I was a bit nervous beforehand about the prospect of a spin-off from the excellent BBC drama Life on Mars, but, having now seen the first episode of said spin-off, Ashes To Ashes, all I can say is - blimey, that was good!
In fact, Ashes To Ashes' debut was so impressive that I think it could well turn out to be even better than the series that spawned it. For one thing, it still has the excellent Philip Glenister as D.C.I. Gene Hunt, along with comedy sidekick Chris (and not so comic sidekick Ray); for another, its new female star Keeley Hawes, as D.I. Alex Drake, may well prove to be a(n even) better lead than John Simms's Sam Tyler. Her instantaneous onscreen chemistry with Glenister certainly augurs well for the future, anyway; and there definitely seems a lot more comic potential with Drake sparking off Hunt than ever there was with the often over-earnest Tyler. (In this first episode I especially enjoyed the way she kept making quotation marks with her fingers whenever namechecking the supposedly imaginary "Gene".)
Another thing I like about this series is that I recognise a lot more of the (based-in-1981) Ashes To Ashes music than I ever did during its 1973-set predecessor. Which brings me to today's Three of a kind - all songs from the year 1981, although not necessarily (in fact probably not) featured in the series. All great songs, mind!
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