Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes - what next for the Gene genie?

As people of taste (you have to be to be be a reader of this column) I'm presuming that all of you have at least some awareness of who Gene Hunt is. The right wing, outdated, outspoken Regan-esque copper from Life On Mars, and more recently, Ashes To Ashes. Philip Glenister, who portrays gene, has said he doesn't want to take gene into the 1990s or beyond, nor does he want to really go any further back. But I have a theory, a way that we get to see more programming of this format without forcing Gene to have moved with the times and lost some of what makes him special.

You know how Alex Drake and Sam Tyler both had severely traumatic incidents to take them back in time? Well, what about giving the Gene geneie of, say, 1989, an incident to bring him kciking and screaming into the 21st century?

I see Hunt struggling to comprehend things we see as simple today; logging into to the now compulsory computers, satnavs, and assorted paraphernalia. I see his stunned countenance upon learning of Community Support Officers, with little power, instead of having more proper PCs. I am able to picture how he will be treated; as an outated dinosaur, forever being within one word of being sacked, despite the fact he delivers results, because of his unorthdox methods. I can see his wheels: a black MG ZT260, and I .... can think of no good way to finish this sentence.

Anyway, we now need a disaster. And I have the perfect disaster to get Hunt embroiled in. Having grown bored of the southern ponces, he heads back north. However, as Manchester has painful memories (Tyler's death, his wife leaving him), he opts for the other side of the Pennines. Sheffield. He is called to assist with the now infamous incident at the Sheffield Wednesday football stadium on April 15th, 1989. Whilst attempting to control the crowd, he is pushed to the floor. Hundreds of fans are being forced, by sheer crowd pressure, over him. He passes out.

He awakens in one of the Spion Kop turnstiles, in 2008. No-one is in sight, despite the fact he is sure he was crushed. He staggers out onto the main road, and sees shapes, strange shapes. He makes his way back to the station at which he had been based in 1989, and the story unravels from there....

It's probably obvious that very little thought has gone into this, but it's an idea. Anyone else reckon it'd be damn good telly?

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