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Ashes to Ashes

Sometime ago (13 years!) I discovered and devoured the TV series Life on Mars (2006) – I’m referring to the UK original and not the attempted US remake. There was a second series too, first broadcast the following year, which I also enjoyed as well as appreciating the fact that the story arc came to an end and they didn’t try to spin it out until finally resorting to shark jumping. That said, they then returned with Ashes to Ashes (2008). Instead of a male police officer going back to the early 1970s, a female police officer goes back to the early 1980s; the setting has moved from Manchester to London but many of the supporting characters are the same.

I watched a bit of it but it didn’t particularly grab me. More recently, I stumbled across it on Netflix and, last night, I finally watched the last couple of episodes of the three season run. It did grow on me although it took a lot longer than Life on Mars did. If anything, the similarities put me off; indeed, it is essentially a continuation of the same story but with a different protagonist in the frame.

I’ll admit to doing some reading ahead in various episode guides and, although I’d come to appreciate the characters, new and old, I did find the ending less clear cut than some of the write ups had suggested. It was calling out for Sam Tyler (the focus of the original series) to have stuck his head out of the pub door at the end, ideally also with Annie in tow. Honestly, that would have made perfect sense in the apparent context.

I do wonder if they considered a third run, where a police officer is put into a coma and wakes up in the early 1990s? As far as I’m aware, that was never made. If it was, or is, I might even be persuaded to watch it, although I’d hope it would only be one series long!

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