?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Living Loz
The end of Ashes to Ashes... 
22nd-May-2010 03:01 pm
Sky
Okay. I lied.



The Good

The truth. I liked that. It was sort of nice to have some kind of explanation, and it wasn't ridiculously left of field. It made (relative) sense to what the series had been building up to. And yeah. No real DUN DUN DUNNNNN! moment for the sake of the DUN DUN DUNNNNN. I actually found I appreciated that. I've said before that I've been massively pissed off about the idea of 'creating watercooler moments' in lieu of telling a decent story, and I don't think Matthew did that this time. I almost want to pat him on the back and rub his little tummy for a job well done.

Nelson!

Matthew remembered that Annie existed. Good for him.

The genuine sorrow I felt for all of the characters' real life deaths. Including Alex.

The Bad

I think the idea that Gene and the others had forgotten the truth of their existences could have been done better. In order to do this, I would have had Alex forgetting a lot more than she ever did. The idea was there, but, yeah, capitalise on it.

I'm still angry about Viv, and the weirdness of having that episode juxtaposed with 3.07. I have no idea what was going through the writers' minds and I still feel a little weird that there's so few people who seem to think it was a problem.

I didn't really buy that Alex would stay with Gene whilst Ray, Chris and Shaz left with Keats, but I understand dramatic license.

The glorification of Gene, which has been a problem for the entirety of A2A.

Because I am a massive sap, I kept hoping that Sam hadn't gone into The Railway Arms. That he turned up in that end scene and was all "I've been trying to get Keats off your back, but clearly I've failed, Gene. Let us fight him together!" I even would have liked Alex to stay along in those circumstances. This is my OTP interfering, but it seems to me that the opportunity was there, and I probably would have taken it, to round off the story nicely. (In my mind, that's exactly what's happened. We don't have conclusive proof it didn't... because you have to ask why Sam finally decided to give up and 'pass on'. It makes very little sense.)

Matthew's a liar mcliarson and made out he'd 'killed' Gene Hunt and wouldn't do another series, but actually, in five years time, if he so wishes, they could easily bring it back. It wouldn't be the same show in terms of 'keeping the mystery alive' (I never thought A2A should have been that way anyway), but the opportunity is there.

The Ugly

If I never hear that Phil Collins song again, it will be too soon.

OH THE MELODRAMA! I could have done without some of it. I admit, from a "this is hilarious" point of view, I was enjoying Daniel Mays' performance at the end there, but, wow, talk about ham acting. And I know he's generally more subtle, so... wow.

***

On the whole, I didn't really have any expectations, so I'm not rage-filled nor disappointed. I don't think it was earth-shatteringly brilliant television, and it sure as hell didn't have the emotional impact of Life on Mars' finale, but it equally didn't contain quite as many "BUT ARGH, THIS IS SHIT" moments either. It was solid. It wasn't that stupid. It was fine. I still wish Ashes to Ashes had never been made, but if we'd had the opportunity to have this revelation in LoM, I wouldn't have minded. It's silly, but it's a perfectly good story, as far as stories go.

So. Yes. This is my opinion. It may change, the more I think about it. I do think there were quite a lot of plot-holes, but equally I know that Matthew and Ashley never really planned any of it, so they didn't do too badly on a wing and a prayer.

I do wonder, though. Can we go back to referring to both LoM and A2A as sci-fi now? Or should it just be 'fantasy'?
Comments 
22nd-May-2010 08:00 am (UTC)
I'm not rage-filled nor disappointed. I don't think it was earth-shatteringly brilliant television, and it sure as hell didn't have the emotional impact of Life on Mars' finale, but it equally didn't contain quite as many "BUT ARGH, THIS IS SHIT" moments either. It was solid. It wasn't that stupid. It was fine. I still wish Ashes to Ashes had never been made, but if we'd had the opportunity to have this revelation in LoM, I wouldn't have minded. It's silly, but it's a perfectly good story, as far as stories go.

THIS. This sums up pretty much exactly how I feel about it. You know that already, but it bears repeating. ;)
22nd-May-2010 08:04 am (UTC)
It's a little freaky how we reacted identically :D

22nd-May-2010 08:53 am (UTC)
I kept hoping that Sam hadn't gone into The Railway Arms.

Me too, and I really don't think that's just the OTP talking. That last scene with Keats, where they were emphasising (with some nice camera work, actually) how alone Gene was, I was fully expecting Sam to suddenly say "No, he's not actually," and stand shoulder to shoulder with Gene. I realise they wrote round that, Sam chose to be with Annie and all, but it seems harsh to leave Gene that way after all this time and it would have made for an awesome scene.

I think - on balance and with many of the reservations you have - I like how it turned out. (Hell, I wrote how a lot of it turned out, which pleased me - when they revealed that Chris had been shot dead on duty and had no memory of it my squee was audible from space!) I recognised a fair few other details too, from other writers - I have a suspicion that Matt and Ashley's 'wing and a prayer' may have included a trawl through the fandom. If they had any sense, anyway.

And I am very pleased, and slightly surprised, that they had the guts to refer openly to Alex's child and still not find a way of saving her. That, for me, was the proper outcome.

And, if nothing else, the acting from everyone involved, and especially Phil from the scarecrow moment onwards, was outstanding.
22nd-May-2010 09:12 am (UTC)
Yes to all of this. I was doing the exact same thing, sort of holding my breath for the WIN scene. But I didn't really think it would ever come, because we would have heard about it somehow.

(I also wrote how it turned out, more or less. I mean, as a fandom, we created this theory pretty much straight away after the first series of LoM, so, yes. :D)

I do feel sorry for Molly, but it was the right decision to reveal that Alex was dead, I think. And it does bring into question as to whether Sam ever did return to 2006, or whether they retconned it so that John Simm's theory was true, because Alex thought she returned to 2008 and she clearly didn't --- not for long. That makes slightly more narrative sense, the idea that copper's limbo, the one Gene now chooses to preside over, gives you a choice at some point --- do you stay, or do you go?

There was really only one moment where I was confused by the acting, and that was Marshall's very affected line of "The Guv says jump and you ask how high. I have done that before, I have followed a man who told me to jump, and I jumped into a bullet," followed by "I can't think, I can't think." Considering Marsh is usually the best of the best, I was perplexed by the fact he decided to channel Shatner. (Amused. But perplexed.)
22nd-May-2010 09:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, that line jumped out at me too, but I took it as a positive thing, and was actually (metaphorically) applauding Marsh for showing the breakdown of the established character - it was totally OOC, but at the point where it happened I assumed that was deliberate. But now you've put Shatner in my head, that's how I'll always see it! XD (Except that I doubt I'll rewatch it, certainly not any time soon.)

You know what else I would have liked? I'd have liked it if Gene had been doing some of this consciously, even if it would have made him a bad person, because how brilliant would it have been to rewatch LoM knowing that Gene already knew?? I think I might do it anyway and pretend.
22nd-May-2010 09:30 am (UTC)
I assumed it was deliberate too, but there's, like, the barest hint of a smirk beneath the surface of his expression, so I also think it was a deliberate Shatner impression, on top of being Chris' world coming apart before him.

Gene may have been doing it consciously. We only have his word he wasn't. Alex believes him, but we know Gene's omitted things before. He may have forgotten, but when did he remember? Was it just at seeing the picture of his grave? Perhaps it was before then. Keats and Morgan both seemed to think it was deliberate. We could totally write it as him knowing, if we want.
22nd-May-2010 10:58 am (UTC)
As someone who felt your first post on this finale represented her more, what you said with "The glorification of Gene, which has been a problem for the entirety of A2A" resonates, hard. I recognised that in 1x01 of A2A, and it's part of the reason A2A never worked for me. The Beeb tend to be very good at making things and not realising how great they are. You just have to hope they don't realise that too, because once they do, they go all out to make sure you know it. They did it with Murray Gold, and they did it with Gene.

I watched LOM last night, and there is just no way that A2A is as good; A2A is "the difficult second album" whereas LOM is the album that gets you noticed. Just not comparable at all.
22nd-May-2010 12:17 pm (UTC)
A2A never got to be as good as LoM, but there were definitely moments this series when it was close, until it narked me off again.
22nd-May-2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
I was just chuffed that I called the Copper's Limbo thing. (Because that made me 3 for 3 in interesting plot details/almost twists within a couple of weeks and I'm weirdly proud of that.)

Overall I just found it very satisfying, probably because I never got emotional about A2A the way I did about LoM.
22nd-May-2010 12:22 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I, er, sort of tried to write a short fic around this idea in February 2007, so, hmmm. :D

I found it satisfying on some levels too. From the perspective of a wannabe writer, I found it a lot more satisfying than the LoM finale, in terms of the fact it was, at least, built up and paced much better.
22nd-May-2010 12:41 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I liked the concept of the ending, but I agree with you on all points as to where it was poorly executed. I thought it was one of the worst written episodes of the series, which was very unfortunate, because the deaths of Shaz, Ray and Chris could've been a lot more moving.

What I gather from the stuff about Sam is that he figured out what was going on in the world and that he had to pass on to heaven or whatever, but didn't tell Gene. Which...is sweet, I think. I will be thinking of it as Sam trying to preserve Gene's fantasy world and rather than just disappear, which he obviously could have done, he wanted to give Gene something tangible to hold onto in the idea - the fake death etc, so that Gene didn't think Sam had just fucked off and abandonned him.
22nd-May-2010 03:12 pm (UTC)
I suspect that the twenty minutes that got cut probably made the ending slightly better executed. I did find Shaz, Ray and Chris' deaths moving, although I did wonder how Keats got his hands on that kind of footage.

*sigh* I suspect you're right about Sam.
26th-May-2010 06:45 am (UTC)
I like your Sam theory. It fits into the canon very well, because if that didn't happen then Gene's whole "not remembering" thing kind of falls apart.
26th-May-2010 06:42 am (UTC)
I was a bit disappointed to hear In The Air Tonight because it's so over used and it's been all downhill since Miami Vice, and also because they used Mama by Genesis SO effectively a few weeks back.

Up to the very last second, I honestly believed, or really wanted to believe that Sam would show up. I knew they could never have kept it under wraps if he had, but every thing about the series was pointing to it happening. So while I'm not disappointed in the finale itself, I am disappointed that we didn't get that.
This page was loaded Dec 13th 2017, 4:50 pm GMT.