It's always bothered me when people call Ashes to Ashes a spin-off, which it really isn't. It was the continuation of the Life On Mars franchise, rather than a "side dish" to it. Ashes to Ashes Series One holds its own, and while of course it is a slight step down from LOM that is not to Ashes to Ashes' detriment. It's quite a different show, with different aims - glamour and nostalgia - being some. This Series only gets 4 stars, and don't doubt I am a dedicated fan of the franchise, because some of it is either slightly below-par writing or slightly out of place direction/acting which turned off many people but I am glad that I managed to convert many people to give it a second chance! Some classic and moving story lines - Episodes Five, Six and Seven stand out especially. The producers themselves echoed much of the criticism levelled against the series by way of reminding viewers that it was meant to be light-hearted and fun, which it is.
The usual witty, endlessly quotable humour is here in abundance. Ashes to Ashes has evolved into it's own stunning three series classic and if you are to appreciate it in all its glory it's always best to start at the beginning!