Characters: Ashes to Ashes

For tropes from Life on Mars see the respective character page

DCI Gene Hunt (Philip Glenister)

Also known as the 'Gene Genie', the boozing, womanizing, rough-housing, politically incorrect DCI. He's not the freewheeling Big Dog that he was in Manchester; London is too big for him to take on the "sheriff" role he had Oop North. DI Sam Tyler (see Life on Mars (2006)) must have been a good influence, as Gene is now on a mission to clean up the corrupt police force.

DI Alex Drake (Keeley Hawes)

The time traveler this time around. She's a psychologist and an expert in profiling, and was writing a book about Sam Tyler. Alex is divorced from her former husband, Peter, and they have a daughter named Molly.

  • Adventures in Comaland: A double whammy. When she finally thinks she's recovered from her bullet wound... it turns out she's in a coma in the other world.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: With Gene.
  • Big "NO!": Two of them, at the end of Series 1 when her attempt to prevent her parents' death in a car bombing has catastrophically failed.
  • Bound and Gagged: Series 1: Episode 6.
  • Dead All Along: Well, only in season three. The first two seasons, she was in a coma (like Sam) from the bullet she was shot with in the pilot. She actually dies in 3.01 when she "wakes up" in 1983 to Gene slapping her.
  • Deadpan Snarker: "Your 'Sea Scallops with Pineapple Rings' are a memory that I'll take to my grave."
  • Dirty Harriet: A few times, including the pilot, where half of Fenchurch mistakes her for a prostitute.
  • Distaff Counterpart: To Sam Tyler from the show's prequel. Her gender makes for a somewhat different dynamic with Gene Hunt.
  • '80s Hair
  • Fair Cop
  • Fish Out of Temporal Water
  • Genre Savvy and Wrong Genre Savvy - Alex initially thought she knew exactly what was happening to her - specifically, that she was in Life on Mars - but she and the audience are increasingly certain that she doesn't have complete information.
  • Hallucinations: First the clown, then a young copper with half of his head blown off. They're Alex's father and a young Gene, respectively.
  • Heroic BSOD: Alex is kind of prone to these, though they are understandable.
  • I'm Ms. Future Pop Culture Reference: In 3.06, Alex tests to see whether Thordy really is Sam by asking him what was East 17's 1994 Christmas No. 1.
  • Lady Drunk: "Signorina Drake, you drink so much."
  • Ms. Fanservice: Oh boy howdy is she ever. Shall we list? Hooker Dress #1 in the pilot, bare bum-stamping in 1.02, Catwoman costume in 1.03, strips to her bra in 1.04, Hooker Dress #2 in 1.05, down to her bra again in 1.06, the many, many off-the-shoulder, bra-strap-baring tops, her various high-heeled boots . . . and this is just season one.
  • Pretty in Mink: Alex, in her posh hooker getups and her date outfit in 3.07.
  • Supporting Protagonist
  • Tsundere: She and Gene are constantly at each other's throats.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ray in Season 3.
  • Well Done Daughter Girl: Ever since her mother's tragic death when she was a child, Alex has had doubts about what her mother thinks of her. Eventually she gets to ask, though Caroline is none too approving of grown-up Alex.
  • Woman in White: Her leather jacket, most notably, though she wears white dresses a number of times.

DC Chris Skelton (Marshall Lancaster)

A slightly nervous, slightly bumbling member of the team. He's developed an affinity for technology, which he says he picked up from none other than Sam Tyler.

DS (later DI) Ray Carling (Dean Andrews)

A rough character who seems to live most of his life with little to no control over his impulses. Has nothing but contempt for minorities, women, and anyone who isn't a 'man's man'. But Ray is not without redeeming qualities, having a crooked streak of chivalry running through him.

WPC (later DC) Sharon "Shaz" Granger (Montserrat Lombard)

The most junior cop in the office and Chris' love interest. She is a gifted police officer, but no one (except Alex) takes her seriously.

PC (later Sergeant) Vivian "Viv" James (Geoff Francis)

Uniformed Sergeant at Fenchurch East.

Luigi (Joseph Long)

Long-suffering owner of the restaurant all the coppers hang out in.

PC Martin Summers (Gwylim Lee - Young!Martin, Adrian Dunbar - Older!Martin)

Fellow time-traveller and all 'round creepy dude, Summers makes Alex's life un-fun during season 2.

DCI Jim Keats (Daniel Mays)

Ostensibly sent from HQ to keep an eye on Fenchurch East, he actually has a more personal vendetta against Gene Hunt. He'll stop at nothing to bring Hunt down.