And so, after three series, Ashes to Ashes finally came to an end last Friday. NO SPOILERS!!! I don’t ‘do’ spoilers… but I would say that their finale can also be seen as an epilogue to Life on Mars, dealing as it does with the “true” identity of ‘Gene Hunt’, and the nature of his game. Personally, I found it quite satisfying, and even a bit moving in spots, even if ‘Keats’ went a bit “Hungry Hippos” with his scenery-chewing towards the end. I was never a big fan of LoM, and much preferred this spin-off… probably because of my general bias towards female leads, which in this case allowed us to see another side of the “Manc Lion”, as the will-they-won’t-they romantic tension built. The very talented and gorgeous Montserrat Lombard also added her own appeal to the show, as ‘WPC “Shaz” Granger’.
Lombard has guested on such shows as Hyperdrive, Nathan Barley and Saxondale, but also aced her starring roles in Roman’s Empire and Love Soup, where she held her own (as it were) alongside the inestimable Tamsin Greig and Sheridan Smith. So there’s no doubting her comedy chops… but in AtA we got to see more range, as her previously chirpy character grew increasingly restless, haunted and cranky. I know it’s cheesy to say that a woman “looks beautiful when she’s angry”, but Lombard really does have lips that were made for sneering. She even got to beat down a perp in the final episode, and it was a glorious moment… I could see her making quite a kick-ass action heroine, in an alternate-reality Britain where we actually make those sorts of flicks. She would be a force to reckon with! As it is, her only big screen appearances to date have been a small role in Terry Gilliam’s The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, and as ‘Zoe’ the lead Emo, in St. Trinian’s II: The Legend of Fritton’s Gold (a position previously held by Paloma Faith… who was also in Imaginarium, as a friend of her character).
Now that AtA has wrapped, I wonder when we’ll be seeing Lombard on our screens again? ASAP, if you please, Powers That Be.