We caught an episode of the new series of Ashes to Ashes last night. To this date I only had watched half of the first episode of the first series and was giving it a second try before deciding if it was worth catching up with the series. Fliss wanted to be brought up to speed which I think can be fairly summarised as "It's Life on Mars but with no Sam Tyler, in the Eighties, and for some unexplainable reason in London".
Unfortunately IMHO it isn't that good. I can see the nostalgia trip may do it for some people but where as the 70's are far enough away to be a warm fuzzy glow I can remember a lot of 80's. Maybe it's an age thing? I don't really want to ooh and ahh at the fashions in vogue at the time and the rampant non-PC approach that worked so well in Life on Mars just seems forced in the setting of Ashes. While the LoM gave excellent excuses to bring out some classic music tracks drifting through the background of the show the producers seem to take every scene change in Ashes as an excuse to jam in another dubious tune. It's like they think we have attention deficit disorder and would forget the premise of the show if it weren't for the soundtrack.
Last nights episode did have a few classic Gene Hunt lines and a tolerable plot involving the endemic infiltration of the Met by the Masons. But overall it was disappointing and most likely won't have use following the series. We have a number of series currently clamouring for our attention.
I will make one reference to the BBC Red Button department. In this world of digital TV the edict has obviously come down for "value add" for the digital platform. Basically this means adding "interactive" features so people can press their red button on digitally enabled sets. The Ashes to Ashes contribution is the "Ashes to Ashes Singalong". This DVD-extra alike invites users to sing, karaoke style, to a few choice "hits" from the show. I have to say this did provide some amusement. Apart from some hilarious Top of the Pops showings the feature also taught me how few of the words I actually know to "Come on Eileen" and "Town Called Malice", the former being a lot dirtier than my rose tinted child memory recalled.