Monday, January 21, 2008

Brace yourself for some serious 80s madness

I was searching for a plot synopsis of the forthcoming sequel to Life on Mars and uncovered this report on a blog called Unreality TV: http://primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk/ashes-to-ashes-on-bbc-one/

The term unreality doesn't quite do justice to the basic premise behind Ashes to Ashes, which must surely rank as the barmiest programme ever to make it to mainstream telly, with the exception, perhaps, of Gok Wan's How to look good naked.

Imagine an old-style 1970s copper from Manchester. Let's call him Gene. In 1973, he's forced against his better judgement to work alongside a soft-hearted liberal intellectual, who claims he's from Hyde but is actually stuck in a coma in 2006 and frequently hallucinates that he's sharing his bedsit with the kid off the old BBC test card.

Eight years later, Gene has transferred to the smoke, along with his male chauvinist muckers from up north. As Red Ken Livingstone seizes control of the Greater London Council and riots break out in Brixton, Gene finds himself in the company of a rather more attractive time traveller. She's a forensic scientist who's been shot in the head. Although this unfortunate injury rather inhibits her ability to hold down a job in 2008, it's seen as a great qualification in the increasingly politically correct world of 1981. Gene takes a shine to the glamorous lady shrink from the future and the rest, as they say, is history.

We only have to wait until early February to see the drama and sexual chemistry unfold on our screens, but my mind is racing much further ahead. Surely there must be another sequel to come?

It's 1999. Gene Hunt is nearing retirement. Dotcom entrepreneurs are operating out of the cells at his former London nick and villains are being put up in four-star hotels because the prisons are so full. Disillusioned by the limp-wristed twists and turns of the Cool Britannia era, the macho man drowns his sorrows in a bar, where a bunch of young men are discussing the implications of the Y2K bug. Meanwhile, a Police and Community Support Officer trips over a loose paving stone in 2010 and wakes up in a pre-millennial daze.

When you see it on your screens, remember where you read it first. This is one franchise that can afford to pay me a decent consultancy fee.

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