Ashes edges to the end
Thursday, September 24, 2009 by Graham Kibble-White
The final series of Ashes to Ashes has commenced filming in Bermondsey, South London.
Following Philip Glenister’s remarks during the production of series two last year – “I think the thing about Gene is you are restricted in terms of what you do with him – people want to see him for what he is, and although that’s fun to play I need new challenges now, I want to move on.” – it’s always been clear Gene Hunt’s days were numbered. And the Kudos are making a virtue of this. Here’s the press release, issued this morning.
London, September 2009: It’s time to get your shoulder pads out of storage, start crimping your hair and get into the 80s mood for the very last time. The award-winning BBC One drama, Ashes to Ashes, is back as filming begins on the eagerly awaited final series.
The highly-anticipated finale sees Philip Glenister and Keeley Hawes reprise their roles as that most un-PC of policeman, DCI Gene Hunt and his sassy partner DI Alex Drake, along with Dean Andrews as DI Ray Carling, Marshall Lancaster as DC Chris Skelton and Montserrat Lombard as WPC Sharon ‘Shaz’ Granger. As well as the much loved regular faces, Daniel Mays (The Street, Plus One) will also appear in the series as Discipline and Complaints officer, Jim Keats, adding an exciting twist to the team dynamic.
With last series’ cliff-hanger leaving audiences with the frightening image of Alex lying shot on a hospital gurney, the questions on everyone’s lips are “will Alex survive?” And “how will her colleague and accidental assassin Gene Hunt dig himself out of that hole?”
The smash hit drama, made by Kudos Film and Television in association with Monastic Productions, finally unravels many of the mysteries from the previous two series of Ashes to Ashes, as well as those first experienced by the initial time-travelling copper, Sam Tyler, in the groundbreaking BBC One series Life on Mars some four years ago. Will Alex finally discover why she’s been sent back to the 80s? Does anything tie Alex and Sam Tyler together? And who exactly is Gene Hunt…?
Jane Featherstone, Executive Producer, Kudos Film and Television says: “Everyone has their own theory about who Gene Hunt is and why Alex Drake, and Sam Tyler ended up in his world. Alex’s journey is nearing its end and Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah have planned a fabulous finale. We’re now at the point where we can finally reveal some of the answers and we can’t wait to hear what the fans think about it all.”
Ashley Pharoah, co-creator, writer and Executive Producer for Monastic Productions adds: “Gene Hunt has delighted fans for almost five years. Matthew and I have loved writing the adventures of Gene, Alex and the rest of the team and will be really sad to finally have to say goodbye to characters that have become a great part of our lives.”
Piers Wenger, Head of Drama, BBC Wales also says: “Series three of Ashes to Ashes will have the same combination of thrilling crime drama, outrageous 80s outfits and cutting one liners. We’ll be sad to see Gene and the gang go but the journey that will take us to that finale will be one of the most exciting, compelling and edge-of-your seat rides on TV!”
Ashes to Ashes is written and created by Matthew Graham and Ashley Pharoah, two creators of the award-winning Life on Mars. It is produced by Kudos Film and Television, in association with Monastic Productions and was commissioned by Jay Hunt, Controller, BBC One and Ben Stephenson, Controller, BBC Drama Commissioning.
Executive producer duties will be split between Jane Featherstone, Simon Crawford Collins and Alison Jackson for Kudos Film and Television, Ashley Pharoah for Monastic Productions and Piers Wenger for the BBC. The producer is Howard Burch.