Friday, February 15, 2008
Snooker Loopy Nuts
I’m loving Ashes To Ashes.
I’m loving the music – Visage, OMD, Vangelis – though I’m a little perturbed by how many of these quintessential eighties tracks I still play regularly on my MP3 player. Stuck in a time warp? Who me? (Have I gone back in time? Am I in a coma? Am I insane? Etc, etc...)
I’m loving Gene Hunt’s interrogation techniques – pin your chosen scrote down across a snooker table, spread his legs, line up your cue and slam the pink into the top corner pocket.
Pot black indeed.
I’m loving the clothes and the make-up – white jackets, red and black colour combos, hair swept back on one side, Siouxsie Sioux eyeliner.
But most of all I’m loving Keeley Hawes as DI Drake.
The woman seems to be constantly drunk. Not that she’s a hard ligging boozer or anything; she’s just totally intoxicated by her circumstances...
Unlike Sam Tyler who experienced his time in the 1970’s as a bad trip – all paranoia, angst and the fear – Drake is living her time in the 1980’s as a lucid dream. Her ethos seems to be, as this is all happening inside my head I can do whatever the hell I like.
The result is interesting. It gives her character a tragic-positive spin as she flirts not just with those around her but also with the entire eighties construct that her mind has created whilst retaining an awareness of how badly some of the events she is now reliving actually turn out.
It gives the show a far lighter touch while at the same time allowing it to probe deeply into the blacknesses that lurk on the edges of Drake’s psyche – the death of her cold, calculating, career minded mother for one thing. Drake’s childhood was obviously very dark and I think a few more ghosts are going to come out of the woodwork before the series ends to challenge her glib responses to her predicament.
Yes, in relation to Life On Mars, Ashes To Ashes, is undoubtedly formulaic but to my mind it’s a formula that works. Ashes To Ashes is essentially a mirror to Life On Mars – its missing, long lost twin – with Gene Hunt acting as the bridge between the two. DI Drake is the yang to Sam Tyler’s Yin. The light to his dark. The female aspect to his male.
Quite where Gene Hunt fits into this faux Eastern philosophy I don’t know.
I’m just hoping that DI Drake has the good sense not to challenge him to a game of bar billiards after work...