Wednesday, 11 April 2007

End of Life as we know it

Well, let’s get down to business, shall we? No need to ask what everyone and their brother is talking about – that last ever episode of ‘Life On Mars’. And o my dog, it were a real doozy.

WARNING ~ this post will contain SPOILERS left, right and centre. You have been warned!
Gratuitous picspam can be found on me sister-ship over here.

Right. You know yer at a panto and yer sposed to shout at the leading ladies/men in drag, etc? The old “he’s behind you!” malarkey? Well who didn’t do that t’other night at Sam Tyler / Williams / Tyler? Well, not “he’s behind you”, obviously, but more of “he’s lying to you, Sam!” and “don’t listen to him, Sam!” and “don’t be such a dozy muppet, Sam!” etc. I know I did. I think I must have upset the neighbours wi me shouting and thumping the desk, directing Sam as if he could hear me. Then again, I expect countless others did too, around Blighty and the far-flung places where downloads are also available (hey, where’s there’s a net connection, there’s a way, eh?).

Now you lot all know I don’t live in Blighty. I used to, that much is also obvious. And after I’d been here in Hong Kong a while, I began to think I missed a few things about the old place and thought about going back. Now, bear wi me, cos this does actually have a lot to do wi Sam Tyler and why he jumped.

Anyway, I’ve been abroad for going on five years, now. And I don’t get back very often, sometimes it’s a good twelve or fourteen months before I go back. I hate the whole trip, it’s just so much hassle. Anyway, last time were fer some unfortunate funeral business, so I went. I left Hong Kong’s twenty degree, semi-humid (70%), easy weather and air, and got on a plane. I had a twelve hour flight which I slept through completely, making my flight actually about only twenty minutes (I tend to do this a lot. I get bored easily, alright?). I got off to find I were in Gatwick, it were seven degrees and pissing it down. Bloody marvellous, eh. The air’s different, the ground’s different, every bastard thing’s different. It’s familiar, and it starts out comfortable, cos it’s the thing you should be wanting back. But as time goes on you already know that you’re not staying. Whether you’ve actually given the coherent thought time to flit across yer grey cell(s) or not, it’s already been decided. You’re not staying here. Why? Because it’s not what yer used to any more. It’s familiar, and it’s home, but summat about it just int right. It’s just not going to be.

I came back to Hong Kong. I’ve stopped nagging about a few wee things as pissed me off, and I’m starting to appreciate more of what I do actually have out here. Before it were taken fer granted. Now it’s fucking marvelled over, I tell you.

And that’s why he jumped – clock his face as he’s in that board meeting. I mean, bugger me, but were he just dying to shout “yer all a lot of useless bloody pencil-pushing nonces!” and storm out, or what? And he’s not like he’s needed there – he’s the same as every other fucking copper int place, he’s nowt special. At least in 1973 he’s doing summat useful, bringing in changes or making arrests that count. And I knew he couldn’t leave Annie.

But blagging that he’s reading a Kingsley Amis piece in a porn mag? What were he reading, his theories upon the ‘comic inferno’?

So a nice ending, then (‘specially the moment he tuned the Guv’s radio into David Bowie). Loved it, loved it, loved it. But now what? No more sayings brought us by the letters N, O, N, C or E from the Gene Genie? No more insults or witty come-backs? Bugger, I were enjoying them. And he kept giving em, right to the end. His “Get off! I’m not a fairy!” as Sam tries to help him up had me in stitches, fair to say, but I were so emotionally fagged-out by that stage that I would have found the shipping forecast the funniest fucking thing since Morecambe and Wise did that routine to “The Stripper”. So, once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more? Alrighty then – Huntisms are afoot.

Sam: “Where is it? Your gun? You were waving it about like Charles Bronson on crack a few hours ago. Where is it?”

Gene: “What I call a dream involves Diana Dors and a bottle of chip oil.”

Gene: “Whereas me – slept like a baby.”
Sam: “Yeah, a twenty stone baby that burps, snores, farts…”
Gene: “I do NOT snore.”

Gene: “You know what? My squirrel instinct tells me he’s even more of a bastard than I first thought.”

Gene: “Grab ‘em by the balls and their hearts and minds will surely follow. That’s policing.”

Gene: “Oh shut up, you noncy-arsed fairy-boy.”

And of course, praps me favourite throughout the entire two series:
“Breath that could strip the fur off a badger!”

Was it me though, or was 2006 completely surreal? A quick wake-up and back to work routine, was it? Just didn’t seem real. Or was that the point? Even though I was shouting at him to go back, I have to admit that, given time, he would have got used to 2006 all over again. Would have found his Virgin mobile, his photocopiers and PCs. If he’d been trapped there more’n a week, would he still have jumped? And just when he did jump – how did that send him back? Or did it not, did it just put him back in a coma? Or were he never in a coma to begin with?

Ah me, eh? The end, then. Sam’s happy, Annie’s happy, Ray’s happy (“like two Cox’s Pippins in a bag”), Chris is happy (“what do you mean, ‘going to be’?”), Phyllis is happy (“I’m not just a sex goddess, you know”), and even Gene’s happy (“I am the law!”). What else is going to occupy the gossip channels and net boards? It’s been a rip-roaring two series, I’ll give em that. The best telly (bar ‘Doctor bloody Who’, of course) the BBC’s had in… ooh, yonks. And it’s been so much more than just a telly programme. Just Google the name and see what comes up. Boggles the mind.

I mean, yeah yeah, there’s this new ‘Ashes to Ashes’ thing, but is it really going to work? Some might say series two was already showing some creaky bits, me included. And the first series were about eight years int making. So do we really need a slapdash spin-off just now? After they already did it with ‘Torchwood’ and found it’s divided the country more’n, well, the issue of same-sex civil registrations? Shouldn’t they just quit while they’re ahead? After all, whether this new series about the Gene Genie in 1981 wi some buxom bird giving him some right lip is going to be a success or not in its own right dunt come into it – it’s never going to hold its own again the pure genius of ‘Life On Mars’.

Mind you, that’s what they said about series two of ‘Doctor bloody Who’, after Chris Eccleston left. Hmm…

Ah well. Time fer bed, said Zebedee.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~


weenie said...

Great episode and I felt like cheering when he launched himself off the building!

I'm kinda glad that it still left questions unanswered - would have been a bit crap I reckon if it were a nice little tidy ending.

Gene in the 80s should still be pretty good but like you say, I hope they don't rush it. Looking forward to the music and also the disastrous perms and fashions though!

Soupdragon said...

Aw, absolutely! I cheered AND had both fists int air, LOL
On second viewing though, there are less unanswered questions than I thought... But it's still as you say, better not to have all the answers. Otherwise it'd take the fun out of it.


Here's hoping the Utd match tomorrow dunt shunt Doctor Who back another week...



Blasphemy!!! The Doc shunted back for Man Utd possibly. Abandon the game! Call it a draw! Whatever.

RIP Life On Mars. What a gem in a field of utter shite it was.

Ashes to Ashes? We'll see.

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