The BBC’s Life on Mars was a big hit. The mysterious drama series intrigued viewers around the world. So much so, an American adaptation was commissioned as well as its own spin-off Ashes to Ashes.
The original Life on Mars had a two season run, but Ashes to Ashes has just begun its third and final season that hopes to answer questions from both series.
Where Life on Mars was gritty, bold and unafraid, so is Ashes to Ashes but with a little more fun and a little more sex appeal. The premise of present-day cops somehow getting transported to the 1970s and 1980s respectively after falling into comas on the job opened up a literal world of possibilities; from looking at gender equality in the force to historical British events and simply putting a fresh spin on the crime procedural.
One part cop and robbers and one part science-fiction, both Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes have given viewers an amazing weekly escape you can’t find anywhere else on television. Much credit also goes to the perfect casts of both series, led by Philip Glenister as Gene Hunt.
After two seasons now, we’ve seen DI Alex Drake on Ashes to Ashes try to figure out what’s sent her back to the 80s (and in turn what sent Sam Tyler of Life on Mars back to the 70s). What does it all mean? Is it all real? Is it just a dream? Time travel? Alternate universe? They just crazy?
“Quite frankly, your guess is as good as mine,” Alex says in the new opening lines of the show’s theme. She has no clue either. She thought she did in each of the two seasons, but it turns out she was wrong and like us, is ready to finally get to the bottom of things.
And the season 3 premiere signaled that yes, no more playing around, this is it. The stakes are higher, the twists started coming and the premiere was a little darker and more serious than we’re used to seeing Ashes to Ashes. Sure there’s still the touches of light humor, but bloody hell, it’s time we got answers. Looks like the show is not going to back down and we’ve been warned to hold on tight.
These final eight hours may tell us things we never even imagined them telling us, quite possibly answering questions that lingered after Life on Mars as well.
For five years, it’s been an incredible ride and it’s only going to get even more exciting the next two months.
“Sometimes in life, you can’t help which way you fall.”