Where is the follow-up to the excellent Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes TV series? It’s been too long since Alex Drake, Gene Hunt and that Quattro fired up our screens. When the final episode of Ashes to Ashes aired in 2010, we were told it was the end for Hunt and co. All the loose ends had been tied up, there was nowhere left for the story to go.
Which probably explains why The Laughing Gnome prequel rumour began to gather pace. But we don’t want a 1960s version – we want something from the 1990s. And PetrolBlog is firing up a half-hearted campaign to get it commissioned. Right here, right now.
The quite brilliant Life on Mars was set in 1973, with the equally great follow-up, Ashes to Ashes moving from Manchester to London and set in 1981. PetrolBlog suggests that the new series is set in the mid-1990s – perhaps 1996. Keeping with the tradition, a David Bowie track should lend its name to the series, so the 1993 hit, Jump They Say, would do just fine.
In fact, considering this was Bowie’s last top ten hit until 2013, it would be rather apt.
But actually, what really matters to PetrolBlog, is the choice of Gene Hunt’s car. His red Audi Quattro became synonymous with Ashes to Ashes, much more so than his Ford Cortina in Life on Mars. In fact, it almost managed to upstage Keeley Hawes. Almost.
Choosing Hunt’s car for Jump They Say is rather tricky, so it’s probably best to list some of the no-nos. It’s hard to imagine Gene Hunt driving anything French, or Italian for that matter – he needs something with more grit, more bite. He doesn’t strike PetrolBlog as a convertible or small coupé kind of guy either. Face it – Gene Hunt needs something big, brutish and brash. Come on, “Fire up the Ka” really doesn’t work, does it?
How about something from this list?
BMW M3 E36 Evo
So what if the E36 M3 was considered a little soft when compared with its E30 M3 predecessor. You can rely on Hunt to toughen things up a little. Naturally he’d take the 321bhp Evo version – just the thing for taking the Hangar Lane gyratory in a sideways manner. Photo © BMW.
The perfect machine for a more mature, grown-up Hunt? He’d naturally revel in being one of the first people in the country to get behind the wheel of Audi’s flagship motor. What’s more, he’d get one over on Robert De Niro and Sean Bean et all, getting to showcase the S8’s many talents a full two years before Ronin. And, perhaps crucially, he’d still get to shout “Fire up the Quattro”. Just lowercase the ‘q’ this time, Gene, ok? Photo © Audi USA
By now you could expect Gene Hunt to be settled down with a couple of children and a loving wife. Ok, perhaps not settled down. It’s more likely that he’s coming to terms with a failed marriage and only getting to see his children at weekends. So naturally he’d need an estate car – step forward the Audi RS2. Photo © Ed Callow.
This one just works. It really isn’t hard to imagine Gene Hunt rolling in a recently-launched Jaguar XK8. A big, throbbing V8 engine would suit Mr Hunt perfectly and the big, long bonnet will stir up memories of the Ford Capri. Naturally he’d upgrade to the supercharged XKR in two years… Photo © Jaguar.
Ford Mondeo V6 Ghia
Think about it for a moment, Gene Hunt in a Mondeo isn’t too hard to imagine. After all, he did start off in a Ford Cortina and would have probably had a Sierra Sapphire Cosworth. A sub £20k flagship Mondeo may even suit Hunt’s mid ’90s pay-grade. Having said that, it would be amusing to see Gene Hunt in a Ford Probe – “Fire up the Probe”. Eek. Photo © Ford.
Volvo 850 R / T-5R
Could Gene Hunt go Swedish? Faced with a leggy blond named Nathalie, the answer would probably be yes, but a Volvo estate? Well if it’s the 850 R or T5-R, Mr Hunt would probably stand up and take notice. Enough power to keep a supercar honest, plus enough space in the back to chuck in a load of crims. He’d love it. Photo © Volvo.
Nissan Skyline GT-R V-Spec
A case of Gene Hunt ‘Turning Japanese’. In the 1970s or 1980s, the merest suggestion would probably have resulted in a fist sandwich, but come the 1990s, things were a little different. The 2.4-litre, straight-six turbocharged monster would be the perfect companion for our favourite DCI. The lowlife scum could run, but they couldn’t hide from this. Photo © Nissan.
Our final suggestion also comes from the Far East. It’s the Toyota Supra – the perfect chariot for the medallion man on the move. It may prove to be a bit of a handful on London’s narrow streets, but there’s no denying this car’s presence. Hunt would love it. Photo © Toyota.
So that’s the list of potential cars to choose from. All we need now is for Gene Hunt to choose his favourite and the small matter of the BBC commissioning the series. Just make sure ‘Bolly Knickers’ gets a starring role, eh?