Ashes to Ashes

Season 1 Episode 2

Episode 2

Aired Thursday 9:00 PM Feb 14, 2008 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
85 votes

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Episode Summary

DCI Hunt is determined to keep a lid on protests against the London Docklands development. When a suspected member of the London Liberation Front is arrested, Alex asks her mother, a lawyer, to defend him. Meanwhile, Prince Charles is marrying Lady Diana Spencer and the in-crowd is partying at the Blitz Club.moreless

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  • One For The Team Written by Ashley Pharaoh Directed by Jonny Campbell

    Alex: "Will you just shut up and listen to me! This is my bloody fantasy and I will be listened to!"

    Gene (to the Bonds family): "Excuse my colleague. Education of a toff, manners of a sewer rat".

    Week two into Alex's little world of 1981 and there's enough to be keeping the woman busy. Yes she might want to get back to her daughter for a birthday party but with a new case and other disasters, Alex won't be going anywhere in a hurry.

    The explosion of a dog (yes even I'm a little surprised to be typing that) coupled with the Royal wedding of Charles and Diana has Gene on red alert. He's determined to make sure the latter's wedding goes off without a hitch and to ensure that, he's in desperate need to track down a disgruntled bomber.

    The obvious suspect has to be pub owner David Bonds, an embittered former war fighter whose repulsion for economic progress is out and out transparent. Barricading himself with his family in their pub, Alex tried the softly approach to talk to him. Needless to say it was Gene's "break the door down" routine that proved more effective.

    Now the girl may talk with a plum in her mouth and raise some good arguments as to why David's fight against the establishment is fruitless but she shouldn't be all that surprised if her posh talk was enough to have the cantankerous git tell her to piss off. I actually can't stand David and even I chuckled when he said that to Alex.

    Of course Alex doesn't really take them all that seriously as a threat until she winds up meeting smarmy Thatcherite Danny Moore. Rupert Graves seems to be developing a penchant for playing these kinds of blokes on television given that he's been doing it more frequently but Danny for all his falseness brings out an adventurous side to the controlled (ish) Alex.

    She's openly flirtatious with him to the point that it would be considered sexual harassment if Danny wasn't so flattered. Still it's enough to get on Gene's goat and give Ray something to gossip about. Actually this flirty side to Alex is a hell of a lot to watch because while Keeley Hawes is a good dramatic actress, her comedy skills are somewhat better.

    Alex does kind of admit that she's not usually drawn to men like Danny and for all the fun she can have with him, it's a bomb threat in his car that scares her into taking a more assertive role in finding the bomber. Once again though, it seems that whenever Alex might get a hunch, Gene is always going to have his doubts. Oh well, at least she's getting the same treatment as Sam did, then.

    Believing it to be George was plausible. You could see even before Alex went rattling on about psychological profiling that George her worshipped his father. It's natural to feel that way about a parent but when the parent is an embittered **** like David, perhaps hero worship is the last thing you should do, especially when that worship turns you into a bomber.

    Alex does her best to play good cop while Gene still revels in being bad cop. It's another similarity between Alex and Sam, although it does seem like Gene is seemingly less hostile with her. Still George isn't exactly the most co-operative of suspects and the arrival of Caroline Price doesn't help matters.

    Caroline's arrival in the station saves Alex an embarrassing moment but the two of them naturally don't see eye to eye. Now that's a relief because unlike Sam when he met Ruth for the first time, Caroline is a royal **** and while a part of that might have been necessary, you do feel for Alex a little.

    Caroline might be a successful career woman in a male dominated world but wasn't she being a massive hypocrite for suggesting that Alex gave a bad name to women in high power? I mean she wanted Alex to betray her colleagues and something tells me if Alex had asked her to do the same, Caroline would've equally refused.

    As for the bomber storyline, Gene's powers of detection managed to crack that David was the bomber, only for George to later blow himself to smithereens during a party set up by Danny Moore. It's a pity that Alex's words to fight for love had such a negative effect on George but within hindsight, I suppose you could see it coming.

    Danny on the other hand, made it out of the episode unscathed. Unfortunately for him, his romping with Fiona meant that Alex wasn't going to do him. Alex had originally envisioned on shagging him to get back at her mother so the minor disappointment she suffered was hardly devastating. Plus Caroline did call round in the end, so maybe a friendship between the two of them is likely.

    Other noteworthy elements of the episode were the recurring theme of Alex being distracted. Maybe it might have something to do with saving her parents or something far darker, but either way it's intriguing. Alex is certainly getting her fair share of flashbacks to the car bomb explosion as well as teasing from that clown to boot and getting back to Molly might be a lot harder than she imagined.

    Unlike Sam, it's not like Alex is hearing signs of her body trying to fight its way back to life. Her fear of being dead in the first episode could be grounded in truth. As for her dynamic with Gene, the flirty stuff aside, I sort of dig that it's less aggressive than the one he shared with Sam.

    Another strong part of the episode is the other characters. While Viv and Luigi could do with some more development, I do like the building up of Chris' relationship with Shaz (who just like Annie is every bit as competent and sassy when needs be) and even Ray feels less of a **** than on Life On Mars. There's also a strong hint that him and Gene are lonely given how late they were working at the station.

    Also in "Episode 2"

    The show got its opening credits and they're fine. It makes sense to credit Philip Glenister before Keeley Hawes seeing as we know Gene more than Alex.

    Alex (to herself): "Note to psyche, less irony and more Dynasty".

    Gene managed to shoot down one of Alex's assumptions by not ploughing his Quattro in a bunch of cardboard boxes.

    Alex: "Some of my friends don't think I've got a sense of humour. An exploding dog from my psyche".

    Gene: "If you're quite finished".

    Danny: "Hope we meet again".

    Alex: "It's unlikely. I'm not gonna be here for long".

    Gene: "I'll be the judge of that".

    Alex had to get her arse stamped in this episode while Gene and company flashed theirs during the end scene.

    Shaz (to Ray): "Did he tell you he was wearing eyeliner?"

    Chris: "I've got work to do".

    Alex (to Gene): "Will you please just stamp my arse. Mum".

    Caroline: "What did you say?"

    Alex: "Bum".

    We saw the Bowie clown in the Blitz nightclub as well as Boy George and Alex even attacked a girl dressed as a clown.

    Alex (to Caroline): "And you are a rude **** Maybe you will get him off and maybe he'll thank you by putting a bomb in your letterbox".

    Gene: "I don't think so".

    Alex: "Will you shut up?"

    Caroline (to Alex): "Don't want to get to know you. Thank God the only thing my daughter shares with you is her name. I'd be ashamed if she turned out to be anything like you".

    Ray's crying during the Royal Wedding was a hoot, though Shaz got a quirky one liner about Chris' insensitivity.

    Gene: "D.I. Bollyknickers, you appear to be drunk in charge of a handbag and dressed like a tart again".

    Alex: "Oh piss off you lardy fascist".

    Gene: "We'll make a copper out of you yet".

    Gene: "Ladies, ladies can we deal with the matter in hand before the mud wrestling".

    Alex/Caroline: "Shut up!"

    Standout music: Ooh, there's a great selection here with Flying Lizards' "Money", Visage's "Fade To Grey" and Imagination's "Body Talk".

    It's not quite a spectacular second episode and while the George/David had some large predictabilities about it, there's no doubt that Ashes To Ashes is doing it's best to cultivate its own identity. Alex's sassy manner does have its plus points, given her overall attitude to her surroundings.moreless
  • "Who'd want to blow up Bobby Moore?" "Well he was in Escape to Victory"

    Some great comedy moments (poor dog) and they managed to get a Deloreon in for the ironic "time travel" nod. What a fantastic 80's car!

    Gene is on form as ever, backed up by Chris and Ray who both have their moments in this episode. Also liked the little scene where Gene is reversing at speed and exchanges raised eyebrows with Alex, as he did with Sam in an early episode of Life on Mars. However whilst he would batter the Cortina through any obstacles he is more circumspect with the Quattro as he doesn't want to scratch it!

    Alex is still a little annoying - "Good Morning Constructs!" for example makes her hard to like. I did feel for her though, during the bar scene with her mother, who claimed she would be ashamed if her daughter ended up like Alex.

    The only problem is that once again the plot isn't the best - the family of nutters with dynamite from WW2, a little obvious. Forgivable in episode one due to the necessary time required to establish Alex's character, it's not as excusable this time around. Stronger plots are required if this series is going to hit the heights of it's predecessor.moreless
  • Great episode! better every episode!

    I am liking Ashes to Ashes very much! i love the era and the music that goes with it! i liked the Boy George reference at the cloak room in The Blitz! they seem to have researched things very well, as he was infact a cloak room attendant at The Blitz in the 80's prior to his music career! i like it when i see little things like this hidden inside shows, and Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes are full of them!

    Alex meets her mother, but all does not go well when they start to argue and her mother says "Thank god all my daughter shares with you is a name!" this definatly hurt Alex and im sure it would me if i was in the same situation! but she is definatly getting that one step closer to finding out what happened to her parants! i do not think she will be able to stop the explosion that kills her parents though, as that would completely change time (If she has indeed travelled back in time), but she may possibly save her parents if it is just made up in her head, just so she could spend some more time with her parents befoe she wakes up and they are gone again! maybe this is a chance for her to tell her parents that she loves them! and i am sure it is definatly linked to how she will get back to Molly!

    Gene was awesome yet again in this episode! the screen is never dull when he is around! =)

    Looking forward to episode 3!moreless
  • Oy bolly knickers i'm gonna stamp your arse!

    Its the Royal Wedding of Di and Charles and there are bombs being let off in the east end so Gene and the team are out to stop it. Alex meets her mother and falls for an 80's arse!

    So episode 2 hits us and its wonderfully 80's from the start. People in the east end of London not wanting to leave due to the rennovation of the area. There is a bomber out there and Gene and the team need to catch him before the royal wedding.

    I have to say as the episode progressed it became clear Alex was slightly less of an annoying know it all cow but Gene was right back on form. Getting the local anacharists naked in a snooker hall and shooting balls at there gents bits as a warning to lay off the bombings. Also wanting to stamp Alex's arse as its "tradition".

    I'm loving the real attention to detail as it really takes me back as I actualy remember the early 80's, which is why I feel like I can connect more.

    Some very solid performances from all and Ray who appeared to take a bit of back seat last ep (appart from his reveal about Sam) had a bit more to do this week. (On the Sam front I dont think we have seen the last of him somehow).

    The chemistry between Hunt and Alex appeared to be a bit better this week and looks to be progressing nicely.

    The interaction between Alex and her mother was a little over played in the traditional kid hating parents way.

    I happy how things are progressing but still there is this worry in the back of my mind that its all going to get very similar or the same as Life on Mars but here's hoping not.moreless
Rupert Graves

Rupert Graves

Danny Moore

Guest Star

Amelda Brown

Amelda Brown

Elaine Bonds

Guest Star

Perdita Avery

Perdita Avery


Guest Star

Amelia Bullmore

Amelia Bullmore

Caroline Price

Recurring Role

Joseph Long

Joseph Long


Recurring Role

Geff Francis

Geff Francis

Viv James

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • The calendar wall chart created by Alex shows her date of arrival as Monday 20 July 1981; she implies that her parents will be killed in a car crash on Saturday 10 October 1981.

    • The Blitz: The Blitz was wine bar in Covent Garden, London, which served as the venue for a club night on Tuesdays in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Club nights were hosted by Steve Strange, with Rusty Egan as D.J. One of the regulars was George O'Dowd, later Boy George, who worked in the cloakroom and whom Alex thanks in this episode for taking her coat.

    • Visage: The band playing at the club that Alex and Danny Moore visit is Visage, who were performing their "new" single "Fade To Grey". The band was comprised of Steve Strange (appearing in cameo in this episode as the on-stage singer), Midge Ure, Billy Currie, John McGeogh, Rusty Egan and Dave Formula. The claim that this song is Visage's "new single" is an anachronism: "Fade To Grey" was released in November 1980, more than eight months before the setting of this episode.

      Sandrine Gouriou (miscredited here as Gourrou), seen in cameo as the keyboard player, joined a reformed Visage in 2005.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Gene: D.I. Bollyknickers, you appear to be drunk in control of a handbag and dressed like a tart again.
      Alex: Oh, piss off, you lardy fascist.
      Gene: We'll make a copper of you yet.

    • Alex: Will you just shut up and listen to me! This is my bloody fantasy, and I will be listened to!
      Gene: Excuse my colleague, education of a toff, manners of a sewer rat.

    • Gene [ to Alex ]: Take that seatbelt off! You're a police officer, not a bloody vicar.

  • NOTES (1)

    • Music featured in this episode:

      Swords Of A Thousand Men - Tenpole Tudor
      The Prince - Madness
      Body Talk - Imagination
      Money - The Flying Lizards
      Fade To Grey - Visage
      Souvenir - Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark
      Geno - Dexys Midnight Runners
      (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing - Heaven 17
      I Hear You Now - Jon & Vangelis
      There, There My Dear - Dexys Midnight Runners
      Gertcha - Chas & Dave


    • Danny Moore: You're an enigma wrapped in a riddle, Alex.
      Moore is misquoting a line from Winston Churchill's 1 October 1939 radio broadcast in which he called Russia a "riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma."

  • 10:00 pm
    48 Hours