It can't hurt the ratings, I guess nothing can now. My feel is the American audience would have a bad reaction to the originals suicide ending and I don't think ABC has 'the grapes'.Kristatos wrote:Blowfeld wrote:Some consolation that the remaining shows will air. Here's to hoping they included an ending for the series. Although I seriously doubt the Americans will go for the suicide conclusion of the original.
Don't see why not. What's it gonna do, damage the ratings?
Special to the Star-Telegram
When actor Philip Glenister meets law-enforcement types in England, he is often treated as a hero. Which is funny and “kind of weird” to him, given that he plays a TV cop whose “Dirty Harry”-esque methods are stuck in the Stone Age. Glenister’s character, Detective Chief Inspector Gene Hunt, a.k.a. “the Guv,” was a fan favorite in England’s original and superior version of Life on Mars, a time-warp cop show set in 1973.
Now Glenister is enjoying life after Mars as the star of 'Ashes to Ashes', a sequel that moves politically incorrect Gene Hunt to 1981 and teams him with a new time-traveling partner. “He’s very popular amongst the police constabulary in this country,” Glenister says of Hunt, the role played in the American version by Harvey Keitel. “I think our police like the idea of just going out and nicking the bad guy without having to wade through a load of paperwork and bureaucracy. It’s all black and white with Gene Hunt. His world, his work — it isn’t as complicated as today. There were no boundaries then.”
'Ashes to Ashes' — which has run for two seasons in England, with a third and final season expected to begin production in September — makes its debut in the States at 8 p.m. CT Saturday, March 7, on BBC America.
How did you land the role of DCI Gene Hunt?
“My agent phoned me and said, ‘They’re sending you a script and, don’t laugh, it’s a show that’s a cross between Back to the Future and The Sweeney.’ We had a big police show in the ’70s called The Sweeney, very popular in England, which was about the Flying Squad, these guys who drove around in very fast cars nicking people and drinking whiskey and being very politically incorrect. I thought, ‘Well, that’s worth a read.’ So in the first 16 or 17 pages, I’m thinking, ‘Well, it’s just another cop show.’ Then suddenly the hero, Sam Tyler, a cop from our time, gets hit by a car and wakes up in 1973. After that, I couldn’t put it down. It was such a well-written piece. The dialog was amazing. It was funny, it was harsh, it was melodramatic, there was a thriller element, there was just a bit of everything. And I found myself saying, ‘This Gene Hunt guy, I know how to play him.’ It was just one of those rare moments when, as an actor, you know instinctively how to take a character off the page. So they put me on tape and sent the tapes to the writers and the producers, etc., and Matthew Graham, who co-created Mars and Ashes, paused when they got to me and said, ‘That’s our Gene Hunt.’ It was a career-changer for me.”
My favorite Gene Hunt line is, “You are surrounded by armed bas***ds!” When you get a line like that, when you get a character that says lines like that, you must rejoice. Am I right?
“Absolutely. He’s an amazing character, isn’t he? He’s great fun. I know these shows are set in the 1970s and the ’80s, but it’s a spaghetti Western in many respects. And Gene Hunt is the sheriff. He’s Wyatt Earp. There’s a wonderful scene in Ashes, if you look at the opening scene with Gene’s arrival, and it’s very spaghetti Western: You’ve got the sun-bleached shot and here he drives up in his Audi Quattro, like the cavalry arriving, big crescendo music
in the background and the car door opens and the first shot we see of him is his boot — and it’s a snakeskin cowboy boot!”
What do you think of moving the Guv to the 1980s?
“We had done two seasons with Life on Mars, but John Simm didn’t want to do any more. He felt he had done all he could with Tyler. But everybody felt there was more mileage to be gotten with Gene Hunt. It was tricky because we had created such an amazing show with Life on Mars. I was thinking, ‘How can we possibly follow it up?’ But the writers had a good idea: ‘Let’s move Gene from Manchester to London, let’s see how he fares in the 1980s and, this time, let’s pair him with a female detective (played by Keeley Hawes). It’s familiar, yet it’s new.’ I trust these guys. So I said, ‘Let’s give it a go.’”
You were a young man in the 1980s. If we were to see photos of you from that time, would you be embarrassed?
“Not inordinately. I never went full out for the clothes thing in the ’80s. I was always a little too reserved. I never went for the kind of the punk thing or the gothic thing. I had friends who went full out for it, had the makeup and everything, and looked like they just stepped out of the Cure. But I was always bordering on the New Romantics kind of look or a Duran Duran, but with not as much makeup or eyeliner.”
Have you seen the American 'Life on Mars' and, if so, what did you think?
“Well, I’m biased. I think when you start with the original, you tend to keep that feeling that the original was the best. It’s very rare that something is remade and it comes out better. But I saw the first episode of the American Life on Mars and it was good, especially that moment when Jason O’Mara, their Sam Tyler, wakes up in 1970s New York and looks around and sees the Twin Towers. That was a powerful moment. But you know what I would really love? Why aren’t any of the big American networks showing the original Life on Mars? Instead, we’re on BBC America. I would love our version to be shown on one of your big networks in America. The trouble is, you see, we in England buy all your wonderful shows, but you in America buy our wonderful ideas and remake them!”
Did you notice that Harvey Keitel was wearing white shoes, just like you in your 'Life on Mars'?
“He told me he would wear those as an homage to me. I didn’t believe him when he said that. I thought, ‘Yeah, sure.’ Then I saw it and there he was. It was a thrill to see Harvey playing Gene Hunt. I remember him from Bad Lieutenant and all these amazing movies. But it’s kind of surreal to see him in my role.”
Do you suppose it’s possible that there could be yet another series one day that would take Gene Hunt to the 1990s?
“No, I think Gene Hunt is a policeman of the ’70s. It’s pushing it to take him to the ’80s. One of the biggest appeals of the show, of Mars and Ashes, is the nostalgia factor. I think if we bring him up to the ’90s, it’s too soon.”
Speaking of nostalgia, the backdrop of the second episode of Ashes to Ashes is the Royal Wedding. Do you remember where you were when Charles and Diana said, “I do”?
“I was there. I mean, I wasn’t actually invited. I was on the Mall, which is the road that runs from Buckingham Palace up to Trafalgar Square. That was the first part of the route that they took to get to Westminster Abbey. And me and a bunch of mates, we thought it would be fun to go up the night before, get a bit trashed and watch the proceedings. So we saw them go past in the coach. I was convinced, by the way, that Diana gave me the eye when they rode by!”
story can be found at star-telegram.com : A conversation with Philip Glenister
Blowfeld wrote: My feel is the American audience would have a bad reaction to the originals suicide ending and I don't think ABC has 'the grapes'.
carl stromberg wrote:Last ever episode of Ashes To Ashes this evening! I wonder what will happen? I presume it won't copy the Life on Mars US ending!
Blowfeld wrote:Still have the last 3 USA LOM shows to watch.
I was thinking of the USA adaptations of UK series that I have enjoyed, I might as well admit I like Eleventh Hour so they can go ahead and cancel it Sadly that is the inevitable outcome once I find myself enjoying a new TV programme.
In fairness I have only seen 4 or 5 episodes, maybe that is an unfair sampling.
Chief of Staff, 007's gone round the bend. Says someone's been trying to feed him a poisoned banana. Fellow's lost his nerve. Been in the hospital too long. Better call him home.
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