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Ashes to Ashes: half in love with easeful death - The Ex-Communicator

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May 15th, 2010


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12:21 am - Ashes to Ashes: half in love with easeful death
I didn't really take to Ashes to Ashes when it started, but this third season has been very good, and tonight - the first part of the grand finale - was some of the best writing I've seen from the BBC for years. Some lines in A2A have always been clunkers, and there were a few tonight, but overall I think the writing is quality. The dialogue isn't super-witty or daring, but there is an oblique edge to every conversation. The camera-work, acting and direction were all good too.

I think some people may dislike the overtly metaphysical (or you could say supernatural) tone that is creeping in now, as reality breaks down. I agree that this type of spooky stuff can be crass and ponderous, particularly when delivered by very cheap BBC special effects, bless 'em, but I thought the sincerity of the acting and writing overcame this problem.

It is hard to know what Gene understands about himself or the world. He and Keats don't seem to have normal interiority, and this adds to their unearthly quality. When Gene says 'Do you remember lads when we were cast out of Paradise?' you understand the function of what he says in the show - that he's referring to Heaven and/or Manchester - but you can't really deduce why he's saying it, or what kind of thing he believes he is. I think that's very clever. Similarly you literally can't model any longer whether Gene is good or evil - I think you just can't. And yet you like him. In this way the show is really pushing you into a corner. I also notice that the actors are increasingly looking right at the camera, out of the telly at you.

When there was a knock at the door, two minutes from the end, my son (who claims not to be watching) shouted 'I bet that's Sam Tyler'. I bet it is next week.

(9 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:kalypso_v
Date:May 15th, 2010 02:22 am (UTC)
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I was sure it was Sam too!
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From:communicator
Date:May 15th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
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It's inconceivable that he won't appear next ep
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From:pennski
Date:May 16th, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC)
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I thought it was Sam accosting Chris in the street. I also had the creepy image of Jim coming in and dancing with Alex to the second half of the song.

I also had a real bout of "white ladies tears" when Alex was telling Joshua about her debating club at school. Have some people learned nothing from "Race Fail 09"?
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From:communicator
Date:May 17th, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)
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Oh, god, I know what you mean (alex's self pity) I thought it was going to be exploded in her face, but no.

I liked Keats turning on Alex 'You think this is some kind of flirty game between the three of us?' Another excellent third-wall-breaker
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From:khalinche
Date:May 16th, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
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This last episode really took it up a level, didn't it? (And, despite what my puerile side thinks, not just because they ALMOST SHAGGED). I'll be really, really excited to see what happens next week.
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From:communicator
Date:May 17th, 2010 06:57 am (UTC)
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Me too. I think it will be something special this Friday.
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From:gfk88
Date:May 17th, 2010 07:16 am (UTC)
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If my happy-ending fantasy of them all being transported forward to the current day comes true, then I'm hoping for a last line of: "OK - fire up the Prius."

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From:communicator
Date:May 17th, 2010 07:41 am (UTC)
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I'd like them to fall ever backwards into an older Police Universe: 'Evenin' All'.
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From:pinkdormouse
Date:May 17th, 2010 07:50 am (UTC)

Is it Friday yet?

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I only just watched the episode, and I really can't wait to see how they resolve everything.

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