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The sixth episode of the second series of the British science fiction police procedural drama series Ashes to Ashes was broadcast by BBC One on 25th May 2009.


There's a ruthless loan shark on CID's turf and Gene believes he could be behind a recent murder. Alex worries that Gene is blind to other suspects, but she is feeling less than 100% as she undergoes surgery in 2008 to have the bullet removed from her brain. Alex can only wait to see if she'll survive the operation, and meanwhile Gene's vendetta leads him onto equally dangerous ground.

Cultural references[]

  • Gene says to Alex, "When you stop being Doris Stokes …" Doris Stokes was the UK's best-known spiritualist and psychic medium.
  • Ray refers to a film he and Chris have seen called "Vault of Evil", (mis-naming the Amicus film Vault of Horror (1973)) about a village of satanists. Chris corrects him — "No, they were vampires," referring to one of the episodes in this multi-story film.
  • Gene says, "a theory that doesn't come from Vincent Price." Vincent Price (27 May 1911–25 October 1993) was an American actor remembered for his roles in horror films such as the Roger Corman adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe stories, as well as The Fly, Return of the Fly, The Tingler, The Monster Club, and many others.
  • A Neighbourhood Watch scheme was first set up in the UK in Mollington, Cheshire in 1982 after a similar scheme first used in Chicago in the USA the same year.
  • Garibaldi biscuits are mentioned.
  • Ray says, "I'm like Liberace," to which Chris replies, "What? A poof?" Ray comes back with, "No, I mean Valentino, I'm like Valentino." Liberace was a famous flamboyant gay American pianist and singer. Rudolph Valentino was an Italian-American actor who became a sex symbol when he appeared in silent movies in the 1920s, and was known as the Latin Lover.
  • Alex says, "There's no such thing as society" referencing a quote by UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in an interview that first appeared in Woman's Own magazine in the 31 October 1987 edition.
  • Gene says, "Looks like he's gone seven rounds with Giant Haystacks," referring to UK wrestler Martin Austin Ruane who went by the name Giant Haystacks because of his massive physical size, standing 6 feet 11 inches tall (according to his promoters) and weighing over 48 stone at his peak. He wrestled briefly in the US in 1996 as "Loch Ness" in WCW, but was diagnosed with cancer and returned home, dying shortly thereafter.
  • Norman Wisdom and Al Capone are mentioned. Norman Wisdom was a British comedian and actor who holds the exotic distinction of being the only Westerner whose films were permitted in Albania under Communism. Capone was the Chicago mob boss famously imprisoned for tax evasion.
  • Molly appears on Alex's TV in Angels. Angels was a weekly BBC drama series from 1975–1978, and became a twice-weekly soap opera from 1979–1983, and was about student nurses working at the London hospital St. Angela's in Battersea.
  • Gene says, "Should be doing hula-hoops", which either refers to "Hula Hoops" the UK potato snack in the shape of short hollow cylinders made by KP Crisps and first produced in 1973, or the "Hula Hoop", the plastic toy hoop that is twirled around the waist, limbs, or neck and first made by the Wham-O toy company in California in the mid-50s. In this context, it is a misquoting of the UK phrase "cock-a-hoop", meaning to be in boastful high spirits. It comes from the French phrase, "coq a huppe", meaning a cockerel (a rooster) displaying its crest (huppe).
  • At the end of the episode, Luigi is listening to an Italian sports commentary on a portable radio. From the dialogue, it seems this may be the FIFA World Cup final between West Germany and Italy held on 11 June 1982 at Madrid, Santiago Bemabar stadium. Italy won 3-1.
  • Gene refers to the Italian commentator as "Mussolini", who was the fascist dictator of Italy before and during WW II.


  • DCI Gene Hunt -- Philip Glenister
  • DI Alex Drake -- Keeley Hawes
  • DS Ray Carling -- Dean Andrews
  • DC Chris Skelton -- Marshall Lancaster
  • WPC Shaz Granger -- Montserrat Lombard
  • Sgt Viv James -- Geff Francis
  • Luigi -- Joseph Long
  • Molly Drake -- Grace Vance
  • Martin Summers -- Adrian Dunbar
  • Trevor Riley -- Sam Spruell
  • Stanley -- Tom Georgeson
  • Donna Mitchell -- Daisy Haggard
  • Bill -- Bill Moody
  • Colin -- Jason Haigh


  • Happy Talk (from South Pacific) - Captain Sensible Released in 1982.
  • Pull Up to the Bumper - Grace Jones Released in 1981.
  • Ace of Spades - Motorhead Released in 1980.
  • I Feel Love - Donna Summer Released in 1977.
  • Thriller - Michael Jackson Released in 1982.
  • Boy Meets Girl - Haircut 100 Released in 1981.
  • Maneater - Hall and Oates Released in 1982.
  • Streets of London - The Anti-Nowhere League Released in 1981.
  • Hot in the City - Billy Idol Released in 1982.
Episodes of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes
Life on Mars:
Series 1 (2006): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8
Series 2 (2007): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Ashes to Ashes:
Series 1 (2008): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Series 2 (2009): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Series 3 (2010): Episode 1   Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4   Episode 5   Episode 6   Episode 7   Episode 8  
Mini Episodes:
Fire Up the Quattro (2008)   Ashes to Ashes does Sport Relief (2010)