26/03/2009. Contributed by Jessica Martin
The first series of sci-fi cop show Ashes To Ashes saw DI Alex Drake - aka Keeley Hawes - time travel with a bang in 1981. Series two kicks off in 1982 where leg warmers are cool, fluorescent is the colour of choice, Thatcher is in her element and bullish DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister) is back, policing the streets in his politically incorrect and loud-mouthed style.
Alex Drake is by his side, desperately trying to keep him in line. Though no nearer to getting back to her daughter, Alex believes she is suspended in time and finally understands how the world around her works. But when she starts hearing news from the future, she realises nothing is as it seems.
Clinging on to fast-fading hope, she discovers she may not be alone in her predicament. A mysterious stranger who also seems to be stuck in 1982 is making Alex doubt that her current world is merely a figment of her imagination. Is he a friend who can help her get home or a foe who will destroy all she knows?
And while Gene Hunt saved her younger self from the car bomb that killed her parents, can she ever trust him enough to share in her extraordinary scenario? As she struggles to stay alive long enough to find a way home, it appears she needs him more than ever before.
Produced by Kudos Film and Television in association with Monastic Productions, this new series also sees the return of Gene and Alex's top team: DS Ray Carling (Dean Andrews), DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster) and WPC Sharon "Shaz" Granger (Montserrat Lombard).
Chris and Shaz couldn't be happier. He's still trying his best to be the perfect "feminist" boyfriend and wants to take his relationship to the next level, but predictably Ray continues to tease him about his romantic gestures.
Ray is also struggling to contain his emotions about the Falklands War, blaming the "Argies" and throwing his weight fully behind Maggie Thatcher. However, more testing times lie ahead for the trio...
Producer Beth Willis told SFcrowsnest, "The new series moves in a slightly different direction and we've really enjoyed developing the characters and Alex's journey further. Gene and Alex's relationship is so complex; it is very sparky and they obviously care for each other in a begrudging manner so it's interesting to see how this evolves. Ray and Chris are still by Gene's side, but when force legend Detective Superintendent "Supermac" Mackintosh (Roger Allam) starts working with the team it looks as if Gene's equilibrium could be broken."
The arrival of Supermac seems like a blessing to the team because he's been hailed as a star within the force and someone not to be messed with. However, it's not long before Gene's gut instinct tells him something isn't quite right. Could this cop legend be up to no good?
Piers Wenger, Head of Drama, BBC Wales, added, "Last year, Ashes to Ashes was a highlight of the BBC One drama schedule and delighted over eight million drama fans and 1980s devotees alike. Series two combines the same mix of compelling crime stories, outrageous fashion and blistering one-liners with some bold and brilliant new plot twists. Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah's scripts continue to thrill while bravura performances from Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes mean that Ashes is back with a bang!"
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Stephen Hunt's novels - USA