Ashes To Ashes
DI Alex Drake has risen rapidly through the Metropolitan Police
and has an added string to her bow. A trained psychologist, she
is writing a book on colleagues who have suffered trauma, and
spent several months studying Sam Tyler – the DCI who found
himself in 1973 when he was hit by a car and fell into a coma.
Brilliant at her job, but at the expense of her home life, she has
no relationship save that with her 12-year-old daughter, Molly.
As Alex drives Molly to school on her birthday, she is called to a
hostage scenario where drug-addled Arthur Layton holds a gun to
the head of a busker. When Alex tries to reason with Layton, he
tells Alex that he knew her parents – both of whom were killed
when Alex was only eight years old. Layton manages to get Alex
away to an abandoned boat where he shoots her in the head.
Alex later opens her eyes to find herself in 1981, dressed in a
tiny red skirt with Ultravox ringing in her ears as hedonistic
city boys and prostitutes party on a boat. The next surprise in
store is that when the police crash in, they are Sam Tyler's
creations – DCI Gene Hunt, DS Ray Carling and DC Chris Skelton.
Desperate to get back to her daughter, the only clue Alex can find
is surveillance footage on Layton. She is convinced that Layton,
in 1981 just a down-at-heel junk dealer, is the mastermind behind
the case she's just walked into – a major drug bust that Gene has
been after for months. Gene believes that the man responsible is
Edward Markham, a man whose pastel suits and arrogance typify the
Eighties yuppies he hates.
For Alex, catching Layton might be the
only way to grab control of her destiny and provide the trigger
that gets her out of 1981, back to her old life and to her
It's the week of Lady Diana Spencer's wedding, and the streets
buzz with excitement. Alex has mixed emotions of the day, and
remembers when she was left alone at boarding school to watch the
event on television when she was eight years old. Her mother is
also on her mind as she appears on the television, embroiled in a
high-profile legal case with the Met. Being a fighter and an
optimist, Alex is determined not to let her memories get her down,
and enters into the spirit of things.
Gene, by contrast, is on edge. He wants to keep the streets quiet
for Lady Diana's wedding – so, when a protesting family threaten
to disturb the peace, he races onto the scene. The Bonds family
are being forced out of their pub, due to the redevelopment of the
London Docklands, and have barricaded themselves in as a protest.
Gene sympathises with their cause but persuades them to keep quiet
until Charles and Diana have tied the knot.
When the family's protest becomes increasingly volatile, Gene is hell bent on keeping a lid on the situation – at least until Lady Diana walks down the aisle.
No sooner has one fire been put out, however, than another starts when there is news of a bomb on CID's patch. An unlucky dog has also fallen victim to an explosion in the same area, and now a note has been left - which promises that the next bomb will target the developer Danny Moore.
Danny is a Thatcherite whose charm provides a
pleasant distraction for Alex – for whom the bomb scares have been
painful reminders of how her parents were killed. She is
desperate to forget everything and Danny provides the perfect
escapism. But with a potential bomber on the loose, Gene needs
Alex to focus on the task in hand.
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