At first, Ashes to Ashes is both disappointing and vexing. The 80s milieu isn't particularly effective as a gone time captured and bottled to serve as a fantasy world, the characters all seem somehow less spirited (perhaps it's just the zeitgeist), and little respect is paid to the memory of DCI Sam Tyler (the twice-dead protagonist of the show's progenitor Life on Mars). However, the show picks up in a big way around half way through season 1 - the episodic plots become a lot more entertaining and the mystery surrounding the death of DI Alexandra Drake's parents starts to take shape. It never matches the charm of Life on Mars, but as far as spin-offs go, it's actually pretty damn good.
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