TV: ‘Ashes to Ashes’ – Series 2, Episode 4

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The story: One of Gene Hunt’s past romantic conquests, Jackie Queen, arrives from Manchester to seek help from the police. She is now a journalist and thinks she has a scoop relating to abducted children and their connection with a local business-man. She is also pregnant, and Gene thinks it’s his, adding some tension between the two leads. The theme of GH’s forced transfer to Plymouth is picked-up, as does the continuing story-arc of Supermac being a corrupt senior policeman.

A number of references were made to Sam Tyler, including that he had settled down with Annie (his policewoman colleague from Life on Mars).

Most surprising scene 1: Supermac shooting the chief suspect (twice!) as he leaves the station; and then attempting to turn the gun on himself in front of everyone. Gene to the rescue as he tries to grab the gun; the inevitable happens, it goes off during the struggle and Supermac is shot. We learn later, he dies from his injuries.

Most surprising scene 2: Gene Hunt shoots the guard dog point-blank much to the surprise of his colleagues (and no doubt, the viewers – you just don’t see that on TV).

Funniest lines: “Fire up the flip-chart”
(Gene Hunt)

Significant line 1: “When are you going to learn that what you do here has consequences…?”
(Mystery voice by phone to Alex)

Significant line 2: “Everywhere…” [referring to the line, ‘we are everywhere’ from episode one, spoken by the now murdered copper, Kevin Hales].
(Chief suspect Ralph Jarvis whispering to Alex as he leaves the police-station)

Significant line 3:“Rose…Rose…Operation Rose is coming…”
(Supermac as he lies bleeding from his gun-shot wound)

Creepiest/Most confusing line: “I can smell your hair Alex even as I put it [another single red-rose] in your pocket…”
(From an unknown caller to Alex Drake via her police radio)

All in all then, a fine episode, and for me probably the best so far. We’re half-way through the series and it seems to have finally hit its stride. If the remaining four episodes play-out like this one, we, the fans, are in for a treat. 

It was enjoyable for me on many levels – more of the script was devoted to Alex’s ongoing time-travel dilemma and the increase in references to Life on Mars, in particular, the character Sam Tyler, helped to make it all fit together. 

Additionally, with a perfect balance of a gritty police story and increased scripting devoted to Alex’s time-travel situation, it just felt right. 

And, just to keep the suspense going, when we all must have thought the series was becoming a bit formulaic, the writers managed to wrong-foot us by killing-off a main character part-way through the series. Many viewers must have hoped Supermac would be there for the remaining four episodes.


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