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Ashes to Ashes

2.07 Traitor

Comparison:

  • International Version
  • UK Version
Release: Sep 24, 2015 - Author: Tony Montana - Translator: Tony Montana - external link: IMDB - more from this series
Compared are the cut International Version (German DVD by Polyband/WVG / FSK 16) and the uncut UK Version (UK DVD by Entertainment One / BBFC 15)


- 1 scene with alternate footage
- 14 removed scenes
- 3 extended scenes
- Length difference: 535.52 seconds / approx. 8 minutes and 56 seconds



Background


Ashes to Ashes is a spin-off of the amazing BBC show Life on Mars (not to be confused with the US Version starring Harvey Keitel as Gee Hunt, which is basically alright, but compared to the original, it comes off second best). Similar to Life on Mars, Ashes to Ashes is about a person that has an accident and then wakes up back in time. While DCI Sam Tyler from Life on Mars woke up in the 70s after a car crash, DI Alex Drake wakes up in the 80s after she got shot. Just like Sam, Alex desperately tries to find a way to get home, back to her little daughter Molly.

While Life on Mars took place in Manchester, Ashes to Ashes takes place in London. Other than the location, not many things have changed because DCI Hunt and his team have been transfered from Manchester to London. Besides Gene "The Gene Genie" Hunt himself, Ray Carling and Chris Skelton are in on it as well. Only Sam Tyler and Annie Cartwright are missing. Instead of Annie, young Shaz Granger is part of the team now. And instead of Sam, the spin-off is about Alex Drake. Like Sam, she sometimes gets upset about Gene's old-school methods and knows better. Among other things because there are things Gene simply cannot know yet because it has not happened yet.

Personally, I like Ashes to Ashes better than Life on Mars, which was an amazing show nonetheless. The different focus of each season is an added value that did not exist in Life on Mars. Furthermore, there is more Gene Hunt in it, who, similar to Ari Gold in Entourage, is the actual star of the show - despite the fact that the story is primarily about another person.



The Seasons


Season 1 is the season with the most similarities to Life on Mars. In both, the main character tries to figure out what to do how to get back home. This is also the only common theme in this first season. Other than that, the first season consists of "Case of the Week" episodes, as already known from Life on Mars (except for the final episodes of course).

Season 2 already tries a different approach. For the very first time, there is a common theme throughout the entire second season. In this case, it is a corruption scandal within the police that goes to the top. Indeed, there are a few "Case of the Week" episodes, but the characters never lose sight of the big picture, the corruption scandal, and it all ends in a two-part episode with a huge cliffhanger.

The final Season 3 has an entirely different concept. After cliffhanger finale in the second season, it takes some time until everything is back to normal. But even then, nothing is as it used to be. Starting with the first episode of this season, Alex has recurring visions of a young policeman wtih half of his face blown off. Moreover, a new character (Jim Keats) is being established. Apparently, Keats is after Hunt and he spares no effort to split up the team.
In general, the final season is more sinister on any level. Also, there are regular references to Sam Tyler and Life on Mars. The ending of Ashes to Ashes is also an ending of Life on Mars, if you will. Though there was an actual ending in Life on Mars, there was room for interpretation. In the finale of Ashes to Ashes, one gets a definite answer about where Sam and Alex are/were. Knowing Life on Mars is not a necessity, but it makes understanding the final season of Ashes to Ashes easier, that's for sure.
Certainly, the ending is not to everybody's taste. But it fits in perfectly, considering that the final season is rather sinister from the very beginning. In Life on Mars, the ending seemed a bit hasty resp. it all happened so sudden and next thing you know, the show was over. That does not mean the ending was bad. On the contrary, I liked it. But in Ashes to Ashes, it all seems thoroughly though through. And despite some reviews on the internet, the ending does make sense resp. one ending does not contradict the other one. The ending of Ashes to Ashes "only" adds another aspect to it. Explaining this in detail would be a massive spoiler hence I am not going to do that. But watch both shows and think about it for yourself. That way, it is more fun anyway. Also, I strongly advise to watch all 5 seasons of Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes at least twice because the ending of Ashes to Ashes puts everything in a new perpective.



The Versions


Similar to Life on Mars, there are two versions of Ashes to Ashes as well: the so-called "International Version", which lacks footage and has been sold internationally, and the longer resp. uncut "UK Version".

The Uncut Versions of both shows are available in the UK: Life on Mars on both Blu-ray and DVD, Ashes to Ashes only on DVD for some reason.

Bottom line, the International Versions are alright because no elementary scene has been removed. I would still recommend the Uncut Versions though because some of the removed footage is quite nice.


Time index refers to the UK Version (in PAL)
1 of 3
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Removed Scene
00:00

No recap in the International Version. (no screenshots)

55 sec


Removed Scene
01:55

After Gene's "Informant told us something big is going off. And I'm not refering to Ray's unsavoury teenage fantasies.", the International Version continues with the radio message.
The UK Version contains more footage.
Chris: "Here you are, guv. Shaz made it."
Gene takes a sip, then he says: "Not enough sugar. Or milk or tea."
Then the radio message in the UK Version.

Please note: due to the cut, the radio message starts during the last common shot of Ray in the International Version. In the UK Version, it begins during the removed shot of Gene and Chris.

8.12 sec




Extended Scene
02:23

Gene's conversation with Alex in the van is longer in the UK Version.
Alex: "I'm gonna wake up."
Gene: "It's about bloody time."
Alex: "Yep. If there are no complications."


Gene: "You're staying here."
Alex: No, I'm eh… I'm fine, I just dozed off."
Gene: "You don't look it. I'm not carrying a dead weight. You can man the radio, or woman it, whatever you prefer."
Alex: "Fine. Absolutely fine. All I'm saying to you that you're gonna miss me more than you know."
Gene: "Well, I think we'll manage."

Then Gene gets out of the car.



The bold-marked dialogs are missing in the International Version.

11.76 sec


Alternate Footage
04:59

Only the German DVD contains the additional titel "Zurück in die 80er" ("Back to the 80s). For obvious reasons, the UK DVD only contains the original show title. Furthermore, the German title of the episode follows after the opening. In the UK Version, the title does not appear.

Please note: I am well aware that this is irrelevant for international audiences, but I would not be surprised if this alteration had been made in other (non-English speaking) countries as well.

Since the International Version lacks the scene right after the opening credits, the screenshots comparing the (missing) title of the episode are different.


no difference
International VersionUK Version




Removed Scene
05:31

In the International Version, a scene with Alex and Gene follows the opening.
In the UK Version however, we see Ray to drill up the concrete in order to get out the body. Then Gene shows up.
Gene: "Oi!"
Ray can't hear him.
Gene: "Oi!"
Ray stops drilling and looks at Gene.
Gene: "What do you think you're doing?"
Ray: "Digging him out."
Gene: "I want a body on a mortuary slab, not a plate of dogfood. Use a ruddy chisel."
Ray: "Guv, that'll take ages."
Gene: "Well, you better get started then."
While Gene is leaving, Chris says: "I haven't had my turn yet."
Ray puts the driller aside and says: "On you go, boys. All yours."
With the shot of Alex and Gene, the versions are back in sync.

28.84 sec




Removed Scene
07:23

In the International Version, Gene checks his watch impatiently. Then a shot of Alex, followed by a shot of the Doc who is just entering the room.
In the UK Version, Gene checks his watch as well.
Then Alex: "Strange that it should all end on some silly accident. Still, maybe that’s the point. Sometimes bad things just happen. There doesn't have to be a reason. All I have to do now is try not to overcomplicate things."
Gene: "Halle-bloody-lujah."
Then the versions are back in sync.

13.8 sec




Removed Scene
14:08

After Gene's "Dismissed." and PC Summers' following "Sir.", there is a small shot of Alex. Then the versions are out of sync.
In the International Version, Gene leans back in his chair and says: "Seems like a good lad."
In the UK Version, PC Summers stops and says: "Look, you won't… I mean, you won't tell anyone I came?"
Gene: "Thank you, Constable."
Summers leaves, then a shot of Alex and with the following shot of Gene, the versions are back in sync.

12.76 sec




Removed Scene
17:23

After Alex and Gene talked about Summers, the International Version continues with Summers' interrogation.
In the UK Version, they around a picture of the deceased at the construction site.
Gene: "You know him?"
Bauarbeiter: "Dawid. It's his name."
Gene: "But where's he from?"
The construction worker shrugs his shoulders.
Gene: "Great. Well, thanks very much for your help."
On their way off the construction site, Gene and Alex have another conversation.
Gene: "They won't talk here, not while Lafferty's got them all under his thumb."
Alex: "But we've only got Summers' word for that and he’s taking backhanders."
Gene: "According to Lafferty."
Then the Summers interrogation in the UK Version.

24.04 sec




Extended Scene
17:58

After Gene told Summers to watch his mouth, the International Version lacks footage again.
Summers: "This Docklands development, it's massive. A lot of people are gonna make a lot of money very quickly. A lof of money floating about. A lot of temptation."


Gene: "Meaning?"
Summers: "You don't get a job like Lafferty's on merit. Got to have friends in the local community, you know what I mean? I file a report about the way he treats his workers and nothing happens. I file another, nothing happens. And nothing keeps happening. So now I'm thinking who are Lafferty's friends? Who's he paying off? He must have powerful allies. Because I can't think of any other reason why that crooked bastard isn’t behind bars right now. (to Alex) Sorry, ma'am."



The bold-marked dialogs are missing in the International Version.

5.8 sec


Extended Scene
24:28

The scene with Alex and PC Summers is longer in the UK Version.
Alex: What are you doing here?"
Summers: "I thought that you wanted… It was you who left the message."
Alex: "What message?"
Summers: "Someone left a message to meet them here, I don't know I thought… That wasn't you?"


Alex: "No. But I… I got the same message. What would he want with you?"
Summers: "Who?"
Alex: "How could you possibly know? You're not him yet."
Summers: "I really don't understand what..."
Alex: "Listen, Martin, I think I need your help with something. I need to track somebody down. And this is gonna sound completely ridiculous, and you don't have to believe it, but have to know it, OK?"
Summers nods.
Alex continues: "You are not the only you in this world. OK?"
All of a sudden, we hear a voice from behind: "Good evening."
It is old Summers saying: "Alex."
Then he shakes hands with his younger self and introduces himself: "Martin Summers. Nice to meet you." (to Alex) "What? You expected us to disappear in a puff of smoke? Matter meets antimatter, time imploding on itself, that sort of thing?"
Summers (young): "Who are you?"
Summers (old): "You."
Alex (to old Summers): "You eh… You set this whole thing up, then? The drug drop, the body, everything. Everything. You knew that it would be here."
Summers (old): "Very good. I knew you were the right woman for the job."
Summers (young) zu Alex: "This is the guy you're looking for?"
Summers (old): "I think I probably am."


Alex: "You can't do this. You can't change history."
Summers (old): "Really?"
Alex: "No. No. I mean, this ist he place where you find out how things really were. You get an insight into yourself, into your life, but you can't change things. Things still happen exactly as they were gonna happen."


Summers (old): "I don't think you're right there, sweetheart."
Then old Summers shoots his younger self.
Alex: "Oh, my God."
Summers: "See?"

The bold-marked dialogs are missing in the International Version.

31.72 sec


Removed Scene
30:19

After Alex left the evidence locker, the International Version shows Alex entering her apartment.
The UK Version shows Alex and Gene arguing about who could have posed as PC Summers in order to get inside the evidence locker.
Gene: "Someone forged it. Someone with easy access to the evidence room."
Alex: "What? Whoever took it, why would they want a poem?"
Gene: "Who says it was a poem? Maybe Tomascz was too scared to tell us what it really said."
Then Alex enters her apartment.

14 sec

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