Ashes to Ashes finale

Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 02:43 am
miss_s_b: (Britishness: jingoism)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I have to admit, I didn't guess who 6620 was. That was a really good finale; tied up a lot of loose ends, did so without deus ex machina, and felt like it reached a conclusion for each of the characters without actually closing all of them off forever.

And yet... and yet...

It felt rushed, especially the climactic scenes; I read somewhere that the original cut had been 20 minutes longer, and this doesn't surprise me. I didn't cry, although I expected to.

I think I need to watch it again.

Jim Keats being Satan really did not surprise me; he creeped me out from his first appearance. Alex, Chris, Ray and Shaz being dead did not surprise me. Gene being their guide to heaven did not surprise me. But the way in which all those things were done? Well, as a Doctor Who fan I really hope Russell T Davies was watching. All of it made sense. It wasn't just a string of cool ideas, it was a coherent and well told story.

I love, love, LOVE the ideas that Copper Heaven is a pub. I love that some questions were left partially unanswered - what happens to people (like Viv) who die on their journey through Gene's world? Are all the people there on a journey, or are some of them avatars? Are the big bads from previous seasons (Supermac etc.) previous incarnations of Jim Keats?

All in all this episode, and the series in general, gets a big hurrah from me. It deserves huge amounts of plaudits and awards, and I hope it gets them. And it beat the crap out of Life on Mars. But I really, really want to see that longer cut of the final episode.

Date: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 11:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think the two coppers who died this season- Viv, and that woman who was undercover whose name I can't remember- got claimed by Keats, because they made the wrong choices and lost their chance at Heaven. There were those creepy scenes with them dying and him holding their faces and eugh. I do wonder about other people's deaths, though, like Shaz nearly dying back in series 1. Would she have briefly regained consciousness after being stabbed? Would she turn into a ghost, not having got into either Heaven or Hell?

I'm not sure which cheer was louder at my house: Chris and Ray driving in like the cavalry and t-boning the car, Nelson stepping out of the Railway Arms, or the Guv finally punching Keats in his stupid face.

Date: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Also, Chris said he had a dream about Viv and he was surrounded by flames. Looks like he went to hell after Keats claimed him. :(

Date: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 04:40 pm (UTC)
leoniedelt: dunno whose this is (dt seriously?)
From: [personal profile] leoniedelt
i was surprised and delighted by the whole thing.
Actually, i tell a lie - i was sat slack jawed or hands covering mouth the entire time yelling omg omg omg at the tv - especially when i finally twigged that they were all dead...

Date: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 09:09 pm (UTC)
softfruit: (Default)
From: [personal profile] softfruit
In the end, I didnt think he was Satan, the bit where he was phoning in to his boss made me think he was calling in a report to his senior demons in a Good Omens sort of a way. Though most of this season I had thought he was supposed to be Satan, that made it look like he was a lesser baddy!

Date: Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 09:17 pm (UTC)
ponygirl72: (Gene/Alex)
From: [personal profile] ponygirl72
Totally agreed about wanting to see the other twenty minutes of footage!

I'd been following the theorisers over at the a2ashes lj comm, and I have to report that they basically called about 95% of it, which is pretty impressive. For me, the only real shocker of the night was that Alex was dead... I did not see that one coming.

I was somewhat prepared to be irritated by heavy-handed religious references, but the finale actually ended up fitting in with my pantheistic leanings rather nicely.

In my opinion, the climactic clown transformation scene at the end of series one trumped the climactic scene at the end of series three, but it was still some of the best TV I've seen, taken as a whole.

Wonderful stuff.

Date: Sunday, May 23rd, 2010 11:42 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't guess who 6620 was either, though as Alex was digging I had an inkling that she might find Gene's younger body. I'd guessed Gene's larger role in things (in that he was somehow there as something of a guide for Sam/Alex with respect to laying past demons to rest), but didn't for a moment suspect that he'd got there in the same way. Neither did I expect the rest of them to have arrived by way of an untimely and unfair death.

What I loved most about the episode (and the rest of the serieseses) was that it assumed that we are intelligent viewers. We got the gist that Keats was some kind of devil figure without having it shoved down our throats. Nothing was explicit; it was all hinted at but ultimately left to our own imaginations and thoughts, and from what I've read everyone has feelings about the roles of Gene, Keats and Nelson that agree on the main points but differ wildly and go all fuzzy around the edges. That's the way it should be! I've been tweeting the odd question to see where opinions differ from my own, and there's a pleasing spread.

In my opinion, this was an excellent ending for Ashes to Ashes and for the Life on Mars franchise as a whole. It tied everything important up whilst leaving plenty for fans to go on talking about for some time. It did it in a clever, imaginative, original and intelligent way and avoided a preachiness which could so easily have sneaked in.

If the extra 20-minutes thing is true, I'd love to see that version. Maybe it'll appear on the DVD? I agree that it should have been longer- a feature-length finale would have been a fitting way to end the series.

I disagree that it beat the crap out of LoM: I prefer the two LoM series, but only just. I don't think Ashes would have achieved the cult following that it did on the strength of the first series alone (without LoM to back it up), but it has become progressively better with each series, and this final one has been nothing short of brilliant.

Date: Monday, May 24th, 2010 08:51 pm (UTC)
From: (Anonymous)
I had a few idle thoughts in the direction of who 6620 was eventually revealed to be but had discounted such thoughts on the rather rash grounds of the difference in build.

Interesting interview with Matthew Graham over on Sfx Online, apparently the foundation of Ashes to Ashes was a third series of Life On Mars that never happened.

Alex's ultimate fate does make one question whether Sam did wake up from his coma and top himself or whether his waking up was a 'fantasy' within a 'fantasy' as Alex's position at the start of this third series was ultimately proven to be.

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