Review- Earlier this week I railed and went a bit crazy when I read the news of the cancellation of the Americanized version of Life On Mars. It was my favorite new show, and was just getting its legs, so to speak, when it was jettisoned by the powers that be at ABC.
Last night (Saturday March 7th) I had a chance to watch the final episode of the original British version of LOM. Following it was the American premiere of Ashes to Ashes, the sequel to Life On Mars, in which modern day London police detective Alex Drake ( played by Keeley Hawes) is shot by a man (we find out later) named Layton, and finds herself in 1981, mini skirted and on a yacht. Drake, a divorced mother and a trained psychologist, was studying notes about Sam Tyler, the protagonist from LOM, who's apparent demise at the end of that series (in the present) was ruled a suicide. As shown in the final episode of LOM, Sam did leap off of the top of the building, but instead of hitting pavement the audience is shown Tyler rejoining Annie, Ray Carling, Chris Skelton, and Gene Hunt in 1973 Manchester.
The yacht Alex is on becomes a crime scene; bewildered by what has happened to her, and by her 1980's tarted up look and curly hair, she walks down the gang plank and first sees a concert poster for Adam and The Ants, and watches cars loaded with police pull in. And out of the cars come Gene, Ray, and Chris (Philip Glenister, Dean Andrews, Marshall Lancaster). Upon returning to police headquarters, Alex finds her name on a desk, and that she has been assigned to the squad. Alex remembered reading about Ray, Gene, and Chris in the notes on Sam Tyler, and knows about their personalities. Alex remembered being shot, and concluded what's happened to her must be an illusion, or delusion. When she touches Gene's chest to feel a beating heart, she says this is TOO real- and Gene counters by grabbing Alex's breast.
Later, Ray tells Alex that Sam Tyler died the previous year (1980) when his car went into a river while trying to apprehend robbers...but Sam's body was never recovered. Later in the first episode Alex comes upon Layton, the man who shot her in 2008. In 1981 Layton is a mobbed up lower level racketeer involved in drug trafficking- he is arrested by Alex late in the episode for his crimes in 1981...and Alex adds for shooting her (in 2008).
At the end of the first episode we see Alex watching TV when the clown/mannequin (from LOM) comes on the TV screen, and starts talking in Alex's daughter's voice, telling Alex that she's been shot, and don't try to wake up.
The look is authentic 1980's, the soundtrack included The Clash and Roxy Music, and like Life On Mars the story of the "time traveler" is much more fascinating than the crime drama that is always the subtext. In my eyes, the crime solving was always a distraction from the real fun stuff....like what really has happened to Alex (or Sam)...and will the audience ever really find out?
The BBC has ordered a second series of Ashes to Ashes, so for the time being, people on this side of the pond might have to wait awhile for some answers.
Or we can cheat a bit...and keep up with it on the official BBC website, and various UK fan sites.
All in all...if your a fan of the fantastic, this is a show you'll be entertained by. Check it out.
To those who said that this is a fad....guess again. It is a movement. Today, at 2:00PM, citizens who have had enough will march on the...
Eric LeGrand was paralyzed in the Rutgers- Army football game. To send Eric a "Get Well" message click his photo.
Eric LeGrand BELIEVE Fund
Click the picture for more information on the Eric LeGrand BELIEVE Fund, established for the longterm care and rehabilitation of this seriously injured Rutgers Football player. Thank You!
"Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing. "
Ten From Nick Drake
Welcome To My Neighborhood!
Its called "Useless Trivia and Mindless Rants". That's because I adhere to the principle that you can't please everyone, nor should you try to please everyone....so before anyone else rips this blog for being a waste of time or having faulty logic, I thought I'd beat them to the punch, and zing just a bit of self deprecating humor into the title....hey, some people think that's an endearing quality.
Seriously....I hope to entertain and maybe inform, and even teach the reader about a few subjects. And don't be alarmed by the political trappings you may see here. I'm upfront about my political beliefs and affiliations, but I don't wear my politics on my sleeve, and have and always will refuse to be locked into a rigid dogma. This is not really a political blog; its just disguised as one.
My model is probably CBS SUNDAY MORNING, a magazine format. I'll talk about news, sports, TV and films, about music, literature and pop culture, and about the famous and the infamous....and about some people who are out there trying to make a difference in a world that seems to get just a little tougher everyday.
Oh yes...there will be some politics as well.
So pour a cup of coffee, cut a piece of cheesecake.....and stick around for a few minutes.
Occupation- If you believe my conservative friends, I'm a pinko commie socialist out to destroy the very fabric of America's core beliefs.
Liberals think I'm an old school moderate Democrat, and that a guy my age needs to get his hair cut more often.
Just put away that broad brush....
I'm just a "Blue Jersey Guy" who happens to "Bleed Scarlet".