|Series:||Ashes to Ashes|
|Aliases:||Alex Price (maiden name)|
|Significant others:||Pete Drake|
Lucy Cole (child)
Detective Inspector Alex Drake (née Price) (1973-2008) was a detective and police psychologist of an unknown division of the Metropolitan Police Service in 2008. While living in London with her only daughter Molly, DI Drake was studying and analysing the psychological evaluation and death of former Greater Manchester Police DCI Sam Tyler. After being shot by criminal Arthur Layton, Alex woke up in 1981, and seemed to continue Sam's 'fantasies'.
Alexandra "Alex" Price was born in London to wealthy, activist barristers Tim Price and Caroline Price in 1973. This is the same year that Sam Tyler woke up in after being hit by a car in 2006. The Prices' good friend and solicitor Evan White became Alex's godfather.
As an only child, she became fascinated with the brain and how it worked, which she wished to study (A2A Series 2: Episode 8). She was educated at a private school for the rest of childhood. While growing up, Alex became very fond of Evan who often gave her with presents, including the Rubik's Cube, which was a new toy in 1980 (A2A Series 1: Episode 3). Like Sam Tyler's father, Alex's father read, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis to young Alex. (A2A Series 1: Episode 7)
On 29 July 1981, at the age of eight, Alex was forced to stay at school by her mother on Prince Charles's and Lady Diana Spencer's wedding day, despite it being a national holiday (A2A Series 1: Episode 2). With her school, she went to Boulogne, France. While her father was working away in the United States, she caught her mother and her godfather having an affair, though she was unaware of what they were doing (A2A Series 1: Episode 4). On 9 October 1981, while at school, her parents were falsely arrested for the possession of cocaine, however, they would be released on the following day. Presumably, Alex spent the night with her godfather unaware of what happened to her parents (A2A Series 1: Episode 8).
The Death of her ParentsEdit
On the following day, Alex was taken out of school early by her mother so they could go on a trip away from London for a few days. Alex's father, who had discovered Caroline's affair with Evan, insisted that he would drive them to the train station in Evan's Ford Escort that he borrowed. The car was armed with a bomb which was fitted by Arthur Layton who had just been released from police custody.
While leaving the school, Alex was holding a red balloon that she had accidentally released when she got into the car on Ashton Street. As they set off, her father armed the bomb using a tape cassette of Ashes to Ashes by David Bowie. Distracted by the balloon, she got out of the car to retrieve it. Seconds after she rescued her balloon, Tim detonated the bomb and the car exploded, killing her parents in the blast. Alex's memory of the event was that her godfather had quickly arrived, scooped her up in his arms and carried her to safety, however, when she experienced it a second time, it was Gene Hunt who carried her. Young Alex was taken to Fenchurch East where she reunited with Evan to begin a new life with him. When she left the police station, Gene Hunt offered her help from "the Gene Genie" for the future. The two different versions of this event (A2A Series 1: Episode 8), were never reconciled or explained during the programme.
Late 20th CenturyEdit
Following the death of her parents, Alex spent the rest of her childhood in the care of her godfather, Evan White. After she finished school in the early 1990s, she joined the Metropolitan Police Service where she trained at Hendon Police College and learned about Operation Rose. Her fascination with the brain encouraged her to go to Oxbridge University for a number of years where she studied psychology and became a police psychologist who was trained to "get inside the criminal mind" (A2A Series 1: Episode 3).
At some point in the 1990s, Alex met Pete Drake and they entered a relationship together. They married and had one daughter together in 1996 whom they named Molly (after Alex's great-grandmother and Peter's black cat (A2A Series 2: Episode 8). However, their relationship was shattered when Pete abandoned Alex and six-month-old Molly. While in grief, Peter's father Bryan Drake comforted her and encouraged her to be optimistic. (A2A Series 2: Episode 5)
In the years leading up to her coma, Alex Drake became a Detective Inspector and began to study colleagues who had experienced trauma and wrote a book on the subject (A2A Series 1: Episode 1). In April 2007, she began to study the psychiatric evaluation results of DCI Sam Tyler who had woken up from a coma following a car crash and committed suicide in Manchester shortly after. Tyler's case was so unique that she was dedicating her own book towards him. (LoM Series 2: Episode 8)
In 2008 on her daughter Molly's twelfth birthday, Alex became involved in a hostage situation involving Arthur Layton, who was threatening to kill a busker outside the Tate Modern museum. As she attempted to negotiate with Layton, he revealed that he knew the truth behind the death of her parents. However, her daughter suddenly intervened and was briefly taken hostage until Layton appeared to escape. After leaving Molly with their godfather Evan White, Alex was taken hostage by Layton and was forced at gunpoint to drive to Greenwich. When she was led by Layton into an old barge, she was shot and sent into a coma and woke up in Gene Hunt's World. However, the bullet did not penetrate (A2A Series 1: Episode 1). She was discovered the same day in a coma, after a city-wide police search, and rushed to a London hospital where Martin Summers was in a coma also. While still unconscious, the bullet was removed. After failing to fight her coma in 1983, she died in her hospital bed. (A2A Series 3: Episode 8)
When Alex arrives in Gene Hunt's World, she immediately recognises Gene Hunt, Ray Carling, and Chris Skelton who transferred from the Greater Manchester Police in 1980. The only difference are the updated clothes. They are surprised to discover that she actually knows their names. Alex faints upon seeing them and when she arrives at Fenchurch East police station, she tries to get back to 2008 by throwing herself in front of a police car - but Gene prevents her from doing this and carries her into the police station. Alex, for much of the series lives in a flat above Luigi's restaurant where she marks on a calendar the days counting down until the death of her parents. On Gene's computer it is July 1981 - less than fourteen weeks before it actually happens. Alex uses a dictaphone to record her experiences, and like Sam Tyler, desperately searches for some sort of communication via the television or radio for information about the condition she is in. In episode one of the first series, she hears the telephone ring and picks it up, like Sam Tyler did, saying that she needs to know if she's in hospital. Gene slams the phone down and demands a statement from her. It is at this point the rest of CID find out she is the new DI, to which Ray Carling is horrified, actually thinking that Alex is a man. For much of series one, Alex desperately tries to save her parents from dying in a car bomb, thinking that this is why she has been sent back to 1981. Gene, of course, does not know this. Alex also meets her parents in real-life and finds that her mother isn't how she imagined her to be. She is also haunted by the terrifying clown from the music video of "Ashes to Ashes" who turns out to be her father (series 1 episode 8). In the series one finale, Alex fails to stop the bomb and remains stuck in the 1980s.
Alex is shown to have become more at ease with her life in the 1980s, and her relationship with Gene has improved to the point where they work separately from the rest of the team and conduct unofficial investigations. Later in the series, Drake is stalked by Martin Summers who claims to be able to help her return to the present day.
Coinciding with the Martin Summers plot, the main storyline witnesses Drake and Hunt working together in order to uncover corruption within Fenchurch East CID. After several discoveries and unofficial investigations led by Hunt and Drake, it is revealed that their superior officer, Charlie Mackintosh is heavily involved in the web of corruption. During episode four, Mackintosh kills himself and shortly before dying warns Drake and Hunt of "Operation Rose", but is unable to reveal more detail. During the same time, Drake becomes aware that the 1982 younger version of Martin Summers is working in Fenchurch East Police Station. The older Summers arranges a meeting with both Drake and the 1982 Summers, leading to the older Summers shooting the younger. The older Summers forces the firearm used into Drake's hand to incriminate her, prompting Drake to dispose of both the body and firearm in cement.
Towards the end of the series, it is revealed that Operation Rose is the unofficial codename and call-sign for a gold bullion robbery masterminded by a web of corrupt police officers, involving the older version of Martin Summers. During the series finale, Hunt shoots and kills the older version of Summers and goes on to accidentally shoot Alex Drake. Upon waking in the present day, Drake observes Hunt screaming at her to wake up from her comatose state in 1982 through hospital monitor screens. It is then made clear that Martin Summers was a comatose patient a few rooms away from Alex Drake in the same hospital and returned to 1982 because that year is "important to him".
Alex finds herself back in the present day. She notices Shaz, Chris, Ray and Gene visiting her in hospital and asking her for different kinds of help through television screens. She re-awakes in 1983, with Hunt slapping her to bring her out of her coma in order to help clear his name.
Following her return to the 1980s, Gene was accused of trying to kill her and so for a period of three months he fled to the Isle of Wight and the Costa del Sol in Spain.
Throughout the series, Drake is haunted the ghost of a young policeman with severe exit wounds to the left side of his face. Using clues and hints from the ghost and DCI Keats, she eventually finds the officer's shallow grave in rural Lancashire. He is revealed to be a young Gene Hunt, shot on Coronation Day during his first week on the beat. Along with this, the circumstances of Sam's death is raised
During the last ever episode of the overall saga, it is revealed that DCI Gene Hunt has been dead all along, and so are the rest of his colleagues. CID is a form of limbo and because they were there for so long, they'd actually forgotten where they'd originally come from. Alex herself had also died in the real world. After reassuring her she would never see her daughter again, Gene and Alex shared a kiss and she entered the pub.
In 2008, Alex wears a dark black uniform and a white shirt. Upon arriving in 1981, Alex finds herself wearing a red dress, far too much make-up and sporting a perm and a large minx fur coat on board the Lady Di, which is host to a party. This leads Gene to think that she is a prostitute, and he nicknames her "Bollinger Knickers" after the well-known champagne of the time he thinks that people drink down south. The clothes vary as the series progresses and in series one she sometimes wears white boots.
The character of Alex Drake is "ballsy, confident and bright", along with being "perceptive in deduction" and "understanding the workings of the criminal mind". She is more than a match for Gene and the boys and in episode three she slaps him around the face and then punches him on the chin. She slaps him again in the last episode of the second season when he accuses her of being a cold unfeeling mother. Most of the time she is actually a warm person, although Gene sometimes complains that she gives him brain ache.
As with Sam Tyler, DCI Gene Hunt has a love-hate relationship with Alex Drake. By the second series Hunt and Drake's relationship developed in a positive way. Both characters now respect each other and argue less along with sharing a distinct sexual tension with each other. By the third series of Ashes to Ashes, Hunt and Alex's relationship becomes strained when DCI Jim Keats begins to plant seeds of doubt in Alex's mind about the nature of Sam Tyler's death, however Alex's faith and love for Gene makes her unwilling to believe that he would murder Sam. In the penultimate episode of series three Gene and Alex go out on a date where he explains what happens to Sam Tyler. Later on in Alex's apartment they dance and are about to kiss, but are interrupted by DCI Jim Keats. Alex also gets on well with DC Chris Skelton and influences him with her modern methods. She also becomes friends with WPC Shaz Granger, who looks up to her and sees her as a role model. Alex forms a good working relationship Ray Carling, in spite of the fact that she is a women working in a man's world.
Behind the ScenesEdit
Detective Inspector Alex Drake is a fictional character and the protagonist of BBC One's science fiction/police procedural drama, Ashes to Ashes. The character is portrayed by Keeley Hawes and as a child by Lucy Cole.
Key Life EventsEdit
- Born in the early 1970s to barristers Tim and Caroline Price.
- Narrowly avoids death in a planned car explosion that takes the lives of her parents in 1980.
- Alex, for most of her life, believes the man who came to get her after the explosion was her godfather, Evan White but is later revealed to be DCI Gene Hunt.
- Joins Metropolitan Police Service and graduates from Hendon Police College.
- Studies psychology at Oxbridge.
- Enters a relationship with Pete Drake and has a daughter in 1996.
- Marries and divorces Pete Drake.
- Is Promoted to Detective Inspector.
- Begins a psychiatric evaluation of experiences described by DCI Sam Tyler after his recovery from a coma.
- Shot by by Arthur Layton near the London Borough of Greenwich. (Series 1: Episode 1)
- Enters Gene Hunt's World just like Sam Tyler and wakes up in July 1981 working for DCI Gene Hunt.
- Brings down drug yuppie Edward Markham after he kidnaps Sharon Granger and arrests Arthur Layton.
- Investigates a series of bomb threats related to the redevelopment of the East End concurrent to Prince Charles's and Diana Spencer's wedding. (Series 1: Episode 2)
- Investigates the rape and attempted murder of a prostitute. (Series 1: Episode 3)
- Investigates the disappearance of a nuclear research worker's body. (Series 1: Episode 4)
- Investigates pimp and drug dealer Simon Neary. (Series 1: Episode 5)
- Investigates an armed robbery connected to restaurant owner Chas Cale. (Series 1: Episode 6)
- Investigates the robbery of £20,000 from a charity fund raiser. (Series 1: Episode 7)
- Tries but fails to prevent the death of her parents in a car explosion, but learns that not everything happened the way she remembered it. (Series 1: Episode 8)
- Forced to live in 1981 for several months.
- In 1982, Alex starts to receive new signs of a possible return to 2008. (Series 2: Episode 1)
- Investigates the death of a police officer in a Soho strip club.
- Meets Martin Summers informally.
- Investigates the death of a Romani in a car accident that appears to be Gene Hunt's fault. (Series 2: Episode 2)
- Investigates the vandalism of an animal experimentation laboratory, which leads to an animal rights activist. (Series 2: Episode 3)
- Investigates the disappearance of many young northern women shielded by Superintendent Mackintosh. (Series 2: Episode 4)
- Witnesses the death of Superintendent Mackintosh.
- Investigates a violent burglary in the Drake household. (Series 2: Episode 5)
- Meets the young version of her ex-husband and Molly's father, Pete Drake.
- Investigates a dead body in a canal with the sign of a loan shark. (Series 2: Episode 6)
- Investigates the appearance of a body buried in concrete at a construction site. (Series 2: Episode 7)
- Partakes in the foiling of Operation Rose with Gene Hunt. (Series 2: Episode 8)
- Witnesses the killing of Martin Summers by Hunt.
- Shot by Gene Hunt and sent in a coma and experiences waking up from her original coma in 2008.
- Reunites with her daughter, but has visions of Gene Hunt.
- Stops seeing visions of Hunt, which return months later.
- Wakes up from coma in February 1983 after being slapped by Hunt. (Series 3: Episode 1)
- Investigates the kidnap of a young girl with ransom.
- Investigates independently the death of DI Sam Tyler.
- Investigates the murder of several women and a severed hand in the post. (Series 3: Episode 2)
- Investigates a series of arson attacks leading up to the 1983 general election. (Series 3: Episode 3)
- Investigates several drug dealers in the local area. (Series 3: Episode 4)
- Investigates the embezzlement of the Police Widows and Orphans Fund with DCI Derek Litton and DI Geoff Bevan. (Series 3: Episode 5)
- Attempts to rescue hostage Sergeant Viv James from HM Prison Fenchurch following a prison riot. (Series 3: Episode 6)
- Kisses Hunt and enters "the pub". (Series 3: Episode 8)
|Characters of Life on Mars/Ashes to Ashes|
Sam Tyler / Gene Hunt / Annie Cartwright / Ray Carling / Chris Skelton / Alex Drake / Sharon Granger