?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Ashes Reaction Post 1.01 - dorsetgirl
February 8th, 2008
11:31 am
[User Picture]

[Link]

Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Ashes Reaction Post 1.01
 Ashes to Ashes Reaction

 

 

After I saw Ashes 1.01 for the first time, last night, my reaction was low-key disappointment, a rather cold and empty feeling. The most positive comment I could muster was “Not at all sure ... reserving judgement”. Given that I don’t get to watch much TV anyway, in any other circumstances I wouldn’t have watched this episode again, and I wouldn’t be watching next week, either.

 

But because I want so much for this to succeed, for us, and for Philip, I decided to watch it again this morning and see how it went. And it’s starting to pull me in.

 

Having watched it a second time, I can now feel the power of it much more strongly. But how many people are going to bother watching it again?

 

Obviously I’m seeing things I didn’t see first time round, and considering who’s making the show, I imagine there’s still a lot more there to be found yet. One of the things I’ve noticed today is Gene, sitting on his own in Luigi’s, a long way from the rest of his team. As someone else pointed out last night, in the past if he wasn’t in the midst of his team he would be sitting to the side keeping an eye on them and talking to, or just being with, Sam. There’s quite a lot in this episode to establish Gene’s loneliness, and I hope we get to explore that for its own sake, not just as a device to push him towards Alex.

 

I hadn’t realised how much of my early, instinctively happy reaction to Life on Mars was down to the fact that 1973 was my time. I was sixteen years old, I was living my life to the soundtrack of Life on Mars and revising for my ‘O’ Levels to Sweet, Roger Daltrey, Mott the Hoople and Suzi Quattro.

 

In July 1981 I had just started my third job, working for Courage just over Southwark Bridge, maybe twenty seconds by speedboat from Tower Bridge. I was working long hours and helping to run the social club afterwards. Getting the train to work and not owning a Walkman, I just didn’t get to hear much of the music of that era, and therefore didn’t notice much of the soundtrack last night.

 

One thing about the music that did hit me though: at the end, Gene sitting in his office all alone, looking at the picture of Sam up on the wall. And Bryan Ferry sings “Nothing lasts for ever.” Very, very sad moment. And I simply didn’t notice it first time round. I just registered that Gene was sitting all alone, which was bad enough.

 

Gene was obviously as sexy as hell in Life on Mars, but in some ways he’s even more so in Ashes. Better clothes, I suppose, slightly sleeker figure, but also perhaps the hint of vulnerability helps. In Ashes so far, he’s less of a Sheriff and more of a man. A gorgeous, sexy Manc Lion.

 

So, revised verdict: I think I quite like it. So far.

 

 

 

Major Nitpick: When they’re looking at the map of where the drug deals are taking place, Gene says “The centre is here: the financial district.”

 

London doesn’t have “the financial district”, it has “the City.” It did in 1981 and it still does today. Now, without explanation, I can see there is scope for confusion in using that term, especially for viewers in other countries. But surely they could have found some way of clarifying the matter that would allow them to use the correct term. That is going to annoy the hell out of me every time I watch this episode.

 

And don’t tell me Gene wouldn’t know the term, newly-arrived though he is. He has surely been introduced to the City of London Police by now, and told where his boundaries run with theirs. And who you’ve got to liaise with before you can even blow your nose in the City...

 

/rant

Tags:

(4 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments
 
[User Picture]
From:ilovedoyle
Date:February 8th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I totally agree!
I was a little disappointed, due to my S/G OTPness, with the way they portrayed Gene with Alex. He was too lax with her in comparison with the way he was with Sam...although Sam could have softened him slightly.

But...
One thing about the music that did hit me though: at the end, Gene sitting in his office all alone, looking at the picture of Sam up on the wall. And Bryan Ferry sings “Nothing lasts for ever.” Very, very sad moment. And I simply didn’t notice it first time round. I just registered that Gene was sitting all alone, which was bad enough.
I never noticed this first time round either!! So they DID leave us SOME S/G!

And this, I TOTALLY agree with:
Gene was obviously as sexy as hell in Life on Mars, but in some ways he’s even more so in Ashes. Better clothes, I suppose, slightly sleeker figure, but also perhaps the hint of vulnerability helps. In Ashes so far, he’s less of a Sheriff and more of a man. A gorgeous, sexy Manc Lion. Yes he looked fab! although I miss the camel coat!

I miss Sam, but I'm gonna keep watching, if only for Gene!
[User Picture]
From:dorsetgirl
Date:February 8th, 2008 02:58 pm (UTC)
(Link)
It's all about Sam/Gene for me too, which is a major barrier to my letting go and really enjoying Ashes to Ashes, but I really will give it a good trial. As you say, for Gene!

I did think it a little odd the way everyone just ignored Alex wandering around dazed and saying into the phone "I need to find out if I'm in hospital". It just didn't seem likely, however much they'd got used to Sam doing it. Why would they imagine someon else would as well? Or maybe this is the whole "It's only in Alex's head, and it's normal to her so it must be normal to them" thing, which is getting a little too clever for my liking.

I'm really hoping that wasn't our one nod to Sam/Gene, or to Sam at all. I hope they mention him on other occasions throughout the series.
[User Picture]
From:hambelandjemima
Date:February 8th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
(Link)
I enjoyed the episode (even though there were bits that narked), purely because IT WAS GENE!!!

Sorry :D

Anyway... yes, when he was alone in the office, I saw the clippings of Sam on the wall, and I'm going to rewatch just that part until my tape wears out (yes, I still have video tapes, never mind!).

1981 is my era. I was at High School, in love with Adam Ant and wondering what I was going to do when I was grown up (still wondering about the last one). I love the music and that will also make the programme extremely watchable for me.

One (of a few) little niggle(s) is the fact that Alex is a DI. Sam was a DCI in 2006, which always made him an equal to Gene in my eyes. Alex will always be a subordinate, which I suppose is not a bad thing, but then I have a 'thing' for equality in relationships.

There’s quite a lot in this episode to establish Gene’s loneliness, and I hope we get to explore that for its own sake
Me, too, although I have a horrible feeling that this is the last we see of it, or Sam. I hope I'm wrong.
[User Picture]
From:mikes_grrl
Date:February 9th, 2008 10:11 pm (UTC)
(Link)


Well I won't rehash my own reaction here (did you see my take?), but I think you brought up some good points, and I also really, really hope that Gene's lonliness isn't just a set up to 'Gene falls for Alex.' I want a Gene a bit deeper and more complex than that...which I believe LoM gave us, albeit in snippets.

The reverse is true for me, though, about 1981. I was 12 and while I was pretty shy and withdrawn through my teens, it was still MY era and I just ADORE the whole set up. I recognized Roxy Music as the background song for that last shot of Gene and it was truly heart breaking. I must now go find my copy of Avalon. Oh oh oh.

(And don't be too hard on the whole 'financial district' thing, because really, if I were planning the show, I'd not spend 20 very expensive seconds of screen time explaining something that can be easily addressed by just calling it the 'the financial district.' Just my 2 cents there, not really important...although I'll add that if they keep doing stuff like that, then it probably has more to do with sloppy research and time/money constraints, and that will not make me happy.)
Powered by LiveJournal.com