As Life on Mars took place in 1973 and drew on all the good (music, muscle cars, fashion styles) and the bad (racial stereotyping, police brutality, fashion styles) of the time, Ashes to Ashes does the same but in 1981. This time with a new lead character Alex Drake from 2008 who may or may not be in a coma, insane or a time traveler. Got it? I sure hope so because Netflix doesn't seem to have series 1 or 2 of Life on Mars.
Helen Rumbelow reviews the premiere episode and I think she has it right when she says don't compare Ashes to Mars. To me It's like Star Trek TOS and The Next Generation. Both have strengths and weakness and it's all right to like them both. Of course neither Kirk or Picard drove an Audi Quattro.
Half the fun of Life on Mars was the characters it had developed and I'm really looking forward to catch up with them for a little 1980's nostalgia.