Release: Sep 05, 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
- 13 removed scenes
- 2 extended scenes
- Length difference: 321.04 seconds / approx. 5 minutes and 21 seconds
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.
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.
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)
No recap in the International Version. (no screenshots)
The scene at the crime scene is longer in the UK Version.
After Alex's "Murder then", the International Version goes on with the scene at the station.
In the UK Version, Alex turns around and leaves. Then a flashback, followed by another shot of Alex. With the now following scene at the station, the versions are back in sync.
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.
The scene with Alex and Evan at Luigi's starts earlier in the UK Version.
Alex gives back the menu to Luigi and says "Thanks".
Then Evan orders: "I'll have the spaghetti."
Luigi: "Of course."
When Luigi has left, Evan asks: "So, what's the reason for the intimate rendezvous?"
Alex laughs: "It's hardly intimate, is it?"
Evan: "It's not police business though."
With Luigi's reappearance, who puts drinks on the table and comments it with "Complimenti of the house", the versions are back in sync.
The ending of the scene at Luigi's is also longer in the UK Version.
Alex and Evan are talking about Alex's mother.
Evan: "I mean outside the office, she's really very nice. Funny. Warm."
Alex: "I know, I mean I'm sure she is…"
Evan: "Do you need a chaperone?"
Now Gene at the station in the International Version.
In the UK Version, the scene is not over yet. Luigi shows up again, puts food on the table and says "Buon appetito". Alex thanks him. But instead of leaving, Luigi sticks around hence both Alex and then Evan say "Thank you". The Luigi leaves.
Evan now says (to Alex): "Cheers."
They laugh, then they chink glasses. Now Gene at the station which means the versions are back in sync.
After Evan left and Alex explained to Luigi it was not a date, the scene is not over in the UK Version.
Alex walks up to Luigi and explains: "It really wouldn't be appropiate. I mean, it's… we're… we're kind of related."
Luigi: "Oh, is possible for dispensation. My brother's nephew married his second cousin."
Alex: "Oh, no no no! We're not blood relatives. He's… he's… He is godfather to someone I'm very close to."
Luigi: "You like this man."
Alex nods, Luigi shrugs his shoulders, Alex leaves.
With the now following scene at the station, the versions are back in sync.
The scene at the police station is longer. The International Version continues with Alex in front of her parents' house. The UK Version shows Gene, Ray and Chris leave, then Alex. Now Alex in front of her parents' house.
The meeting is longer in the UK Version.
Woman (on stage): "They poison flesh and blood, leaving tanks and buildings intact. I mean, the neutron bomb IS the capitalist bomb. It's imperalists' wet dream. And that is why Reagan is stockpiling them, that is why his puppet Thatcher will test and deploy them, in spite of the denials and that is why we must join our European sisters in protest."
The crowd is cheering, another woman says: "This is a party issue, not a women's issue. We shouldn't get drawn into some petit burgeois 'Mothers Against The Bomb' crap."
Then the woman on stage again: "The fact that our European sisters are mobilising is exactly why we’ve convened this meeting. This is a new kind of protest politics and we’re in the vanguard. Women have a voice that needs to be heard."
The cheering crowd again but Gene has had it: "Don't we get enough of that." It becomes silent and the people turn to Gene.
Gene: "You carry on, love. Doing great."
People are upset. Then Gene shows his badge which is nothing to crow about either. Gene cuts his way through the crowd, the badge is still in his right hand, visible for anyone.
Die fett markierten Dialogstellen fehlen in der IF.
The scene with Alex looking at pictures is longer in the UK Version.
While looking at the pictures, Gene slams the kitchen cabinet. Alex cringes. Then they exchange looks.
The ending of the scene in which Alex sees the compromising pictures of Evan and her mother is missing in the International Version. Refering to the pictures, Gene says: "We'll have fun with these." In the following, the shot of Alex's mother opening the door.
Only the UK Version shows Alex's reaction to the pictures.
After Alex yelled at her mother ("And I don't appreciate your lies! You are a bloody liar!") and left the room, there is more footage in the UK Version. The versions are out of sync with Alex holds on to the banister.
In the UK Version, she looks up the stairs to her right. Then she looks to the left, then to the right again. She sees herself as a little girl walking down the stairs. The little girl sees Evan and her mother kissing which makes the little girl run up the stairs. This appears to be a repressed memory because several similar scenes follow.
In the International Version, she does not look around while holding on to the banister. Instead, the child version of hers immediately walks down the stairs.
The conversation with Evan regarding his affair with Alex's mother is longer in the UK Version.
Evan: "Look, it's not like we planned it. I work a lot with Caroline, long hours. Tim, he's.. he's away a great deal. I mean, I admire and respect them both enormously, but Caroline's a strong-minded woman."
Gene: "Mmm, dominant even."
Evan: "Alright, look, it's not something I'm particularly proud of."
Alex: "I should bloody well hope not."
Evan: "I'm nothing to Caroline. Not really, not compared with Tim. It was physical thing."
The rest of the dialog is identical.
The bold-marked dialogs are missing in the International Version.