes, I watched and loved Life On Mars. But I never expected Ashes to be a carbon copy of Mars. In my opinion (I’m so infuriated by people who spit out their vitriolic comments as if their opinions are fact!), the tone of each show suits the era it represents. The early 1970s were grim and bleak: so were many of Mars’ plotlines. The early 1980s were frivolous and fun: ditto Ashes. Okay, so I’ve generalised a bit, but you get my drift…
    For me, the show consistently delivered in terms of acting quality and sheer entertainment value. And the relationship between Gene and Alex had me riveted. I can’t wait to see how it develops! I look forward eagerly to Series 2 – and 3!
    (And to the naysayer, I would simply say – stop watching! If a programme disappoints me, that’s what I do! And stop banging on about how disappointed you are!! You’re just being dog-in-the-mangerish, not liking it but unable to let go, and resenting anyone else who does like it. As Gene would doubtless say, “Stop being a big Jessie!”)

  31. Jenny

    Hi Ian, thanks again for keeping us up to date. Looking forward to reading your interview with Phil and eagerly awaiting Ashes 2. Always enjoy reading your blogs,

  32. Scottie

    I’m so sorry. I didn’t realise we weren’t entitled to our opinions.

  33. D. Roberts

    Madeleine, any individual who believes intelligence can be based on what television show a person may choose to watch for entertainment purposes, would not be an individual I would recognise as being intelligent.
    What a ridiculous notion?! Any credibility your Professor had has certainly been lost after making such a ludicrous and highly pretentious remark.
    Kindest Regards,
    D. Roberts

  34. Charise

    Scottie, as you can read from the responses to those who don’t like Ashes, only certain people have the right to their opinions. Those who like the show. The rest of us? We’ve been told where to go.

  35. Trixie

    You only have to venture over to the once great Railway arms forum and see what it has been reduced to, to compare the intelligence level of the fans of both shows. I rest my case haha!

  36. Genny

    I see that some, anti ATA fans are being insulting about people who enjoy, ATA. That’s intelligent, behaviour though, – apparently. Ah well.
    I remember the changing attitudes to the police, in the 1980’s. It’s going to be a big shock for Gene, who has been so used to dealing with ‘villains’ and thinking that he is doing something unquestionably worthwhile. It’s going to be interesting too, to see how season two deals with that. Hero no more, for a while, anyway ? Looking forward to reading Ian’s interview !

  37. Linda

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinion of course. There’s just one thing I don’t understand; why go to a fansite of a particular tv-show and say how much you hate it and imply that people who like it are stupid? What possible purpose could it have?
    There’s a lot of shows I don’t like. Spooks for instance. I’ve watched a few episodes and really given it a chance but it just bores me to tears. It’s just not my cup of tea. That does NOT make me wanna find a Spook fansite and thrash it. Why on earth would I want to do that? Why waste time and energy on negative feelings when I can just change the channel and watch something I can enjoy. Much more fun.
    You want us to respect your opinions. Than do the decent thing and respect that people have different tastes.

  38. scottie

    Totally agree with you, normally I would turned off the first episode half way through if it had been anything else. I don’t normally sit through something I don’t like either but after the glory that was LoM I was hoping A2A would be just as good. I persisted because I was genuinely hoping it would improve and that I would come to like it. Unfortunately, I didn’t. I thought it was second rate dross that rubbished the iconic Gene Hunt. I won’t be going back for the second series.
    The reason those of us who don’t like it post here is because it’s a blog which encourages comments. Doesn’t all have to be positive. It’s just discussion, that’s what it’s for.

  39. Charise

    Try going over to TRA and see how your opinions would be respected if you didn’t like Ashes and the names you would be called. I don’t think you would like it. I certainly didn’t. The mods only let certain people get away with what they say, as those people are Ashes fans. If you’re on the other side, you don’t get the same rights.
    Quentin, you are so right as to the reason LOM fans feel the way we do. We thought we’d be getting the same level of show as LOM. What a joke. We feel robbed and let down. It’s not just that we don’t like Ashes. We feel like we were robbed of the chance for a good sequel. Or is it a sequel? We’re told it’s a different show, it’s not a sequel, on and on. Which, pray tell, is i?.
    As far as the intelligence of Ashes fans, I’m not in a position to judge such things, not being a phychologist. I do know that they are very good at insulting other people who don’t share their views, so if that is a measure of lack of intelligence, then there’s not much to say, is there?
    Thank you again to Ian who allows such debate to go on. It’s certainly not allowed anywhere else on the net.

  40. Vicky

    I think Ashes is better than LOM ever was if you don’t like Ashes don’t waste your time coming here and moaning go somewhere else and comment on something you do like

  41. Alexandra Slater

    I’ve just spent a week rewatching Ashes. (And, do you know, I really think I must be watching a completely different show from the one some people on here persist in moaning about. Honestly! I’m not being sarcastic. I genuinely don’t understand it.)
    The show has blown me away and made me fall in love with the characters all over again!
    Please, please let the writers find SOME way of keeping Alex and Gene together! It would be absolutely unthinkable for them to be separated forever – as unthinkable as it would have been to separate Sam and Annie!!

  42. Trixie

    We don’t see coming on here as a waste of time. We enjoy an open and free discussion where we can express our opinions without being censored. What would be the point of something like this if all the comments were positive about the show? In any good debate, both sides need to be heard.

  43. Trev

    Really, how pathetic are some of you LoM fanboys & girls?
    Loved LOM & A2A equally. Never thought I’d see grown adults (which is what I presume you all are) become TV snobs calling people thick because they happened to like a TV program.
    Worst of all are those who try to force accross their opinion as though it’s fact. If you don’t like it say so but don’t act like you speak for the majority through your constant whining.
    Particularly like the comments from those who say they won’t watch series 2. We all know you will because you’re the same people who said they wouldn’t watch again after the first episode!

  44. scottie

    Believe me, I have absolutely no intention of watching series two. You can come round my house and sit next to me if you want 🙂
    I also never said I wouldn’t watch again after the first episode, I persisted. Won’t be making that mistake again.
    By the way, can I just say, I have no objections at all to anyone loving it. I wish I did.

  45. Gill M

    I cannot believe some of the comments I have read today. Really I am all for open debate but this is just one step shy of playground name calling. There are plenty of TV shows that I don’t like or even hate but I don’t think that they are rubbish or that the people who choose to watch them are intelligently sub-standard it is just a simple case of personal tastes. I LOVE LOM and really like Ashes a different programme and it took me a while to get used to Alex. From what I have read on the internet etc it would seem the the people most disappointed were those expecting a carbon copy of LOM – it wasn’t and I for one am glad. Yes I like open debate but not from those who seem to expect us who like Ashes to suddenly go – Oh yes you are all right this show is really rubbish. I know my own mind and what I like and don’t like and that will be different from anyone else and funnily enough I am intelligent enough to know this!

  46. Rosie James

    Loms and A2As are oasis in the desert that has become British TV. The two shows are brilliantly written and acted. We all have our opinions, there are many Tv shows I cannot stand but I wouldn’t dream of saying what I think onto a site where I know fans of the show would read them. Its just…a sad thing to do.
    As for the members of TRA, they all have one thing in commom great taste in Tv shows.I can’t wait for the new A2As to start.

  47. Skywise

    Reading through all the comments posted here has really made me laugh today.
    Why does everyone persist in trying to compare LoM and A2A? It’s completely pointless. A2A was *always* going to be a totally different show to LoM because Sam’s mind is completely different to Alex’s and they will necessarily perceive the other characters differently.
    I, for one, thoroughly enjoy both series but am getting increasingly fed up with the “us -v- them” mentality. If pressed I would have to say that I prefer LoM because I find Sam’s bewilderment more sympathetic than Alex’s archness but I’ll happily watch both series and enjoy them for what they are – damn fine TV programmes.
    And that’s what they are people – TV shows! Watch and enjoy – and if you don’t enjoy then don’t watch.

  48. scottie

    Ok, I think we’ll have to agree to disagree but if I can just say, I wasn’t expecting it to be a carbon copy of LoM, I was however expecting something of a similar high standard.
    I’m also certainly not expecting to change the minds of people who like the show, any more than they would expect me suddenly say, Okay, you’re right, it’s wonderful.

  49. Bridget

    Hi Ian,
    Thanks for the updates, always enjoy reading your blogs on lots of programmes. I’m a big fan of LOM and Ashes, so please keep your excellent insights coming. Especially if you’re going to be allowed to expand on your theories!
    Obviously those who dislike the show so much won’t be reading anymore as it is (presumably) of little interest to them as they won’t be watching the new series? However as you commented it is a little odd that they are still so wound up about something that finished a year ago.
    As for insulting Philip Glenisters’ choice of work, perhaps they aren’t such ‘true’ fans after all. It shouldn’t be down to personal insults about the actors or towards other peoples choice of viewing. If you don’t like new tv programmes keep watching the dvds and leave the rest to those who do enjoy it.
    nuff said
    Thanks Ian

  50. scottie

    I’d say it’s BECAUSE people are fans of Philip Glenister that they are concerned about his choice of work.
    Anyway, I really hope you all enjoy the second season. I’ll stick to my DVDs as advised.

  51. Bridget

    Thanks scottie 😉 I hope it lives up to my expectations as well.
    And yes I guess some are disappointed with Phils recent work, but I still like to support him rather than overly criticise. (He probably doesn’t read this stuff anyway I would guess he’s too busy)
    I still enjoy watching my LOMs a lot as well btw.

  52. The Hoople

    Hi sorry to be a bit late to the discussion, but on reading through I was quite taken with D. Robert’s comments of the 5th March: I quote
    ”…any individual who believes intelligence can be based on what television show a person may choose to watch for entertainment purposes, would not be an individual I would recognise as being intelligent.
    What a ridiculous notion?! Any credibility your Professor had has certainly been lost after making such a ludicrous and highly pretentious remark”
    I was interested because on another LOM/A2A site and in reference to the US version of LOM someone decided that all ‘most Americans hate the British (specifically the English) because, whether it’s liked or not, it’s true’.
    Clearly, this type of inane, unsubstantiated, unproven and ludicrous statement about a nation based upon a TV show just shows how indeed some people can be pretentious, and like you, not someone I would recognise as being intelligent!
    The Hoople

  53. Claire Muncaster

    There are tons of TV shows I don’t like so I don’t bother to watch them.
    I loved ‘Life On Mars’ & still do. I love the music anyway so I much prefer it to ‘Ashes To Ashes’.
    Oh, to be working with Gene Hunt …. I’d never go home!!
    It was a brilliant idea & to be honest, it was quite nice to find something we all like in our house (in different ways).
    It was the best thing I’ve seen for years & sadly I/we shall never see its like again, so I’ll carry on with ‘Ashes To Ashes’ & hope it improves. If not, there’s enough on ITV4 to keep me going.

  54. Maria aka zamidan on the wonderful TRA

    Hi Ian.
    Just popped into see if there were any updates and see that you blog has been hijacked by the backto1973 morons and freaks. *waves” you know who ye all are.
    As for the professor..Well can i just say “cough” Tony. cop on to yourself.
    Look forward to you updates Ian. and may i say im sorry that your blog has been abused in this way .not by fans of the show but by idiots that have nothing better to do with their life.
    Best Regards
    Maria aka Zamidan,.

  55. Charise

    What’s “backto1973 morons and freaks”?

  56. Jon

    I recently bought the dvd and watched the whole series again over the course of a week in preparation for series 2. A few things struck me. Firstly, Alex is far more sympathetic than I remember. The aloofness in the first few episodes that was so alienating first time round is much more evidently her treatment of her surroundings as a ‘psychological contruct’; and it’s fascinating to watch her increasing engagement with her colleagues that culminates in saving Shaz’s life and the realization that it was Gene’s hand she took as a child after the explosion.
    Secondly, and this has been alluded to by several posters already, the way the context, or mise-en-scene, informs the narrative is crucial. It’s London, the early ’80s, 3 years into Thatcher’s first term and a whole different world from the Mancunian ’70s. To interpret the characters as caricatures misses the point. They have to be obviously of their era for the Sam/Alex time-shift characters to be successfully juxtaposed against. If anything, the Gene Hunt of LoM is more of a candidate for this criticism, being quite clearly based on Jack Regan.
    Incidentally, I assume that the notion that Alex is simply ‘looking for her next shag’ was tongue-in-cheek in an otherwise articulate post. That was an amusing diversion which only occurs in episode 2, if memory serves. She decides that she might as well enjoy herself as she’s stuck there. After being thwarted by Rupert Graves’ secretary, she ends up with a “Thatcherite w****r” after Gene leaves her in Luigi’s. For the remainder of the series she’s chaste..

  57. Chatting with other fans,
    spending whole nights sharing our thoughts and theories,
    sharing our love for the same things,
    being fangirls and -boys without the fear of being laughed at,
    spending money, that we didn’t have, to travel to places, where our heroes once have been or even to meet them in person,
    and to meet those people, we had shared our feelings with for months without knowing them…
    I still love LoM, I still enjoy A2A, but I don’t feel “at home” any longer in this fandom, so I moved on some time ago.
    I guess, things have gone way too far. And I am even more surprised now to find out, that your war about taste is still going on. How sad is that.
    Dear Ian,
    thanks for your fantastic reports. I am glad, that this controversy doesn’t affect your enthusiasm. I am eager for more good news.

  58. Claire Muncaster

    I was actually born in ’83, so all I can remember of the ’80s is having rather a lot of Trolls & really liking [i]Jem.[/i]
    If the writers managed to give us LoM, I’m sure they won’t let us down in A2A. If they do I won’t bother buying the DVD & will try to forget the series was made.
    I’d hate to be any of the writers, imagine the pressure they’re under …….

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