Ashes to Ashes

BBC (ended 2010)




  • Season 3 Episode 4: Episode 4

  • In the tunnel when Hunt interrogates the addict, he comments in passing that a bathroom was so dirty that Mr Muscle would have trouble cleaning it. This episode is set in 1983; Mr Muscle, a hard-surface cleaning product, did not appear on the market until 1986.

  • Season 3 Episode 2: Episode 2

  • At the end of the episode, the collar number of the mutilated police officer is revealed as M6620, which corresponds to the number 6-6-20 that Alex found carved into her desk.

    Also, the weather vane is pointing North West (Manchester is in the North West of England).

  • Season 2 Episode 5: Episode 5

  • The song played at the end of the episode, "The Man Who Sold The World" by David Bowie, was the B-side of the single release of "Life On Mars?" in 1973.

  • Season 2 Episode 2: Episode 2

  • Goof: Supermac refers to a Super Glue advert with a man in overalls glued to a board that was suspended from a helicopter. The advert is actually for Solvite wallpaper paste, rather than Super Glue.

  • Season 1 Episode 7: Episode 7

  • Anachronism: A plush toy of Garfield with suction cups to allow it to be stuck inside a car windscreen plays a central role in the plot of this episode. Although extremely popular, these toys only became available in 1988, seven years after the date of this episode.

  • Goof: "Until we meet again, keep 'em peeled."
    At the end of each broadcast of Police 5, Shaw Taylor urges viewers to "keep 'em peeled". Taylor used this catchprase on Junior Police 5, the children's version of the show.

  • Police 5 was a crime prevention series, featuring appeals to the public from officers of the London Metropolitan Police. Produced by London Weekend Television and presented by Shaw Taylor, the show ran from 1962 to 1992.

  • Season 1 Episode 6: Episode 6

  • Anachronism: During a scene in the squad room, the song "Golden Brown" by The Stranglers is heard playing on the radio. This track was first released on the album La Folie on 9 November 1981, several weeks after the setting of this episode, and wasn't released as a single until the following year.

  • Anachronism: The calendar in Alex's flat shows that the episode was set on and around 22 September 81. The final featured music track, which also plays over the credits, is "Ghosts" by Japan. The track was from the album Tin Drum, which was not released until 28 November 1981. "Ghosts" was released as a single the following year.

  • Season 1 Episode 5: Episode 5

  • Goof: In the scene where Alex takes Marcus back to his parents' house, when Alex gets out of the car a satellite television dish can clearly be seen on the house over the road. Satellite TV did not become commercially available in the UK until 1989. The dish itself appears to be a Sky Digital minidish, which only became available in 1998.

  • Anachronism: The calendar in Alex's flat suggests that the events in this episode take place on and about 12 August 1981. One of the songs played in the club scene is "Don't You Want Me" by The Human League. This track was on the album Dare, which wasn't released until 20 October 1981. Originally considered by the band to be a "filler" track, it wasn't released as a single until 5 December 1981.

  • Season 1 Episode 2: Episode 2

  • 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.

  • Season 1 Episode 1: Episode 1

  • Shaddap You Face: Chris Skelton (and others) sing "Shaddap You Face", a novelty hit by Joe Dolce that parodies Italian English, and which reached number 1 in the UK charts on 17 February 1981, 5 months before Alex Drake arrived in 1981.

  • The episode begins with Molly Drake reading out Sam Tyler's speech from the opening credits of Life on Mars.

  • Anachronism: As revealed in the next episode, Alex travels back to Monday, 20 July 1981. In the early part of this episode, the scene that establishes the timeline clearly shows a row of posters for the single "Prince Charming" by Adam and the Ants. This was not released until September 1981, with the album being released the following month.

More Info About This Show


Drama, Science Fiction


Crime, Thrillers