TV: ‘Ashes to Ashes’ – Series 2, Episode 3

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OK, I hoping for some improvements on last week’s episode – which was definitely lack-lustre. Tonight, we’re three episodes in, so it should be ‘finding its stride’. The problem is, based on the previous two, it doesn’t seem to know whether it’s an eighties police drama or a time-travel mystery – maybe it can be both, but they should devote more time to Alex’s predicament if they’re going to hold onto the fans.

The episode started with Alex watching the TV – a programme featuring the late Tony Hart and his character Morph. Things took a surreal turn when Morph re-appeared holding those pads that Doctors use to induce an electric shock in a patient when they’re heart has stopped. An impressive stunt followed, as Alex was thrown across the room and into the wall after having the pads applied.

There were a few more references to Alex’s predicament and more shots of the Quattro as well as what seemed like more music from the eighties (UB40, Duran Duran and more). So, on that score, the episode was an improvement on last week’s.

On balance, I’m going to contradict what I said in the first paragraph that they can’t combine a good police story with a time-travel drama – this was actually a good story about vivisectionists and the whole anti-testing on animals movement. I also liked the ongoing story-arc with the mystery surrounding Kevin Hales (the copper who mysteriously became un-drunk in the first episode and threatened Alex with the phrase ‘We are everywhere’), who’s now been found dead in his cell. Suicide apparently. Yeah right! 

Now that Gene Hunt has joined the Masons, there is also an interesting ongoing sub-plot that highlights the growing friction between him and his boss, ‘Supermac’ – who encouraged him to join the Masons in the first place. Modification of a witness statement was the point in question this week where GH’s hard-bastard nature gave way to his reluctance to make the change purely on moral grounds. The episode ended on a emotional cliff-hanger where Gene, through Supermac‘s influence and position, is about to be transferred to Plymouth as punishment for not doing as he was told!

curly_wurly Highlights: Morph; Tony Hart; The Audi Quattro and that handbrake turn; Shaz’s reference to curly-wurlys; eighties music

Best line: “I’m not going in that poofmobile” – referring to a yellow VW beetle cabriolet.

Spookiest bit: Alex finding another single red-rose on her desk!  

Daftest bit: The ‘voices’ thing. Although the lip-sync is spot-on, it just looks and sounds weird!

So, all-in-all, a better episode than last week, in my view, but they do need to start teasing us with potential solutions connected with Alex’s predicament – it’s just a bit too ‘cop-show’ for me; if I wanted that, I’d watch The Sweeney. 

I’m hoping, structurally speaking, the writers aren’t going to wait until the final episode to answer all the questions.


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