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How Life on Mars turned into Ashes to Ashes but from which a phoenix could rise.
By David Andrew Wardle Posted in Blog on 17th June 2020 0 Comments 4 min read

It’s coming home! It’s coming home! It’s coming, football’s coming home! Good news for a lot of us and probably not for others. Of course, this means that Match of the Day is back on Saturday evenings, which is when I have been enjoying a rewind of Life on Mars and then Ashes to Ashes on the Drama Channel.

Now I was very worried when Life on Mars came out. It was 2006 and I was right in the middle of writing Rewind. I was writing about time travel back to Manchester 1971 and this TV show was about time travel back to Manchester 1973. Fortunately the similarities stopped there. I finished my book in 2008 which is when Ashes to Ashes started. Both brilliant TV shows although I seem to recall I didn’t like the overall ending – which coincidentally will be this Saturday.

That was not the last time travel scare either. When I was trying the literary agent roundabout I got a nibble from a firm called Leo Media. They were not interested in the book but were interested in the film rights and wanted me to write the screenplay. I had no idea how to do this so had to get a few books out on the subject. I fell into the obvious trap for a beginner of trying to put the whole book on screen and the screenplay was more than double in size what it should have been. The guy I was speaking to was talking of mentioning it at the Cannes Film Festival – yes, it was all getting very surreal. They even sent an adviser around to my flat to go through what I needed to change it and what to leave out. I submitted a second shorter draft but then they wanted further changes which to I felt would mean it would no longer be the story I had written. I declined. One of the problems is the main character is 8 years old and would be on screen virtually the whole time which was a bit of an issue.

Anyway, whilst I was in the middle of writing the screenplay, a film called 17 Again came out and I was worried about the timing of this but was assured that it would not be a problem. In the end it did not matter because my project was dropped.

Writing a time travel story can be hazardous to the health but here are some of the nice things people have said about it. If only more people could find it.

I stopped reading books when my children were born nearly 25 years ago. I’ve picked up the odd book over the years but have rarely got past the first chapter. I was then recommended this book by my wife, and very soon got hooked, I didn’t want to put it down because I just had to know how it finished.

“Great book, kept me guessing”

“The book is really nicely written, entertaining and witty. David A. Wardle should certainly let the reader know how Jason goes about his life when he gets older. There surely are heaps of stories to tell! I certainly would be interested in reading them.”

“As a big fan of time-travel stories, you can imagine I’ve read many a book with a similar premise to Rewind by David A. Wardle, where a forty-year-old man gets sent back in time to inhabit the body of his eight-year-old self. So while I was hoping for an enjoyable read, I certainly didn’t expect a surprising one.

Wardle has managed to create a work of fiction that not only has wit and charm, but also manages to be unpredictable. Every time I thought that I could assume the direction of the next few chapters, Wardle twisted my expectations, nudging me into that ‘one more chapter’ state of mind.

His characters are full of personality, none more so that the protagonist Jason – whose fun quips and jocularity belie his well-written struggle underneath.”

I would highly recommend this book, especially if you grew up in the UK in the seventies as the nostalgia certainly also adds an entertaining novelty factor to the proceedings.”

Why not go and have a look for yourself? Go to Rewind

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