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Ashes to Ashes

1.01 Déjà Vu

Comparison:

  • International Version
  • UK Version
Release: Aug 30, 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
- 20 removed scenes
- 8 extended scenes
- Length difference: 401.36 seconds / approx. 6 minutes and 41 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)
Alternate Footage
00:54

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.

no difference

International VersionUK Version




Removed Scene
09:48

When Alex is walking across the bridge in oder to leave the boat, cops come towards her.
In the International Version, she says to one of the cops: "Excuse me. Help me. I've been shot". Since the cops keep running, she seizes another cop by the collar and yells at him: "Help me! Help me! I've been shot!". Alex turns around, then a distance shot of the bridge.
In the UK Version, the scene is not over yet. After Alex turned around, she spots two female cops. Alex makes another attempt to get some help: "Oh God! Oh! Help me. Please."
One of the two cops says: "Not now, miss."
And Alex repeats: "Help me! I've been shot!".
A part of the last comment is audible during the distance shot of the bridge, Since this is missing in the International Version, one does not get to hear that comment in the International Version.

6.36 sec




Extended Scene
10:38

Alex's first encounter with Markham is slightly longer in the UK Version.
Markham grabs Alex, pushes her around a little bit and screams: "Come here! It was you. You little slut! Come here, you stupid tart! You called the police. Come here. We've been busted. You called them in, you evil bitch! You did, didn't you?"
Alex: "What? What?"
Markham: "Yes. Oh, you're gonna regret this, sweet cheeks."
Then, Gene and his infamous Quattro make their first appearance.

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

3.04 sec




Extended Scene
20:08

Markham's interrogation is longer in the UK Version.
Gene Hunt: "Take no notice of my sergeant. He's very upset. His mother is ill in the hospital."
Ray: "Yeah, I'm uh… God, I hope she pulls through."
Markham: "Yeah, bet you do."
Gene: "For the record, he will retract that remark."

Then, Markham takes another puff which is also the moment when the versions are back in sync.

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

4.92 sec




Extended Sczene
20:42

The scene with Chris and Alex in the evidence locker is longer in the UK Version.
Chris: "Wait for it."
Then he flips the light switch.
Alex: "Oh, God. "
Chris: "It's like "Tomorrow's World", innit boss? Ma’am."
Alex: "I need to know what's going on out there, Chris. I'm unconscious and I need reviving."
Chris: "Yeah, I get that on weekends."

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

9.2 sec




Extended Scene
20:51

Gene Hunt's phone call is longer in the UK Version: "Yeah, but I'm convinced that this Markham… Yeah, all I ask, sir, is that Markham... Sir, with respect, there was never any question of one of my officers shooting an unarmed man. Yes, these are difficult times. I am just trying to do my job, sir. Goodbye."
After Gene hung up, there is a further shot of him - but only in the UK Version.

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

12.72 sec





Removed Scene
24:22

The scene with Alex and Gene watching the Arthur Layton video is longer in the UK Version.
Alex walks over to where the tapes are stashed, then she grabs the tape of him. One can now see the label with his name on it.
In the International Version, Alex immediately puts the tape in the VCR.
The UK Version contains a small additional distance shot of the tape, followed by a shot of Alex's face. Not until then, she puts the tape in the VCR.

2.68 sec




Extended Scene
24:31

When Alex is putting the tape in the VCR, the following dialog takes place:
Gene: "Arthur Layton is a tinker with a minor record. We flipped him over, he keeps his eyes open, we don't bang him up."
Alex: "He has to be crucial to this. Otherwise, why is he in here?"

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

4.04 sec




Removed Scene
26:21

When Alex discusses the way forward with Chris and Shaz, she faints and has some kind of vision.

Alex looks at the first letters of each words she wrote down on the board. They show the word "Dead".
Alex: "I'm not dead. I'm not dead."
When she is fainting, one gets to hear (and see) a man dressed up as a clown, singing "I'm happy… hope you're happy… hope you're happy…". Then she wakes up on her couch.
In the UK Version, she faints as well and one also gets to see and hear the clown singing the song. But before Alex faints, there is another scene with Chris and Shaz.
Chris: "Boss? Ma'am?"
Alex: "I'm not dead. I'm not dead. "
Now, Alex faints in the UK Version as well while one can hear "I'm happy… hope you're happy… hope you're happy…"...

4.6 sec




Removed Scene
26:38

...but instead of waking up on the couch, a rather long and very surreal sequence with Alex's daughter Molly follows. Molly is at the empty police station, leaving Gene's office. While the ceiling lights are going on, she says "Hello? Hello?". Then there is a laughter. While saying "Hello?" one more time, a yellow stuffed animal (Zippy) with a cop's hat on his head appears behind a desk and says: "You're under arrest." Zippy then laughs again and Molly asks "Who are you then?". All of a sudden, a pink stuffed hippo (George) appears next to Zippy behind the desk and says: "It's alright, Zippy. Molly's my new friend."
Zippy: "Poor old Molly. She must be very hard-up for friends."
Molly: "I'm looking for my mum."
Zippy: "Well, I haven't seen her."
Molly: "But it's my birthday. We have a cake and presents and I'm waiting for her to come."
George: "Oh, but she must be so far away, Molly. So far that you couldn't even see her through the biggest, giantest telescope in the whole world."
Zippy: "Yes, yes, that's right, George. Forget your mum, Molly. She's never coming back."
Zippy and George shake their heads in disbelief in order to emphasize Zippy's last comment. Now, Alex wakes up on her couch here, too.

52.56 sec




Extended Scene
27:30

When Alex wakes up, she hears voices. The UK Version is longer again resp. only in the UK Version, she also hears her daughter Molly. Due to removed footage, she e.g. hears a man right after she woke up in the Internation Version while she hears that man in the UK Version when she already on her way to the kitchen. Moreover, the scene of her walking around the apartment half asleep is longer in the UK Version. Only in the UK Version, she hears her daughter Molly saying "Mummy. You're going to miss my birthday" while walking through the kitchen. Alex keeps walking and when she turns left, the versions are back in sync. At least for the time being.

13.96 sec




Removed Scene
28:10

Now, Alex wakes actually up and after a shot of her, she enters the police station. Gene and the others are already there.
In the UK Version however, she wakes up and looks at the closet. She approaches the closet and opens it. When she sees a few shirts on hangers, she is relieved. Now the already mentioned scene at the police station.

19.44 sec




Removed Scene
31:26

After Alex ordered Chris to arrest Arthur Layton, the scene is slightly longer in the UK Version.
In the Internation Version, Layton says (after getting cuffed): "Don't look at me like that. I don't like it." Then a cut and the interrogation starts.
In the UK Version, the shot of Layton (after saying "Don't look at me like that. I don't like it.") is a bit longer. Then Chris who looks pretty irritated.

3.52 sec




Extended Scene
31:30

The interrogation itself is also longer in the UK Version.
Gene (to Alex): "As much as it pains me, I think we may need something that can stick in court. 'You're staying here' probably won't do it. (Now to Layton) Mr. Layton, do you have an appointed brief?"
Layton: "No, I'll have to get one."
Alex: "Oh, that's right. That's right, you let others handle it. The strategy of a powerful man with nothing to prove."
Layton laughs.
Gene: "A powerful man would bring his brief in here with him."

Ray knocks and enters: "Guv, we've had a breakthrough.".

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

8.52 sec




Removed Scene
33:19

After Alex suggested to talk to Markham one more time, there is further exclusive footage in the UK Version. After Gene's "Still, not a bad idea for a bird", the scene actually continues.
Gene's watch is beeping and while looking at it, he says: "Boys and girls, it is precisely 12 of the clock."
Now, the watches of the others start beeping as well hence they are also checking their watches.
Gene: "By 12.30 I want Markham and his suspected accomplices in custody. Mush."
Gene makes the corresponding gesture. In the following scene, Markham gets pushed against a desk. He turns around and says: "Two arrests in two days. I've almost certainly lost my job at the bank."
Gene: "Oh, bugger. Still, you're smart. You'll get another job. And I'll see you get arrested there, you'll be unemployable, Markham."
With Markham's next comment, the versions are back in sync.

32.8 sec




Extended Scene
34:11

After Hunt's "After you" gesture, Alex and Ray start talking about Sam Tyler. Before their conversation begins, the UK Version contains more footage. Again.
The UK Version shows Alex and Ray following Gene and Markham. But Alex and Ray stay outside, a wooden door closes in front of them. Meanwhile, one already gets to hear the beginning of their conversation about Sam Tylor.
Ray: "You knew Tyler, didn't you?"
Alex: "Yes. I write about colleagues who've undergone unusual trauma. And I know he let you down."
Now a cut. The two of them are sitting in front of the room and the conversation goes on plus Ray is smoking.
In the Internation Version, the conversation begins off-screen as well, but the scene ends a bit earlier. As a result, the wooden door is missing. Furthermore, Alex's bold-marked comment ("I write about colleagues who've undergone unusual trauma") is missing in the Internation Version. With the following cut to Alex and Ray sitting, the versions are back in sync.

7.36 sec




Removed Scene
35:54

After Alex's "Lunch? It’s gone six." and after Ray's "Lunchtime", the versions continue differently.
In the Internation Version, Alex watches Gene and Ray leave. Then the next scene at Layton's junkyard resp. Alex opens the door of Layton's office.
In the UK Version, Alex watches Gene and Ray leave as well, but she remains seated slightly longer. Then Alex gets up and leaves the station in the opposite direction. Now, she opens the door to Layton's office, which means ther versions are back in sync.

5.52 sec




Removed Scene
40:56

After Luigi explained the "Grassy arse" pun was actually a Spanish joke, the Internation Version continues with Alex on the couch.
In the UK Version, the scene is not over yet. Luigi returns to Gene's table, who is still reading in Layton's note book he took from Alex.
Gene: "Luigi, get yourself a drink."
Luigi: "No, signor Hunt.I go upstairs, shoot myself."
Gene: "Good man."
Luigi leaves and Chris repeats "Grassy arse" from the off. And again.

16.24 sec




Removed Scene
44:02

After Markham kicked Chris' butt and abducted Shaz, the Internation Version immediately continues at the station.
In the UK Version, the scene is not over yet. Chris gets up from the ground and runs off. Then Alex, who tries to reach Chris on the radio, but the radios do not work. Being frustated, Alex tosses the radio on her desk and says "I'll do this on my own.". Then Chris comes in running which is also the moment when the versions are back in sync.

10.4 sec




Extended Scene
44:24

As already mentioned, Chris comes in running.
Chris: "Is every radio knackered? They’ve taken her."
Ray: "Who?"
Chris: "Shaz. They've taken Shaz. Markham and some big bastards and he's still out there."
Ray: "Viv, mobilise all units in the area. Chris, give us a description of the vehicle."
Chris (to Alex): "If she dies, it's all your fault, ma'am."
Alex: "I wasn't the one who did a deal with the devil, Chris."

Chris: "Look, how do we stop them?"

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

5.52 sec




Removed Scene
45:42

After Chris got out of the car, the Internation Version lacks medium long shot of him.

1 sec




Extended Scene
46:00

Now a longer scene during which the Internation Version lacks some footage every now and then. It all starts with Gene's speech being longer.
Alex: "What?"
Gene (to Alex): "You, in leather. Gives me the horn. (Now to everyone present) Right, three units. I'll lead the first unit. Hopefully, we'll flush them into the arms of the second unit, lead by me esteemed lady colleague here. Uniform, you can mop up."
Chris: "Which team’s which?"

Gene: "Uniform, you’re C-Team. DI Drake, you lead the B-Team. I'm the A-Team."
Alex: "God have mercy."
After Alex's comment, the versions are out of sync again.
The International Version now shows Markham while the cops spread out in the UK Version. In addition to that, there is a small shot of Gene lurking around the corner. Then the shot of Markham from the International Version. Now the B-Team approaching Markham at which point the versions are out of sync again.
Alex says "Radio silence, everyone". Now the "binocular shot" of Markham and the others in the International Version. In the UK Version, we get to see Alex first. When she uses the binoculars, the versions are back in sync.

21.08 sec




Extended Scene
49:26

When Layton holds his gun to Shaz' head, the versions are a bit different.
Layton: "I think you're stupid."
Alex: "Layton!"
Shaz: "Ma'am, I'm sorry for the trouble."
Layton (to Shaz): "Shut up."
Alex (also to Shaz): "It's no trouble, Shaz. (Now to Layton:) Hello again, Arthur. So, what happened?"
Layton: "Look, this is my show. You try and follow me and I'll kill her, yeah?"
Alex: "This isn't your show, Arthur. It's mine."
Layton: "I'm running this!"
Alex: "I have to reclaim my destiny, Arthur. Somehow, I’m gonna stop you and go home."
Layton: "What are you talking about? What's she talking about?“
Alex: "I'm facing up to you. I’m strong enough."
Shaz: "Please, ma'am, please."

Alex: "I'm strong enough to wake up."
Gene (on the radio): "Oi, Drake. The A-Team are back in business."

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

10.48 sec




Removed Scene
50:29

After Gene radioed that the A-Team were back in business, a cut to the A-Team on the boat follows. Then Layton, when the boat has almost arrived. Here, the UK Version is slightly longer resp. the shot of Layton begins slightly earlier.

2.16 sec




Removed Scene
50:58

The versions are in sync until Layton takes some bullets. In the International Version, Alex is already with Layton. The UK Version shows Chris and Ray first while Gene makes a comment from the off: "There'll be no more drug addicts here, Layton."

2.6 sec




Removed Scene
52:25

After Layton got busted, Gene and Alex are having a little chat. After Gene's "Your presence is required just a bit longer here, by me", the International Version continues with a shot of a TV set. The BBC 1 program ends at the very moment.
The UK Version also shows Gene leave, followed by Alex leaving. Then Ray and Chris with Shaz, she is sitting in a car. Chris is hunkering down in order to be on eye level while Ray has his hands on the roof of the car.
Chris: "You all right?"
Shaz: "I'm OK, yeah. You?"
Chris: "All in a days work."
Shaz: "Yeah. (small pause) Chris?"
Chris: "What?"
Then she hugs him. When Chris gets up, he suddenly runs off. Ray watches him and then realizes that Chris is chasing Markham.
Chris points his gun at Markham and says: "Oi, scumbag."
Markham (laughing): "Oi, don’t make me laugh. Look, there are chaps who can pull the trigger and chaps who can't and you…"
Before Markham can finish his comment, Chris puts a bullet in his right food.
Markham looks down at his foot and screams: "Oh! Oh, you shot my bloody toes off!"
Chris: "I'm not nervous. I'm just cautious."
During Chris' comment, one can hear Markham yell "You bloody idiot!" from the off.
Then Shaz in the car. Alex approaches the car, bends over and says: "Hi."
Shaz: "I thought I was gonna die, ma'am."
Alex: "Well, you're still here, Shaz. And so am I."
Shaz: "I saw my life passing in front of my eyes. They say that, don't they? Before you die, you see all the mistakes you've ever made. In that last moment, somewhere between life and death."
Alex gets up, stars into the distance and leaves. Then the ending BBC 1 program in the UK Version as well.

91.36 sec




Removed Scene
56:21

Alex insignificantly longer in the UK Version.

4 sec




Extended Scene
56:49

After Gene left the office, the following scene at Luigi's is longer in the UK Version.
In the International Version, Luigi wipes glasses dry. In the UK Version, someone is passing by. Then Alex comes in, followed by a shot of Ray with a blonde, then Alex again. Now the shot of Luigi from the International Version, followed by another shot of Alex, which is exclusively in the UK Version.

15.32 sec




Removed Scene
58:23

Only the UK Version contains a preview of the next episode between the end credits and the logos. (no screenshots)

29.96 sec