"Ashes to Ashes" directed by Johnny Campbell, Bille Eltringham [review]
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Several years ago, audiences in both the UK and Australia were introduced to the wondrous BBC drama Life on Mars. Taking its name from a David Bowie song, Life on Mars followed the intriguing exploits of a 2006 Manchester cop, Sam Tyler, (played by the wonderful John Simm) who was hit by a car and seemingly sent back in time to 1973. The show functioned as a compelling psychological thriller, following Tyler’s efforts to discover what had sent him back in time (was he in a coma, dying, dreaming, or in some kind of limbo-land or Purgatory?) and his attempts to escape 1973 and get back to his life in 2006. At the same time, the show was a loving and at times hilarious re-creation of the 1970s British cop-show milieu (think of The Sweeney crossed with The Professionals, but shot with today’s filmmaking technology), and it featured the wonderful Philip Glenister as the now-iconic DCI Gene Hunt, a politically-incorrect, hilariously foul-mouthed and utterly lovable character who infuriated Tyler as often as he helped him in his various quests.