Random TV News

Here’s a few TV-related items for today:

– If you read my Ashes to Ashes recaps, you might remember this screencap from season 1 episode 4:

In the recap, I commented on the poster behind Gene Hunt’s head, and how funny it was to see it again after all these years. Well guess what? A woman named Fiona Walker has come forward and taken credit (or blame, depending on your gender politics ) for being the girl who bared her bottom. Although it’s not quite “What happened to Amelia Earhart” or “Who was Jack the Ripper”, it’s still nice to have one of life’s little mysteries solved.

Justified is a show about a US Marshall who is transferred to his native Kentucky after shooting a drug dealer in Miami. It’s based on a short story by Elmore Leonard, and it’s pretty damn good. Stephen Root (Jimmy James from News Radio and Milton from Office Space) occasionally plays a judge on the show… and it’s nice to see he hasn’t forgotten his red Swingline stapler:


– Lastly, here’s Mad Men’s John Slattery in the new music video from The National, where he plays a Secret Service agent in love with the (female) president:

One last (?) Ashes post

It seems odd to be adding new items for a show that’s been over for several months now, but I know that people still stop by the site for Ashes to Ashes recaps, and I thought you folks might be interested in this.

Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, the minds behind Mars, Ashes, and several other shows, have created a new website for their production company, Monastic Productions.

You can click here to go to their “Scripts” page, where you can find downloadable PDF versions of several Ashes and Mars drafts, outlines and scripts, as well as scripts from Bonekickers (blech!) and a few of their less popular productions.

I’ve read a good chunk of the draft of the Ashes pilot, and it’s pretty interesting to see how things changed between that and the finished script. One little teaser: in the draft, Alex doesn’t get shot by Layton; instead she and Molly are taken hostage, and Alex falls through a hole in the floor of the decaying warehouse where they’re being held.

Check it out!

Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 8

Can it really be the end? After four years of brilliant television, will we finally find out who Gene Hunt really is, what really happened to Sam Tyler, and if or when Alex will ever get home? Will we find out once and for all what the Life On Mars\Ashes to Ashes universe is all about? Let’s put the tissues away and fire up the Quattro for the last time and find out!

The finale of Ashes to Ashes begins with Alex having a dream. She’s on It’s a Knockout, and Molly cheers her on from the sidelines. Alex finds the epaulet numbers, only to have an evil (oversized, rubber) Gene Hunt start to hunt her down. Alex appears to wake up from the dream, but we can still hear Molly telling her to wake up because “he’s coming”. Alex looks over and sees a familiar face knocking on the glass of Gene’s office:


Back in the dream, the oversized Hunt continues to bear down on her when a gunshot rings out. Dead Cop appears and falls to the ground, as does costumed Alex. Molly continues to tell her mother to get up, and Alex removes the suit whilst saying that she must know the truth. Costumed Gene finally catches up to her, and just as Alex turns to him… the lights come on in the office. Alex has been asleep at her desk the entire time. She looks at the photograph of the farm, which has been curled up in her hand. She simply says “Today, Gene”.

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Ashes to Ashes: the definitive playlist (final)

Here’s the final list of all the songs heard on the BBC series Ashes to Ashes, including season 3, the show’s last.

Season 1

Episode 1

Ultravox – “Vienna”
The Clash – “I Fought the Law”
Tubeway Army – “Are Friends Electric?”
The Stranglers – “No More Heroes”
David Bowie – “Ashes to Ashes”
The Passions – “I’m In Love With A German Film Star”
Duran Duran – “Hungry Like the Wolf”
Duran Duran – “Careless Memories”
Roxy Music – “Same Old Scene”

Episode 2

Tenpole Tudor – “Swords of a Thousand Men”
Madness – “The Prince”
Imagination – “Body Talk”
The Flying Lizards – “Money”
Visage – “Fade to Grey”
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – “Souvenir”
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Geno”
The Pop Group – “We Are All Prostitutes”
Heaven 17 – “Fascist Groove Thang”
Jon and Vangelis – “I Hear You Now”
Dexy’s Midnight Runners – “Show Me”
Chas and Dave – “Gertcha”

Continue reading “Ashes to Ashes: the definitive playlist (final)”

Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 7

Episode 7 opens at Viv’s funeral. As the crowd sings “Abide with Me”, the curtain is drawn to allow Viv’s body to enter the crematoria… only it gets stuck. The gang look at each other, and finally Gene puts his hymnal down and walks up to the curtain to pull it shut. Gene apologizes to Viv, while Chris and Ray snicker and find the whole thing amusing. Gene notices.

We then see the gang at Luigi’s, where they have a few drinks and share memories in Viv’s honor. But then Chris spills a beer whilst trying to open it, and this sets Gene off:


He hurls his glass at the wall and tears into Chris, saying that he’s lost one of his finest officers and is now left with a “clumsy bastard” like Chris. Gene then asks for Alex, who is back at her desk at the station. Jim walks up to her and says that another good officer is gone. Jim says that if you find a dead officer, you’ll find Gene Hunt standing over him. Alex, not in the mood for Jim’s talk, says that she has work to do. Jim says that she’s lucky, as Gene’s bullet didn’t kill her. Alex insists that it was an accident.

Jim notices that Alex was looking at a photograph, so he walks over and asks who the man in the picture is. She says that it’s the ghost who has been haunting her. He asks where she found the picture, and she says it was in Gene’s office. Jim laughs, calls Gene slippery and says that he’s good in covering his tracks. Alex says that Gene is clean. Jim picks up the roll of film Alex found with the photograph at the end of the last episode and asks about it. Alex says that she’s going to get it developed, but Jim insists that he can get it developed at D&C.  He then says that he and Alex are the same, but she says that the difference between them is that she doesn’t wish for cops to be bad. Jim tells her to “do what you were put here to do… get me Gene Hunt”.

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Ashes Update

Hi all!

Various commitments prevent me from even starting the recap of episode 7 of Ashes to Ashes until next Thursday (05/20).

This is, of course, the day before the series finale of the show. Given that it takes me several days to write each recap, it is extremely unlikely that I’ll have the episode 7 recap finished before the finale airs. So what I plan to do is to do a special, short “finale recap” post on Saturday (05/22). The “regular” recaps will be posted as I finish them.

Sorry for the holdup and thanks for understanding!


Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 6

Episode 6 begins with Alex at home, asleep on the sofa. Haunting whistling is heard as she dreams of a soccer ball being kicked down the hall of the station. She picks up the ball and stares at it.

The next morning, she walks into the station… and looks confused. Police in riot gear are everywhere, and Viv is seen telling someone on the phone that all leave is canceled. When the person on the other end of the phone asks why, Viv tells him to “turn on your bloody television”.

Alex walks into the office, where the TV is reporting news of the riot and takeover of nearby Fenchurch Prison. It seems that ten prisoners jumped a guard patrol and the rest of the guards reacted with the “speed of a spastic tortoise” (Ray’s words). Alex asks if the wing held juveniles. Gene says that it does not, that it holds the worst prisoners: “You name it, they’ve raped it, robbed it, killed it.”

Gene says that their priority is a prisoner who escaped during the melee. Viv comes in and says he needs to have a word with Gene. But before they can talk, others join in the conversation and Viv gets lost in the shuffle. After Chris describes the escaped convict, Gene says that the gang can handle that by themselves, and that he’s going for a “quick refresher course” at the prison, which is only a couple minutes away. Alex, smiling, calls him “Braveheart in Paco Robanne”.


At the prison, all is chaos. The police are pelted with roof tiles, masonry, hammers and Molotov cocktails. Viv again tells Gene that he needs to talk to him, but Gene says there’s no time to chat… “it’s playtime”. We then see the scene inside the prison, and the advancing police officers are pelted with even more debris. Gene scans the prisoners and takes a long hard look at one in particular. The police advance with Hunt leading the charge. It’s like the biggest barroom brawl you’ve ever seen.

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Simm\Glenister Update

Well, there may only be three episodes of Ashes to Ashes left, but it might soften the blow to know that John Simm (Sam Tyler) and Philip Glenister (Gene Hunt) will be appearing in a new show next year:

Mad Dogs

Called Mad Dogs, the Sky series tells the story of four “fortysomethings” who go to Spain for the retirement party of an old school friend. However, as this press release notes, the party quickly devolves into a “labyrinthine nightmare of lies, deception and murder”. Another of my favorites, Max Beesley (Hotel Babylon, Survivors). also stars along with Marc Warren.

The four-part series is due to air spring 2011.

Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 5

Episode 5 begins with Alex having a dream. The dream is of a TV commercial for Sam Tyler’s “sexy jacket”. The ad copy, read by Hunt, says “He’s stylish. He’s modern. He knows what he wants… and he gets it.”:


She’s nudged awake by Gene. The two are on a stakeout, trying to bust some porn smugglers. He starts up the Quattro and takes off.

Meanwhile, Ray and Chris practice their dance moves while awaiting for Shaz to spot their target. She calls on the radio, and the two take off towards a now-parked truck, where two men look through a giant box of porn videos. Gene and Alex pull up in the Quattro, guns drawn, and the men take off down the street, only to be stopped by Ray and Chris. A third man jumps out of the truck and runs the opposite way. Alex pulls out her gun but does not fire. Gene says that they’ll run the man over instead. Before they can get too far, a black car comes rushing around a corner with the third man grasping to the hood for dear life. The car stops near the Quattro, and the third man flies off. Two men then get out of the black car: DCI Litton and DI Bevan for the Manchester Police CID.

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Ashes to Ashes: Season 3, Episode 4

This episode begins with a boy sitting on a curb (or “kerb” as they say in Britain). He plays with a Matchbox version of a red Quattro, cornering it hard on his leg. Suddenly, Gene’s Quattro comes roaring around the corner. Inside, Alex cautions Gene about driving drunk. Gene admits to having a drink as it’s dinnertime, and Alex tells him to slow down. She says that they’re investigating a tip about drugs, and if she’s going to lose her life, she’d hope it be for something more worthwhile.

The gang spot the van they’re looking for, and chase it down a street. The van stops just in front of a small car, hitting a worker repairing the road in the process. The occupants of the van take off, but before the gang can give chase, a woman gets out of the small car holding a shotgun. While the rest of the gang hide behind anything they can find, Gene confidently walks up to the woman and takes the shotgun from her:


The gang sits, stunned, as Gene lets the woman run away. Ray and Chris check out the van to find that it loaded down with heroin. When Alex asks Gene why he let the female suspect get away, he says that she’ll have to trust him. Alex says that “trust me” won’t work this time. Gene sarcastically replies that he’s part of a huge conspiracy, and that Alex deserves a piece of candy for taking them down. Alex says that he won’t be able to just push her aside this time. Gene asks what the point of all this is anyway, since no one bothers to tell him about undercover operations on his own turf. Alex then realizes what Gene is saying: the woman was an undercover cop, and they’d just walked into an undercover operation.

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