There have now been three episodes of Ashes to Ashes : enough to make up one’s mind about it? Well of course I’m glued to the screen every week. I don’t think it quite counts as a sequel, though, more like a whole new programme. For a start, in spite of the references to Walkmen and Breville sandwich toasters and the lack of a rape suite down the nick, the retro angle doesn’t work for me at all. 1981 just doesn’t seem so much of a different planet as 1973 did. And who on earth dressed the way Alex does? Nobody I knew. Then Alex is a less sympathetic character than Sam and her weekly drunkenness, which conveniently allows her to lose all inhibitions, is getting predictable and tiresome.
The big attraction is of course the Gene Genie, in spite of his horrible shoes. Philip Glenister plays for laughs and why not?
Alex: gives lengthy motormouth profile of villain. Gene: Don’t you ever get brainache?
Alex: Perhaps I should go down to King’s Cross. Gene: Not paying you enough?
Plus now the man has depth. Alex: obviously wanting him to kiss her (this could run and run) Gene. I’m drunk. And you’re very drunk. Oh, swoon! Just like James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story!
Speaking of swooning, Stephen Campbell Moore, who plays Evan, is extremely handsome. It was killing me to know what I’d seen him in before; it was of course The History Boys.