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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

finally caught up with ‘Ashes to Ashes’: Series One (plus announcing ‘Life on Mars’ blogging)

And my mind is a little bit blown. I don’t think Ashes to Ashes, at least this first batch, is quite as absolutely brilliant genius as proper Life on Mars (we don’t talk about the American abomination here, at least not any more), but it’s close.

I’ve had a lot to say about Life on Mars for ages now — and I can see that I’m going to have a lot to say about AtA — and I suppose it’s finally time to get down to it. I could easily write a book about LoM, but I think the best place to get started is with episode-by-episode blogging, which will commence the weekend after Doctor Who ends. So look for my detailed commentary on the first episode of Life on Mars over the weekend of July 3, and then running through the weekend of October 17. Then I’ll pick up with Ashes to Ashes. (I’ve already got the Series 2 box set, and Series 3 will be out on Region 2 DVD next month, so I’ll be ready.) There three AtA series should keep me busy through to mid April of next year… at which point we should be getting the next series of Doctor Who (after the already confirmed Christmas special — hoorah!).
I know that many minds were blown by the recently aired finale of Ashes to Ashes, but I’ve avoided actually hearing any spoilers. So feel free to discuss AtA (or LoM) here, if you like, but for my benefit (and for the benefit of those readers who haven’t seen either or both shows yet), please don’t post anything even remotely spoilish without a very prominent warning.

If you want to watch along with me, you have been warned. If you need DVDs, Life on Mars is available complete in one box set in Region 1 from Amazon U.S. and in Region 2 from Amazon U.K.; at Amazon Canada, currently the two series are available in separate box sets [Series 1] [Series 2], and a complete-in-one-box set will be released on July 6 [Complete].

Ashes to Ashes is not yet available in Region 1; I can’t find any info on potential release dates, but hopefully it won’t be too far in the future. For Region 2 DVDs from Amazon U.K., Series 1 and 2 are available in one box; Series 3 will be released on July 5. (Region-free DVD players are a geek’s best friend.)

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  • nel

    yay!! I’ve been talking up Life on Mars for ages to anyone who’ll listen, and have been catching up on AtA via the Tues. night airings on BBCA (10pm. i think it’s S1). your Dr Who blogging helped me fall in love with that show just after i discovered it mid-series 2, so am looking forward to this one. let the blogging begin. Gene Jeanie–my hero.

  • sophronia

    Life on Mars is still the best TV program I’ve ever seen. We watched the whole thing in three nights, and believe me, it took major restraint and the threat of total exhaustion to make us turn it off and go to bed those two nights. I’m looking forward to reading what you have to say about it!

  • NorthernStar

    Series 2 of Ashes to Ashes was amazing and it really becomes a worthy sucessor to LoM.

    Looking forward to the blogging!

  • Re: Ashes to Ashes. I believe it’s A2A, not AtA, among devotees…

  • AlsoKT

    Yay! Another fan behind on A2A! I’m not alone!

    I can’t actually start on S2 until July, so your pace is perfect for me.

    I have been diligently avoiding A2A spoilers, even avoiding discussion of the Lost finale because my gut feeling was, someone would bring up parallels to LoM/A2A. And then, on the Wikipedia page for Life on Mars where I went to look up some bothersome detail, they spoiled the end of A2A in, like, the introduction. FFS. I recognized it as a spoiler and pounced on my back button before I’d read the whole thing, and there’s more to A2A than just the ending, but, just, GRRR, you know?

    So fair warning – the LoM Wikipedia page is not spoiler safe.

  • Lisa

    Hi all. I am DVRing Series 2 right now but was wondering where I can watch Series 1. Does anyone have any suggestions? I can’t access the BBC iplayer; can’t buy episodes on UK iTunes; NetFlix doesn’t have them; and I can’t seem to locate them anywhere on the internet. I really want to see the first series before jumping into the second series. Anyone have any inside info from BBC America about a possible replay of that first series anytime soon? Help!!!

  • allochthon

    So look for my detailed commentary on the first episode of Life on Mars over the weekend of July 3, and then running through the weekend of October 17.

    *wild cheering*

  • Barb

    I finally caught the last 10 minutes of the finale and it was okay (followed the reviews of the series on Den of Geek though on a regular basis). Life on Mars is still the classic for me. Haven’t managed to get through watching the second series yet and the third series is not out on DVD for another three weeks yet. Well it’s still better than much of the stuff that airs in the States (unless it’s on USA network).

  • Matthew

    I think with series one of Ashes to Ashes they stray a bit into self-parody. Series two gets back on track really well and series three is excellent. By the end, you definitely get a sense of a whole five series story and I think that Life on Mars is enhanced by the addition of Ashes to Ashes rather than diminished by it.

  • maureen

    Series One is def. not as good as LOM but series two is every bit as good as LOM and I actually found that upon finishing series two, series one was a lot more enjoyable to watch.

    I found it really hard to adjust to Keeley in the main role but by series two I’d gotten over that and the storylines were every bit as good as LOM again :)

  • Lisa

    KH’s character was terrible in Season 1 of A2A. I hated the way she called people psychological constructs to their faces, cos they just didn’t react to it which was weird. That always took me out of the scene, it was so unrealistic.

    I am looking forward to seeing your reviews, especially of the final episode, even though that seems so far away.

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