ETA - Oh noes - have been turned down for leave, so I will have to come into work on Monday. It was pretty short notice admittedly, and I think I can take Thursday instead.
Ashes to Ashes: I liked it. I think it's heavily influenced by the film The Long Good Friday, which is one of my favourite British films, in the way that Life on Mars was set three or four years after (and was heavily influenced by) Get Carter. These are the two great British gangster films, towering above the rest.
Alex reminds me of Helen Mirren as Bob Hoskin's powerful and attractive girlfriend, and Gene Hunt has a strong overlap with Hoskins himself.
I recommend this film if you can get hold of it - it's a classic, and I think it will put this series into context. I wonder if we'll have the meat packing plant scene? ETA - the series should have started a day earlier then it would have been Ash Wednesday to Good Friday.
I think a theme which will become more marked over the series is that Gene is becoming alienated from his milieu - when we see the team making racist and misogynist remarks, Hunt looks tired and doesn't smile. When he makes remarks himself he sounds like he's trying to convince them he hasn't lost it. I know some people found those remarks jarring and unpleasant: I think they were supposed to be. I think we are supposed to see that Tyler has changed Gene, by showing him there's something else, and the issue is whether he's going to tip over into failure and weakness.