Ashes To Ashes Review: Fiery Plot

April 30, 2010 by  
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ASHES TO ASHES: Friday 30th April, BBC1, 9pm ALERT ME

Having woken up from a bullet induced coma, Alex Drake is, like us, thrown into a whole new and mysterious case in this the fifth episode of the final series of Ashes to Ashes. With the ever-smouldering DCI Gene Hunt by her side – the confident policewoman is seemingly just as effective as she was pre-shooting.

As usual with Ashes to Ashes, we are treated to a snappy script and riveting, colliding plot strands. A dodgy porn deal is broken up at the outset by the no-nonsense Hunt. As a red Audi Quattro’s tyres squeal with exuberance, its course is interrupted unceremoniously by a black metallic rival.

Indeed, this week Gene and Alex’s police activities are undermined by nefarious Manc policemen Littan and Bevan who have relocated from their North-West moorings. With their misogynist swagger and bigoted manner, they soon get their feet firmly under the table at Hunt’s London headquarters with instructions to get on with a case above the latter’s head. As one would expect, however, it isn’t as simple as that.

A stand-up comedian (unashamedly modelled precisely on Bernard Manning) is accused by Littan of stealing from the policeman’s widow’s charity fund. An unquestionable reason, it would seem, to nick him. However, there is more to this than meets the eye, and the stubborn and prolific Drake is determined to discover what it is. Littan and Bevan are clearly more than moustachioed pricks. With back-story involving Littan and Hunt, and the murder of an innocent man – there are enough twists and turns to keep Columbo and Jonathon Creek busy for a lifetime. Ashes to Ashes is swift in progressing the action, and doesn’t fail to maintain interest and guesswork for the full 60 minutes.

The script is equally commendable. Pithy, funny and streamlined – the writers do not waste words in conveying the plot and delivering similies and gags Gene Hunt is only too happy to deliver with the usual dry venom.

Having never seen Ashes to Ashes previously, I assumed I would dislike this police drama. How wrong I was. The acting is excellent (notable highlights are Keeley Hawes as Drake and the wonderfully Manc Dean Andrews who plays Ray) which compliments the intelligent lines they have at their disposal. Additionally, with so much action to keep you going, you’ll be sure to want to see how this post-coma lady Alex Drake winds up in the end. Whatever the outcome, you’ll certainly not have a monkey’s what it’ll be.