Ashes To Ashes Series 2: The First Review

IT starts on the day Alex Drake was shot by Arthur Layton.
Ending with a stunning revelation for the Detective Inspector trapped in 1982.
I have just watched the first episode of Ashes To Ashes series two.
And I’m still trying to get my breath back.
The long wait has been worth every single nano-second – here’s the exclusive first review.
Gene has returned to his table in Luigi’s and all is well with the world.
On the evidence of the first hour, series two is more assured, hitting its sure-footed stride with a menacing dark edge.
Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes act their nylon socks off.
At ease with each other in a terrific TV double act.
With superb support from Dean, Marshall and Montserrat.
In among some delicious detail for those trying to work out “the bigger picture”.

Remember – everything is significant.
Or as one character tells Alex and Gene: “Find the significance.”
Due on BBC1 next month, the opening story centres around the death of a young police officer in a Soho strip club called Naked City.

Where Gene meets a stripper from Manchester…Hyde, to be precise.
Her biscuit of choice is, of course, garibaldis.
Ashley Pharoah’s script covers a lot of ground with ease and is sprinkled with memorable lines.
There are some headline grabbers from Gene, which I won’t ruin by trailing in advance.
Plus simple, but telling, exchanges such as:
Alex: You never talk about Mrs Hunt. Do you? Ex-Mrs Hunt.”
Gene: “That’s right. I don’t.”
The main opening title music has been tweaked, also featuring new series shots of the cast.
While on first viewing it appears that more music tracks have been used across the episode.
Roger Allam is a welcome addition to the cast as Det Supt “Supermac” Mackintosh, bringing in his own web of intrigue.
And then there’s the introduction of a seriously freaky new nightmare torment for Alex…
I realise I say this every time, but…I know just how much work has been put into this series.
So I’m anxious not to spoil the efforts of writers, cast, crew and production teams.
Which is why I’ll simply summarise just a few of the points I wrote down in 14 pages of notes recording episode one highlights:
1. An opening scene to keep us all guessing.
2. Torches and water.
3. Gene’s confrontation with the sixth in line to the throne.
4. Man in the mirror.
5. Step into the new world.
6. News of Alex’s fate in the future.
7. Several things not as they seem.
8. That helicopter sound again.
9. Nobody knows anyone.
10. A single rose.
Those opening and closing scenes really will have you pondering.
In these depressing days of recession, a weekly escape to the world of Ashes To Ashes will cheer millions.
Fire up the Quattro – it’s going to be quite a ride.
Fri Mar 27 update: Today’s MEN news story is here.
Ashes To Ashes: Almost Here
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
Life On Mars Blogs
The Railway Arms Ashes and Mars Fansite
Ian Wylie on Twitter


Filed under Ashes To Ashes

27 responses to “Ashes To Ashes Series 2: The First Review

  1. Chloe Harp

    Oh wow, thanks so much for that review, this is just too intriguing – I can’t wait to start speculating again🙂 Hurry up and give us a date now BBC!

  2. Claire

    Excellent! First ep sounds great from this review? You don’t know the air date do you?!
    Will look forward to checking back here to these clues when ive seen the first episode, because i dont have the faintest clue right now what any of them mean!

  3. Ian Wylie

    Hi Chloe & Claire…thanks for the quick off the mark comments! As posted in the comments of the previous blog, there is a start date but it is not fully confirmed and I can’t reveal it yet.

  4. Gem

    Oh wow, thanks Ian……as for the 14 pages of notes you sound like you should be one of the notepad reviews over on😉
    Thank so much….excitement is now running very high….can’t wait & can’t believe you know the potential start date!!

  5. Anonymous

    This is just too much! Nothing for an AGE and then TWO articles in one day! You’re really spoiling us!!
    I’ve noticed that everyone’s being really circumspect about whether Alex and Gene get together – or at least continue to get closer. Are we going to get a continuation of the closeness we saw emerging by the end of S1? Will there be a follow-up to the famous date?

  6. Chloe Harp

    Thanks Ian, I know you are sworn to secrecy for now! I was convinced it was going to be the 16th April but guess not…

  7. Emmie

    It’s so exciting in the run up to the premiere! Any chance of you putting the songs they use in the episodes(once it’s closer to the air date, of course) like you did last time?

  8. Gaelle

    You know, Ian, while I generally avoid spoilers, yours is the only blog I dare read. This one demonstrates exactly why : you tease, you whet our appetite, but you don’t spoil. I’m not sure many people would be so considerate towards the show and its fans. So, thank you for that.
    That said… THIS SOUNDS SO EXCITING! I fear an overdose from all the information we got at once, but this sounds really, really good. I can’t wait to start looking for all the little clues again🙂

  9. Izzy D

    Thanks for this Ian- though I am highly jealous of you getting to watch the first episode! It’s comforting to know that our horrendously long wait will be well worth it in the end!
    I’m very intrigued as to what Alex’s new “nightmare torement” is, and the mysterious rose also. . . I can’t wait!
    Please keep us posted- esp. regarding the start date. . . !

  10. Ian Wylie

    Thanks to all for your comments. I really do appreciate them. I’m also very aware of how privilleged I am to see the episodes in advance.
    There will obviously be more on Ashes in the run-up to episode one, especially when the embargo on interviews expires.
    Em – I counted nine music tracks in ep one. More on those when the time is right.
    Apologies for the two blogs in one day but I thought it best to report as soon as I was able. There will also be an additional photo on this page soon.

  11. Ashley Pharoah

    Hi Ian, Ashley here. Really glad you liked the opening episode and thanks – yet again – for being such a supporter of the show. I was in the final dub for episode two yesterday and that sounded and looked terrific, too.
    Hard to believe but we had a story conference for series 3 Tuesday and Weds (we have to get ahead of the game). My head was spinning by the end – but in a good way!
    Now all we need is a TX date for A2A2. We’ve heard rumours but nothing definite.

  12. Rebecca

    Hi Ian. Thanks for the review although I dont think I can take any more. Oh and i want a rose too lucky Alex ^_^
    Thanks for the piccy as well

  13. Alex

    Sounds like everything I was hoping for and much more besides. Love these updates / previews / teasers… I’m looking forward to keeping up with this blog almost as much as watching the new episodes.

  14. Skywise

    Ian, you dreadful man! The tension of waiting is really getting unbearable and now you go and post these teasers – I don’t know whether to kiss you or punch you🙂
    And Ashley, you’re mean as well. As if it’s not bad enough that we’re having to wait so long for A2A2, now you’re throwing out lures about A2A3!
    I think my thinky thing’s going to explode if this goes on much longer. I’m really too old for all this excitement *g*

  15. Sasha Loncar

    press release, review of the first ep, story conference for series 3, new pics……breath in, breath out…….way to much excited.
    Ian, 14 pages of notes!!!??? Ooooohh I would like to be the virus in your laptop…soooooo jealous :p
    Ashley thank you sooooo much for this great optimistic news!!!! Your head spinning mine is doing somersaults!

  16. Matthew Graham

    Wow Ian! Great review! Even I’M excited to see this show now!
    Thanks again for your support and enthusiasm and I’m delighted you enjoyed ep 1. We have worked so hard to really nail the darker tone of this series and it’s encouraging to feel we’re on the right track.
    And I really don’t know why Ashley’s head was spinning at the A2A3 story conference, it all made blindingly clear sense to me. Aliens. What’s not to get?
    I should stress however that we DON’T have a green light for Series 3. That’s up to the BBC. And you good folks. So please watch our show so that we can all go back to work in the Quattro this summer.

  17. Catherine Chambers

    I think I am going to kop it if this April doesn’t hurry up! Then two blogs! OMG it helps but the impatience levels are going through the roof.
    Lovely write up and you sound overly excited too. Can’t wait for the next series It sounds like it’s going to be a cracker!

  18. Bridget

    Aliens huh Matthew, you’re teasing methinks!! ( i hope so anyway we don’t need Ashes meets X files ;p )
    The anticipation is giving me palpitations. Ian you are so lucky to have got hold of ep1. I am telling everyone ashes is back very soon so doing my bit for the ratings.
    We’ll raise money for series 3 if necessary……..

  19. Maria

    I think this is VERY unfair of you IAN…
    Are you open to bribes…”grin”
    Id sell de Mammy to get my hands on that eposide.!
    Cruel Very Very Cruel..
    Best Maria..

  20. Ian,
    First of all, sorry for my lousy english. I am an “argie” like you say, and a huge fan of Life on Mars and Ashes to ashes. I am reading the post every day, and the forum (railway arms) looking for the date that bbc would be airing the first episode, to downl… and watch it with my wife, big fan too. Is there a possible date for the first episode?? Thanks for the posts, man.

  21. Thanks for keeping us informed about Ashes to Ashes. I love it, and it’s great to read the comments of a journalist who isn’t cynical about it. I like the way that you write, your comments are always worth reading, even when you write about shows that I’m not into. All the best,

  22. Thanks Ian.
    Your blog has kept me going over the long months without A2A. That first episode sounds fantastic. If anyone is interested, including you Ian, reviews of all eight episodes of the first series are up on my own blog and I will be reviewing each of the new episodes as they transmit too. Sorry, shameless plug. Funnily enough I’ve just been watching the DVD of series one in preparation for the next series.
    Keep up the excellent work Ian as we all appreciate it I’m sure. Roll on Series 2! Can’t wait.

  23. katie

    You wonderful, terrible man. Isn’t it enough that we have to wait without you dropping these tantalising hints? But, saying that, I’m glad for the review. But you know the release date? Spill!

  24. Trixie

    Dear me,may I suggest you and Gene Hunt go get a room if you feel so passionately!

  25. Diana

    Thanks for the update. That sounds so exciting! Unfortunately I live in Germany and won’t be able to watch series two before it will come out on dvd😦
    Or is there any chance that you send me your material😉

  26. Trixie

    My God! I’m sooooo excited about this new series that I may just……fall into a coma!

  27. simon clarke

    Looking forward to A2A, my car (black capri) will be in either the 1st or the 2nd episode!! look out !!

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