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"Ashes to Ashes" Episode #1.1 (TV Episode 2008) Poster

(TV Series)

(2008)

Trivia

The Pierrot clown which haunts DI Drake (Keeley Hawes) is very reminiscent of the clown David Bowie dresses as in the "Ashes to Ashes" music video, where the series gets its title from.
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The Computer seen in Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister)'s office is a Commodore 8032 circa 1980.
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When Chris (Marshall Lancaster) says "Is she or isn't she?" after Shaz (Montserrat Lombard) has been busy spraying hairspray everywhere, he is referring to a popular advert from the 1970s for Harmony Hair Spray where a woman's hairstyle has such natural-looking hold it causes observers to wonder whether she is or isn't wearing hairspray. Having seen Shaz's liberal display with the aerosol, Alex (Keeley Hawes) sharply retorts "She most definitely is!"
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The images Alex (Keeley Hawes) sees when she loses consciousness are:
  • The bullet flying in slow motion backwards into the muzzle of Layton (Sean Harris)'s revolver;
  • A deep-voiced Clown Angel of Death dressed in a pierrot costume resembling that worn by David Bowie in the music video for Ashes to Ashes and on the corresponding record jacket;
  • Herself as young Alex Price, dressed in a red blazer, red beret, and red plaid skirt, carrying a large red balloon by its red string (not unlike Tyler's fleeting image of WPC Annie Cartwright in a red dress);
  • A low-angle view up toward her father, Tim Price, wearing eyeglasses and looking stoic;
  • A low-angle view up toward her mother, Caroline Price (Amelia Bullmore), placing a bag into the back of a blue Ford Escort and closing the hatchback;
  • A close-up view down toward the large hand of a man and his dark sleeve, gently reaching for her own small, childhood hand which releases the red balloon string; they are standing on grass;
  • A sped-up view up toward the red balloon ascending in the sky;
  • The Clown calling toward her;
  • A view out through an automobile of her assailant, Arthur Layton (Sean Harris), walking along the road as a young man and turning to look at her;
  • The Clown calling to her and appearing in the reflection of Layton (Sean Harris)'s mirrored sunglasses as he aims his revolver at her a moment earlier; and
  • The bullet leaving Layton (Sean Harris)'s muzzle, its tip faintly reflecting the Clown's face as the Clown shouts, "Alex!"
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As revealed in the next episode, Alex travels back to Monday, 20 July 1981. In the early part of this episode, the scene that establishes the timeline clearly shows a row of posters for the single "Prince Charming" by Adam and the Ants. This was not released until September 1981, with the album being released the following month.
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The first episode of the first series of the British time-travel police procedural television series, Ashes to Ashes, was first broadcast on 7 February 2008.
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This episode, known erroneously as "Déjà Vu", was produced by Kudos Film & Television for BBC One.
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Molly (Grace Vance) tells Alex (Keeley Hawes) in the car that she got a Blackberry for her birthday. A Blackberry is a line of mobile e-mail and smartphone devices developed by and designed by Canadian company Research In Motion (RIM) from 2003. Alex, pretending not to know what a Blackberry is, refers to the fruit, also known as bramble (primarily in the North of England), that grow in hedgerows and which, like apple, can be baked in a crumble.
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Arthur Layton (Sean Harris) takes a busker hostage outside the Tate Modern on the South Bank in London. The Tate Modern is a "modern art" gallery housing a collection of works of modern and contemporary art from 1900 to the present. The South Bank is an area of London immediately adjacent to the south side of the river Thames. It forms a long narrow section of riverside developments that is within the borough of Lambeth bordering the borough of Southwark (which is properly Bankside) in central London.
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Alex (Keeley Hawes) mentions "armed response", referring to the Armed Response Unit, a unit of police officers trained to use firearms in situations where unarmed officers would be in danger.
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Critical reception to the first episode of the series was mixed, with positive reviews from The Daily Telegraph, The Herald, The Spectator, and the New Statesman and negative reviews from The Times, The Sunday Times," Newsnight Review, The Guardian and The Observer, which criticised the episode's direction, structure and tone (although it did praise the costumes and art direction). The national free sheet, Metro, gave the episode four stars as "a vote of faith" on what it described as "a dodgy start".
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The PC on the South Bank refers to Layton (Sean Harris) as an "IC1 male." This stands for Identity Code 1; 1 is White person, 2 is Mediterranean, Hispanic, 3 is African/Caribbean, 4 is Indian, etc., 5 is Chinese, etc., 6 is Arabic etc., and IC0 is a person of unknown origin.
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Layton (Sean Harris) objects to being stared at. Scopophobia is the fear of being looked at or stared at.
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Evan (Stephen Campbell Moore) mentions Shakira, referring to the white female Colombian singer who first appeared in the UK charts in 2002 with the song, "Whenever, Wherever".
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Alex (Keeley Hawes) says the police officers want a "fatality outcome." This is a made-up term. Obviously it means they want to kill Layton (Sean Harris) but "fatality" in police terms is usually used in connection with road traffic or other accidental death, or deaths accounted for as statistics. In murder, "a fatal shooting" would be a common police term.
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The boat/barge in which Alex (Keeley Hawes) is shot by Layton (Sean Harris) is situated across the river Thames opposite the Millennium Dome, which is located on the Greenwich Peninsula in South East London. The Dome was constructed in the late 90s and was built to house The Millennium Experience to celebrate the beginning of the Third Millennium in the year 2000. It is now known as the O2 centre.
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Alex (Keeley Hawes) awakes in 1981 on a boat named The Lady Di, named after Lady Diana Spencer (Princess Diana). She would soon to be married to Prince Charles and take the title, Diana Princess of Wales.
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Looking at the computer in Gene (Philip Glenister)'s office, Alex (Keeley Hawes) says, "There's nothing on this hard-drive but the date and the time." Gene replies, "Pong, I've got Pong." In fact, Pong, an electronic tennis game, was one of the first arcade computer games launched by Atari in 1972. A home console that was plugged into TV sets via an RF cable was first released by Atari in 1975. Many imitators released very similar electronic tennis game consoles in its wake.
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On seeing Alex (Keeley Hawes) in Gene (Philip Glenister)'s office, Shaz (Montserrat Lombard) says, "Mary Magdalene! you alright?, referring to one of Jesus Christ's followers mentioned in the Bible. She was the first person to see Jesus after his resurrection.
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Shaz (Montserrat Lombard) says, "Here you go?" as she offers Alex (Keeley Hawes) a can of Tab. Spotting this, Gene (Philip Glenister) says, "Tab?, don't be ridiculous Granger, look at 'er-airs and graces this one, likes a drop of Bolly before she gets 'er knickers off. Back to your desk". Tab is a diet cola produced by the Coca-Cola company first introduced in 1963. It was marketed originally to "consumers who want to keep a tab on their weight." Sales fell when diet Coke was introduced on 4 July 1982. In the first episode of Life on Mars (2006), newly arrived Sam Tyler (John Simm) tries to order a Diet Coke from Nelson the landlord of the Railway Arms in 1973. Bollinger is a wine production house in the champagne region of France. They produce vintage champagne under the Bollinger label. In the UK Bollinger Champagne is affectionately referred to as "Bolly".
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On TV, Alex (Keeley Hawes) sees Zippy (Ronnie Le Drew) singing, "I'm a Little Teapot" with George on kids show Rainbow broadcast at 12.10 in the afternoon. "I'm a Little Teapot" is a traditional children's song, but in UK comedy series, characters often sing it when going insane.
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Based on overnight returns, The Guardian reported that audience figures for the 7 February 2008 broadcast of the first episode, in a 9:00 pm slot on the flagship channel, BBC One, were 7 million: about 29% of viewers. The figure was "in line with the final episode of Life on Mars (2006) in April last year, though well up on the earlier show's second series debut of 5.7 million two months earlier."
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Alex (Keeley Hawes) switches channels to the BBC News After Noon, broadcast at 12.30 in the afternoon in the 80s, presented by Richard Baker. He did the job from 1954-1982. Frances Coverdale is also seen in a film report on the Brixton riots. The Brixton riots occurred in April 1981. Further riots occurred in July 1981 in Southall, Toxteth in Liverpool, Moss Side in Manchester, Chappletown in Leeds, and Handsworth in Birmingham. The first riots of the decade occurred in Bristol in 1980.
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In the kitchenette is the famous poster known as the Athena Tennis Girl. It shows a young woman from behind walking towards the net of a tennis court with a tennis racquet in her right hand and her left hand reaching behind lifting her short tennis dress, showing she is not wearing any underwear. The photograph was taken by Martin Elliott in September 1976 and features 18-year-old Fiona Butler (now Walker), his girlfriend at the time. The photo was taken at Birmingham University, Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, using a borrowed dress, racquet and balls.
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Gene (Philip Glenister) says, "transferred from GMP a year ago. I've moved on. Besides, scum is scum wherever you go." GMP is the acronym for the Greater Manchester Police force which was formed in 1974, taking the place of the Manchester and Salford Police force (1968-1974), and incorporated the former Cheshire and Lancashire police areas.
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Showing Alex (Keeley Hawes) the seized property room, Chris (Marshall Lancaster) says, "wait for it.... Like Tomorrow's World, innit, Boss, Ma'am?" referencing Tomorrow's World (1965) (1965-2002) the BBC's long-running series showcasing new developments in the world of science and technology.
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The episode begins with Molly Drake (Grace Vance) reading out Sam Tyler (John Simm)'s speech from the opening credits of Life on Mars (2006).
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Markham (Adam James) says, "this won't amount to a hill of beans, Mr Hunt", meaning it is of little importance. This is a common expression perhaps most famously used in the US film Casablanca (1942). Near the end, at the airfield, Rick (Humphrey Bogart) says, "it doesn't take much to see that the problems of three little people don't amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you'll understand that." This was parodied in the US film The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) when Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) says "it's a topsy-turvy world and maybe the problems of two people don't amount to a hill of beans, but this is our hill and these are our beans."
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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