THE Ashes To Ashes series two press pack has arrived.
Be warned…there are spoilers ahead.
So don’t read on unless you want to know.
Firstly the press pack reveals “the face from the past” which we were asked to keep quiet about.
Step forward Manchester newspaper reporter Jackie Queen, played by Ruth Millar.
She appeared alongside Gene Hunt in episode six of Life On Mars series one – the Manchester Gazette siege.
And will return to meet up again with Gene in episode four of the new Ashes series.
More than that, I cannot say…just yet.
My own cast interviews are still under embargo until nearer transmission next month.
But here’s just a short extract of what Philip Glenister has to say in the press pack:
“Alex (Keeley Hawes) becomes much more part of the team. But there is a police corruption theme running throughout the series so it does feel darker than series one; the corruption breeds a lack of trust and coherence which is unbalancing for everybody. However, viewers can still expect moments of high campness and there are some great one liners!
“I love the western connotation with Hunt; he is exactly like a Sheriff and sees himself very much in that guise.
“However, the problem is that he is out of his depth in the 80s metropolis of London and the bottom line is he is a 70s copper at heart.”
Keeley Hawes says:
“This series we get to see that Alex has calmed down a lot and has begun to settle into the 1980s environment. She now considers the people around her to be friends and because we have moved on a year, things aren’t quite so heightened for her.
“I’ve found Alex really interesting to play this series because the lines are blurring between what she thinks is real and what isn’t. She is now beginning to wonder whether the 2008 part of her life, including her daughter Molly, only ever existed in her head. It’s definitely been an interesting angle to explore rather than the story simply concentrating on her trying to get back to the present.”
Viewers are also introduced to an enigmatic stranger who is watching Alex and is trying to make contact with her in a mysterious manner.
“A strange man keeps leaving Alex roses which she initially thinks is another puzzle,” Keeley explains. “She starts to investigate further believing that if she solves the puzzle she may be able to go home. There are certainly lots of twists but I can’t give the game away!”
And a bit more from the pack intro:
“Series two kicks off in 1982 where leg warmers are cool, fluorescent is the colour of choice, Thatcher is in her element and bullish DCI Gene Hunt is back, policing the streets in his politically incorrect and loud mouthed style. Sassy Alex Drake, with whom Hunt shares a fiery working relationship, is by his side, desperately trying to keep him in line.
“Though no nearer to getting back to her daughter, Alex believes she is suspended in time and finally understands how the world around her works. But when she starts hearing news from the future, she realises nothing is as it seems. Clinging on to fast fading hope, she discovers she may not be alone in her predicament. A mysterious stranger who also seems to be stuck in 1982 is making Alex doubt that her current world is merely a figment of her imagination. Is he a friend who can help her get home or a foe who will destroy all she knows?
“And while Gene Hunt saved her younger self from the car bomb that killed her parents, can she ever trust him enough to share in her extraordinary scenario? As she struggles to stay alive long enough to find a way home, it appears she needs him more than ever before.
“Chris and Shaz couldn’t be happier. He’s still trying his best to be the perfect „feminist boyfriend and wants to take his relationship to the next level, but predictably Ray continues to tease him about his romantic gestures.
Ray is also struggling to contain his emotions about the Falklands War, blaming the Argies and throwing his weight fully behind Maggie Thatcher. However, more testing times lie ahead for the trio… “
And a word from producer Beth Willis:
“The new series moves in a slightly different direction and we’ve really enjoyed developing the characters and Alex’s journey further. Gene and Alex’s relationship is so complex; it is very sparky and they obviously care for each other in a begrudging manner so it’s interesting to see how this evolves. Ray and Chris are still by Gene’s side, but when force legend Detective Superintendent ‘Supermac’ Mackintosh (Roger Allam) starts working with the team it looks as if Gene’s equilibrium could be broken.”
4pm update: The full press pack, with pic of tolerant policing, is now online here.
The Sun today repeated recent incorrect reports that Philip Glenister is to quit after the latest series.
Just to clarify again – there is no question of him “quitting”.
Presuming it is green lit by the BBC, Phil plans to film a third series, which was always planned to be the final one.
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