Visit the official Doctor Who website

Visit the official Doctor Who website
Look to the future

Asylum seekers...

Asylum seekers...
Refuge of the Daleks

Doctor Who picture resource

Doctor Who picture resource
Roam the space lanes!

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website

Explore the Doctor Who classic series website
Step back in time

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood

Infiltrate The Hub of Doctor Who spin-off Torchwood
Armed and extremely dangerous

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures

Investigate The Sarah Jane Adventures
Fearless in the face of adversity

Call on Dani’s House

Call on Dani’s House
Harmer’s a charmer

Intercept the UFO fabsite

Intercept the UFO fabsite
Defending the Earth against alien invaders!

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse

Uncover the secrets of the Dollhouse
Programmable agent Echo exposed!

Hell’s belles

Hell’s belles
Naughty but nice

Love Exposure

Love Exposure
Flash photography!

Primeval portal

Primeval portal
Dressed to kill or damsels in distress?

Charmed, to be sure!

Charmed, to be sure!
The witches of San Francisco

Take on t.A.T.u.

Take on t.A.T.u.
All the way from Moscow

Proceed to the Luther website

Proceed to the Luther website
John and Jenny discuss their next move

DCI Banks is on the case

DCI Banks is on the case
You can bet on it!

On The Grid with Spooks

On The Grid with Spooks
Secret agents of Section D

Bridge to Hustle

Bridge to Hustle
Shady characters

Life on Ashes To Ashes

Life on Ashes To Ashes
Coppers with a chequered past

Claire’s no Exile

Claire’s no Exile
Goose steps

Vexed is back on the beat!

Vexed is back on the beat!
Mismatched DI Armstrong and bright fast-tracker Georgina Dixon

Medium, both super and natural

Medium, both super and natural
Open the door to your dreams

Who’s that girl? (350-picture Slideshow)

Friday, 8 February 2008

Pounding the Beat


Gene Hunt returned, last night, his reputation preceding him! And, I was along for the ride in the back of his Audi Quattro!! What a trip it was too. Laying my cards right on the table, I loved the opening episode of the new eight-part series “Ashes to Ashes”, successor to “Life on Mars”. I never got into the Seventies show which is strange in itself because that was the decade in which I grew up. The soundtrack is an important feature of both series and yet the Eighties was the decade when I began to lose interest in pop music of the time. But the producers have been clever enough to set the new show in 1981, before the Eighties have really gotten into full swing, which enables them to carry on using the music of the Seventies! Smart move!! Thus, many of the featured bands/artists originate, or were at their peak of success, in the preceding ten years. I absolutely adored the moment Gene and his fellow coppers sped through the Thames, in hot pursuit, to the guitar-crunching, keyboard-swirling, Hugh Cornwell-snarling sound of The Stranglers! I was at Uni in ’81, in the last year of my first degree, in a band called The Disturbed, and “No More Heroes” was one of a few cover versions we played to much acclaim. It was our calling card, if you like, and the energy of this particular scene, in “Ashes to Ashes”, brought it all back.


“No More Heroes” wasn’t the only song in the first episode to bring on feelings of nostalgia. Bizarrely, the show featured both “Vienna” by Ultravox and “I’m in Love with a German Film Star” by The Passions and I can clearly remember buying both records on the same day in Woolworths, in Beeston, while studying at Nottingham. There are so many records they could’ve chosen so it really made me sit up and take notice when the second of the pair filtered its way into my consciousness! As a teenager in the Seventies, two of my major influences were Roxy Music and David Bowie. Again, both featured in episode one. “Ashes to Ashes”, the song, is actually a sequel to the “2001: A Space Odyssey”-influenced Sixties hit “Space Oddity”, not the track “Life on Mars”, and details what happened to Major Tom once he returned to Earth from his voyage in space. The line “I’m happy, hope you’re happy too” was one of the driving forces of the narrative. Meanwhile, “Same Old Scene” by Roxy Music, from their penultimate album “Flesh and Blood”, closed the show, suggesting the familiar setup of the previous series is firmly re-established. For me, though, the male/female dynamic, of the two leads, is a more interesting one than the male/male partnership of the previous programme, and that’s despite my fondness for “The Sweeney”. Oh, and isn’t Montserrat Lombard cute as newcomer WPC Sharon “Shaz” Granger!

6 comments:

Steve said...

Yeah I loved it too and was made up when I heard the opening to the Passions chiming in the background... lovely moment.

TimeWarden said...

I downloaded the song shortly after the episode finished!

Michael G Clark said...

I like Shaz too, very like a girlyfriend I had in the 80's. Keely was great too of course.

I was amazed by Gene's skill with an UZI, not many people can inflict a flesh wound with 30 rounds at 800rpm.

TimeWarden said...

I seem to make a habit of taking a shine to supporting characters!

Gene's obviously a better shot than most Cybermen!!

Old Cheeser said...

It was enjoyable, although as I was saying over on Steve's blog, kind of used a very similar concept wholesale!

Keeley H is undoubtedly a foxy lady though and a good foil for Philip G's character.

And needless to say I liked all the 80s references.

TimeWarden said...

I only saw the first episode of "Life on Mars", on original transmission, so the reuse of the concept doesn't bother me that much. Perhaps you could see "Ashes to Ashes" as just a continuation of the same series, with a couple of cast changes, considering the numerous references to John Simm's character. Although, having said that, I hope they drop those and allow "Ashes to Ashes" to stand on its own two feet!