ashes to ashes – the finale

I’m still mulling over the last episode of Ashes to Ashes and feel it may pay just one more watch!

I’m fascinated that the writers already knew how it would end way back at the start of Life on Mars – I don’t even know what I’m having for tea!  I loved Life on Mars – hadn’t we all forgotten just how BROWN the 1970s were?!  Although I am repressing right now a 70s flashback of high waisted flares (brown) and zip up cardi (brown and green).

I wasn’t convinced about the first series of Ashes – not sure why but for me it didn’t gel – although all those wonderful 80s clothes and songs kept me going.   I am at that certain age when I do remember it all – regular shrieking of “I wore that!” ensued.  I am more and more convinced that the costume designer was the person who snapped up all my 80s jewellery at that car boot sale….

Series three for me was when it really soared – maybe it needed the balance of Keats, maybe Alex was just that bit less annoying.  For me it all fell neatly into place and became unmissable.  I did get that the ghost cop with the injured face was Gene, Keats was evil and the whole set up was unreal, a limbo state.  I do feel rather smug about that as I never get who did it – even when it was the butler…

While the regular cast quite rightly get commended for their acting – Dean Andrews in particular brought great depth to Ray in S3 and Philip Glenister was constantly gifted with just the best writing, I personally think that Daniel Mays deserves a huge round of applause.  He had the unenviable task of being the new boy – and the new boy who undermined the hero at that.  His timeless air (could he be from the past? The future?) and his initially harmless self deprecating approach gradually changed to demonic madness and his performance in the last episode was mesmerising.  It could so easily have tipped over into farce but he pitched it perfectly.  I hate to think what a scenery chewing thespian might have made of it.

For me the series ended at the right time and went out on a high rather than dribbling to an end and I still cared enough to want to know the resolution.  There was just enough explanation, religion wasn’t invoked so we can label the destinations heaven and hell if we want – frankly I’ll be avoiding lifts for a while – and it treated us like grownups who might just be able to understand and interpret.  A refreshing change from the usual Janet and John went to plot school approach.

All in all a great ending – not perfect but pretty damn close.  Don’t do a special. Don’t explain any more.  Just leave us with the memories.  Oh, and Nelson?  Mine’s a vodka and slimline!

Not a line out of place but just a few favourites…

“Then go to hell”  “OK then”

“Wearing a dead woman’s clothes?  Seems appropriate ma’am”

“You’re the most immature man I’ve ever met.”  “I’m not.”  “Yes, you are.”  “I’m not.”


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