Ashes To Ashes: Death Of A Princess

CAN we trust the Gene Genie?

You’ll get the answer in episode two of the new series of Ashes To Ashes.

I’ve just watched a preview DVD for a second time, having left several days to get over a jaw-dropping moment the first time I saw it.

In particular, a word that rocks Gene back on his heels.

As usual, I won’t spoil the work of Ashes co-creator and episode writer Matthew Graham by revealing it in advance.

But just watch what Ray (Dean Andrews) does in the split second cut to the next scene.

Attention to detail is just one of the many reasons why I love Ashes To Ashes.
In a world where, yes…everything is still significant.

Some of the reviews of the first episode actually make me embarrassed for my colleagues in Her Majesty’s Press.

Critics know nothing – ignore them.

What’s more important is that seven million viewers watched last night’s opening story.

That’s not counting those who will see it later via time-shift viewing or the many who watch Ashes via iPlayer.

Personally, I take the views of real people sat at home far more seriously than a handful of fellow hacks who would struggle to fill a taxi.

So what’s in store in episode two on BBC1 next Monday?

Just the 18 pages of notes taken on this one.

And they say you don’t get value for your BBC Licence Fee?

“Do I know you?” Alex asks a young girl in the Fenchurch East police HQ.

Later, Alex tells Shaz: “I’ve got a head with a bullet in it.

“What if I start forgetting where I’m from and then I forget that I’ve forgotten, Shaz?

“I can’t forget.”

If you’ve read the press info for episode two, then you’ll know the story of the week involves a gypsy camp.

Joseph Millson is almost unrecognisable in a guest role as GP Dr Battleford.

Roger Allam continues to impress as Supermac.

With a voice like thick gravy over gravel.

This is the ep where Gene joins the Masons.

Cue a rolled up trouser leg, among other things.

We also find out something we didn’t know about Shaz’s family background.

But will she make Chris the proudest man alive?

While Alex encounters her freaky stalker again.

Can they make it home together?

Gene tells Alex: “I would suggest you keep that pretty little head of yours in the real world, Drake.”

To which she replies: “But what if there’s more than one real world?”

Philip Glenister shows Gene in all his many colours.

With Keeley Hawes also brilliant as the now calmer but still disturbed DI Drake.

And as for that chessboard ceiling in CID…something is very definitely in the air tonight.

Other things to watch out for:
1. What does a half naked Gene keep under his towel in the sauna?
2. Who is DCI Garrett?
3. Gene’s star sign.
4. What do the Tarot Cards say about Alex?
5. The writing on Gene’s PC screen.
6. A line from the ever-patient Luigi, played by Joseph Long.
7. A flavour of soup.
8. Gene holding another woman’s hand.
9. Gotcha.
10. And in the end titles teaser for episode three…a big shock for Alex at the hands of Morph.

Several excellent choices of music in the episode two soundtrack, including one of my all time favourites, which I bought the first time around. Also check out the links at the bottom ot this blog…and steer clear of critics.

Ashes To Ashes 2: The Very First Review
Ashes To Ashes 2: Philip Glenister.
Ashes To Ashes 2: Philip Glenister Extras
Ashes To Ashes Blogs
Life On Mars Blogs
Official Ashes To Ashes BBC Site
The Railway Arms Ashes and Mars Fansite
Follow Ian Wylie on Twitter


Filed under Ashes To Ashes

23 responses to “Ashes To Ashes: Death Of A Princess

  1. Alex

    Thanks for the latest review, Ian! I sat absolutely riveted all the way through episode 1 and I was almost hyperventilating with excitement when I saw the preview of episode 2!
    As for the critics, pah! The only review I read was by a woman who sneered all over the episode and then admitted that she’d only seen a few episodes of Mars and NONE of Ashes Series 1! So she had no real inkling of the context!
    I caught the Star Wars references and I’ll be looking out for more in upcoming episodes. As for whether Gene is corrupt – of course he isn’t! I’m sure that whatever he’s doing is for the greater good.
    Ashley and Matthew are geniuses! Let no one dispute it!

  2. wylie you tease!!!
    i really enjoyed the first ep, although the talking dog was a bit risible…
    the dark grittiness was total WIN tho!
    can’t wait for more🙂

  3. Nan

    Thanks, Ian. I always check here for the REAL story on Ashes and no longer bother with the rest of the press. Keep it coming!

  4. Clo

    Thanks for the review of the upcoming episode – I have now watched the last one four times as there were so many little details to pick up! Its even darker than Life on Mars – I can’t believe that Gene will be corrupted, so I’m hoping he is just playing along for his own reasons.
    As for the critics, I don’t think they will ever be pleased. They have decided to take up an anti-Ashes stance for reasons unknown to the rest of us, and sneer on those of us who are enjoying such a compelling series. Let’s leave them to their Hell’s Kitchen/Britain’s Got Talent…

  5. mazbeth

    thanks Ian…you talk so much common sense!
    quote:Attention to detail is just one of the many reasons why I love Ashes To Ashes
    me too

  6. Clo

    Had to add, so glad Squeeze will be in the next episode – I bought their best of recently, its awesome. With that and Haircut 100, I’m a happy bunny!

  7. Like Nan above, I would rather read your reviews and previews, Ian. Thank you, and you are right: seven million Britons can’t be wrong!

  8. chris

    Have to say as an avid life on mars fan I was largely left disappointed by ashes series one. With the exception of a couple of episodes (most notably the brilliant finale) i felt the series was pretty average and to comical for my taste. Perhaps I had placed too much expectation on it from the beginning or perhaps I was comparing it too life on mars too much. Whatever i didn’t really enjoy it.
    Last night I didn’t intend to watch it particularly. I had just got in from work though and thought I might as well take a look. Perhaps it was because I didn’t go in with any real expectations this time around, but I really really enjoyed last nights episode. It seemed to adopt a much more serious tone, and I liked that hugely. All I can really say is if they can keep the episodes to that standard and tone, then I will definitely been tuning in every week from now on.

  9. Emmie

    Thanks again Ian! The first episode was SO good.
    I think the critics do need to be ignored. As long as people keep watching and are enjoying every second of it, then who cares? It’s the viewing figures that will drive the show into the 3rd series. To which Ashley stopped by TRA earlier today and hinted that it was looking positive!
    An FINALLY!! Squeeze! I’ve been waiting for “Tempted” to show up🙂
    One of my favorites too.

  10. Rebecca

    Hi Ian thanks for the preview for episode 2
    I really enjoyed episode 1 and like people have said your the first person apart from Luigis that i stop by for all the Ashes news. Cant wait for the next 7 weeks.

  11. Zoe

    Thanks for the great reviews and previews Ian.
    I think when it comes to certain other reviewers, Luigi used an apt phrase in the wonderful series 2 opener…”Pearls before swine!”

  12. Gaelle

    Thanks as always for your blogs, Ian.
    I thought the first episode was really good, I can’t wait to see if the show keeps the quality up. It was great to see the characters again, and oooh, the plot! This should be very interesting🙂
    /Attention to detail is just one of the many reasons why I love Ashes To Ashes./
    Me too. You always manage to find little details you had missed before with each new viewing (as if we needed more excuses to watch the episodes again!).

  13. Claire Muncaster

    I was really disappointed with the 1st series & only bothered to watch it for Gene. I didn’t see how the idea would work & to a point I still don’t.
    I read the entire Point Horror series as a child & the creepy dr., roses, phone calls, etc. reminded me of it. I loved it.
    (hang on, there’s stuff like this on, & people are choosing to watch ‘Britain’s Got Talent’ instead ??!!)
    Whoever the creepy dr. is I just really hope he isn’t Gene. I hope Gene isn’t corrupt, but knowing my luck he will be!

  14. Donna Roberts

    Thanks for another excellent blog, Ian.
    After the explosive first episode, I am really excited about watching the second episode on Monday!
    7 million viewers tuned in last Monday to watch ‘Ashes to Ashes’ return to our screens, I think that speaks volumes. As for the critics who have panned the show. It seems to me that whenever a highly original and thought provoking piece of television airs on our screens, they feel the need to trash it. Maybe ‘Ashes to Ashes’ goes above their heads? Perhaps they’d be better off reviewing reality TV shows instead? I hear they are not too taxing on the brain?
    Kindest Regards,
    D. Roberts

  15. Claire Muncaster

    I don’t know. Lots of people – me included sometimes — say they don’t like things before even seeing them. I know *I* like it, that’s all I’m bothered about (although it’s still not as good as LoM)
    There’s much worse things I could be watching/doing.
    I wait for the sauna scene with bated breath. Get ‘em off Gene !!

  16. Charise

    I believe the critics were almost all positive about Life On Mars? I’d think that would also be over their heads. Funny that doesn’t seem to have been the case.

  17. Lynette

    Yes, Life on Mars was original and thought provoking and was never trashed by critics. A2A is most definitly not and deserves the thrashings it gets. It’s a complete embarressment.
    Watch the viewing figures plummet, yet again, as they did during series one.
    Even the absurd amount of hype and promo it has can’t save this turkey in the long run.

  18. Trixie

    Where is all the darkness and grittiness I have read about? Am I watching the same programme as some of the earlier posters on here?
    The two episodes I have seen are no improvement on series one and in fact the whole debarcle now appears to be floundering.
    Let’s hope this second series is the final one and this dire offering will soon be gone from our screens.

  19. The Hoople

    Your comment is surely a non sequitur? Most journalists have had a decent education and sort of understand the levels at which they are both operating at? Even Phil Glenister made the point that LoM was a drama with depth whilst A2A swayed too much towards being a comedy drama, which he clearly wasn’t happy with. Many critics are unhappy for pretty much that reason. Whilst no one of course has to agree with what a journalist has to say, I note that no one points out that Ian is hardly ever critical or objective where A2A 1 is concerned and at times the blog is effectively a promo for A2A. No problem with that at all, but don’t be one eyed about it.

  20. The Hoople

    I’m glad you enjoyed the first episode – if figures are the arbiter of what is successful and good quality, then the the football and rugby cup finals should always be brilliant! But sadly, alas they are not and more often a great let down as a spectacle. Critics of A2A are not necessarily those who don’t understand it, it may well be they DO and only too well. I’m not an Ashes hater – far from it – but many of those who enjoyed the depth, darkness and originality of LoM and other dramas, simply found the rushed efforts of A2A 1 disappointing. The Galex stuff, and the character of Alex ‘as written’ and portrayed (not the actress herself) was stomach churning at times. If you enjoy that – then good for you – but it was a disappointment and a let down for many all the same.
    The fact that the writers and actors are more or less admitting the same thing and A2A II is now darker and echoes much of LoM speaks volumes.
    However, I’ll be watching each week, and I hope A2A II is everything YOU want it to be and for me hopefully A NOD in the right direction!
    The Hoople

  21. Donna Roberts

    The Hoople,
    No, I did not watch ‘Ashes to Ashes’ for the ‘Galex’ storyline. I’m not personally interested in that particular genre of storyline. However, I realise others do enjoy the sexual tension between Gene Hunt and Alex Drake. But, that is not to say that is the entire story, or concept for ‘Ashes to Ashes’, but only a small part of it.
    I watch ‘Ashes to Ashes’ because of the mystery, and because I enjoy searching for clues, or spotting the significance in things either mentioned in dialogue or shown visually. I generally do enjoy police dramas, and ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is certainly a more original ‘take’ on all the usual police dramas we so often see on TV nowadays.
    I have no issue with people who genuinely do not enjoy ‘Ashes to Ashes’, after all, it would be a very boring world to live in if we all enjoyed the same things? I only took issue with those who made offensive, and in some cases, patronising remarks towards the fans of ‘Ashes to Ashes’ and those involved with the programme itself. Somewhere along the way, some people lost sight of the fact that ‘Ashes to Ashes’ is just a TV show, a form of entertainment.
    Being passionate about the shows we like or dislike is a good thing. But I can’t help myself from wondering as to why those who have voiced their immense dislike, so frequently, still feel the need to pour cold water over this show? We’ve all had our say now, can’t ‘Ashes to Ashes’ be allowed to run it’s course in peace for those who do enjoy watching it? Even trash TV shows such as ‘Footballers’ Wives’ did not get as much venom from the critics as ‘Ashes to Ashes’ has so undeservedly received.
    Personally, I’m still amazed that ‘plot light’ TV shows such as ‘Dr. Who’, or ‘Primeval’ (which are not far off from passing as Childrens’ entertainment) are held in higher esteem than a TV show, such as ‘Ashes to Ashes’, which engages it’s audience to think for themselves?
    Kindest Regards,
    Donna Roberts

  22. Charise

    The Hoople,
    I’m sorry that I didn’t make myself clear but what I mean to say was that since LOM was dark and mysterious and got such wonderful and well-reserved critical acclaim, it was never said to be over anyone’s head.
    Why is is that no critic can say anything about Ashes without one of it’s fans saying that it’s over the critic’s heads? If critics so much annoy fans of Ashes why do they feel the need to tell the world? They always tell the people who don’t like the show to move on, so I would ask them to do the same.
    I many times wonder if any of them have ever really watched LOM since none of them were around when TRA, where they like to hang out and wait for someone to say something against their beloved show, so they can pounce on them with vitriol, began.
    BTW, I see that the fall of the viewing figures has begun. Not surprised at all. With the start of a new drama next week up against it we’ll see how it does then.

  23. Claire Muncaster

    I don’t watch A2A to see Gene & Alex getting together or not. I watch it because I loved LoM. At times it was as if I’d chosen the music for LoM myself. I loved the scene with ‘In The Air Tonight’ (luv the song anyway)
    & both shows got me more into other cop shows, so they must do/have done *something* right, but I’ll always prefer LoM. If I had a go at everyone I know who doesn’t like it, I wouldn’t have any friends left ……

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