Ashes to Ashes Image
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71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 9 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: Welcome to the Ashes to Ashes guide at TV.com.

    DI Alex Drake of the Metropolitan Police is taken hostage and shot, and wakes to find herself apparently thrown back in time to 1981. She quickly recognises DCI Gene Hunt and his team from detailed reports made by DCI Sam Tyler about his own
    trip to 1973.

    Initially sceptical about the surreal nature of her new environment, Alex, a modern, no-nonsense woman, clashed regularly with her sexist colleagues but had to learn to adjust while she strove to find her way back to 2008. As time passed, Alex started to accept her situation, and wonder whether her life in the future had been the dream. Executive Producer Jane Featherstone described this spin-off from Life on Mars as "a touch of Moonlighting teamed with a measure of Miami Vice." The show aimed to build on the success of its award-winning predecessor, resurrecting Philip Glenister's ever-popular detective while taking the opportunity to wink at 1980s fashions and attitudes.

    Ashes to Ashes is a Kudos production in association with Monastic Productions for the BBC.
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  • Genre(s): Drama, Science Fiction
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 9
  2. Negative: 1 out of 9
  1. Reviewed by: Jessica Shaw
    91
    The sequel ditches the '70s for the '80s--but the original's hard-boiled plots, retro-pop score, and scene-stealing politically incorrect Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) remain.
  2. Alex's gender guarantees that her dynamic with the boss will be a bit different, and it's Glenister, whose Hunt continues to leave Harvey Keitel's in the dust, who's still the best reason to climb into this particular time machine.
  3. Britain in the 1980s is arguably a lot more interesting than Britain in the ’70s, and Ashes to Ashes sharply engages the factionalism of the day: the mounting antipathies of the working class, the growth of privatization and development, the fury over nuclear armament.
  4. Glenister is still riveting, naturally, and Hawes is a real gift. Maybe that's enough to offset the smaller issues, like the cartoonish hero worship of Hunt (three quarters of the way through the pilot, there's a moment where you half expect a laugh track to kick in).
  5. It's in that "perhaps" and "possibly" that Ashes to Ashes finds a way forward, and although it's not as good as the original, it pushes many of the same buttons and sews on a few new ones. It's quite enjoyable.
  6. Ashes to Ashes has a cheekier energy that the original "Life on Mars," one that carries the show even when the police procedural stories are relatively bland.
  7. 37
    Though many small things are executed well, some big parts of this show just don’t work, at least in the first couple of episodes.

See all 9 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 8, 2014
    9
    Unfortunately, John Simm is gone in this series, however, Gene Hunt is still as funny and "charming" as ever. 80's is a better time period than 70's in my opinion. Expand
  2. KevinR
    Mar 10, 2009
    8
    Keely Hawes doesn't have quite the same charm as John Simm but it's still a very solid series with amazing characters, great drama, and fantastic humor. Expand