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Ashes to ashes

Starring Philip Glenister as the foul-mouthed, non-politically correct Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt, the scenario always seemed strange. Life on Mars saw policeman Sam Tyler hit by a car but ‘waking up’ years previously as part of Hunt’s team. Had he died, was he in a coma, or was it time travel? Ashes to Ashes followed similar lines, with female detective Alex Drake being shot, but likewise waking up in 1983. The lighting was unusual. The ambience of the series was always weird. The streets, through which Hunt’s red Audi Quattro raced, were unrealistically empty except for the police and the bad guys. Then there were those occasional supernatural visions.

John Benton

Did you see the last ever of the series of the BBC’s Ashes to Ashes at the end of May? Coming as a sequel to Life on Mars (2006-7), it was a drama which people found hard to categorise. Was it science fiction, a police drama or what? The final episode answered with a spiritual twist.