[[Ashes To Ashes (TV Series)|Ashes To Ashes]] returned last night for a second series.
I have to admit, I was concerned that the show might have run out of ideas, since Gene and the gang started the episode crawling around a sewer tunnel underneath London – a bit like [[Philip Glenister]]’s alter-ego Rupert Galvin in [[Demons (TV Series)|Demons]].
However, after a rather confused beginning, the episode really hit its stride with a story about a copper who’d been murdered in a Soho strip club. Hunt’s team are called in to investigate and Alex, as usual, insists upon looking into the case further than Hunt is willing to. Where he sees a cut and dried accidental death, Drake isn’t so sure.
But that’s all padding around the more interesting parts, namely:
- Drake manages to make an enemy of DI Mackintosh (aka Supermac) when she breaks into his office and reads an entry in his diary which seems suspicious.
- She seems to be experiencing contact from the outside world again, helicopter noises suggesting that someone has found her and brought her to hospital.
- However, a person in the 1982 world captures her and later reveals that he knows she’s from the future, proving it with knowledge of Princess Diana’s death in 1997.
That’s the interesting part that I want to talk about. At the beginning of the episode, we see two nurses standing over a comatose man and listening to a news report about Alex Drake. I can’t help wondering if this is the guy who’s caught up with her in 1982. The conversation between the two nurses goes something like this:
Nurse #1: She’s dead for sure.
Nurse #2: This bloke’ll be joining her by the end of the day.
Nurse #1: Shhh, he might be able to hear you.
It looks fairly clear that someone else has found their way into Gene Hunt’s universe. And the only way to get there? Through a near-fatal accident, of course. So I’m guessing this guy in the hospital bed is the sinister guy with the Irish accent who abducts Drake.
In other news, Hunt’s wisecracks seem to be either toned down, or we’re becoming immune to them, but Glenister did a decent job of being the neolithic policeman we’ve come to know and love. I just didn’t feel that he was too important in this episode though.
Marshall Lancaster’s footballer’s haircut and Full Monty routine were endearing comic moments in what was a gritty storyline. I was waiting for Ray and Chris to get rumbled for taking a bung from the strip joint owner, but perhaps that’s leading up to something later in the series, since there was a definite thread about corruption within the force in this episode.
Verdict? About an 8/10 score. Need more sarcasm from Gene. Interestingly, Keeley Hawes virtually carried the entire episode and did it well, too. Let’s hear no more talk about how she’s no Sam Tyler – after that gut punch at the end, there should be no more questions about how tough she is.