British Crime and Punishment Series
starring Martin Shaw.
Based on the 1960s novels by Alan Hunter, but moving the setting from Norfolk to Northumberland and County Durham
, this crime series set in The Sixties
involves two detectives, Detective Chief Inspector George Gently and his trusty sidekick Detective Sergeant John Bacchus.
The 2007 pilot and 2008 first season (just called George Gently
) were rather dark affairs. The second season is somewhat lighter in tone- the stories are still fairly dark, but there are new "Sixties-style" opening titles and more comedy.
Not too bad, but 90-minute stories with no ad-breaks do have an inherent dragging tendency.
- Always Murder: Averted. In "Gently Northern Soul", the death turns out to be accidental, but the assumption that it was murder brings its own repercussions.
- Black Gal on White Guy Drama: In "Gently Northern Soul."
- Bribe Backfire: In the episode "Bomber's Moon", a German businessman tries to bribe Sgt. Bachus. Bachus accepts the bribe so he will have the evidence to arrest him.
- British Brevity: 15 episodes so far
- British Laws: One plot involves a woman having an abortion - illegal in 1964 - after being raped and mentions that only married women could be prescribed the pill then.
- Buddy Cop Show
- By-the-Book Cop: Played with.
- Cerebus Syndrome: Series 5 was pretty damn grim - a Downer Ending every episode, and the Season Finale ends with Gently and Bacchus both lying on the floor of Durham Cathedral, having both been shot in the gut, with no help on the way.
- Death by Falling Over: This is how the Body of the Week in "Blue for Bluebird" was killed; falling backwards and hitting her head on the edge of a table.
- Fanservice with a Smile: One episode features a club called "Rakes", with "Fox Girls".
- Gay Bar Reveal: In the episode "Peace & Love", Gently and Bacchus call in at a bar recently visited by the murder victim whose movements they're tracing. Bacchus is increasingly discomfited as the nature of the place dawns on him, and then indignant when he finds out that Gently had suspected it before they went in and hadn't bothered to say anything.
- Going by the Matchbook: In the episode "Peace & Love", the murder victim has a matchbook from a particular bar in his pocket. Played with slightly, in that the barman remembers him even though he only went there once because he swiped all the matchbooks.
- Honey Trap: Bacchus, in a few episodes.
- Location Doubling: The show is filmed in Ireland, partly for tax reasons, partly for lack of suitable architecture.
- Never Suicide: In "Gently with Honour", Gently and Bacchus return to a psychiatrist with a warrant for the medical files of one his patients and find the psychiatrist hanged; an apparent suicide. Gently suspicions are immediately raised, especially when he finds the medical file he was after is missing. It is later discovered that the psychiatrist's neck had been snapped and he was then strung up to make it look like he hanged himself.
- Officially Shortened Title: Inverted. The show started as George Gently before expanding to Inspector George Gently.
- Old Cop, Young Cop: Gently and Bacchus.
- Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Gently's accent wanders considerably.
- Politically Incorrect Hero: Done deliberately with Bacchus, in contrast to Gently's more inclusive personal doctrine.
- Porn Names: This is both used and subverted when Gently and Bacchus are investigating a casino with "Fox Girls". The murder victim's real name was Audrey Chadwick. However, she was using the name "Blaise" for working purposes. Not Modesty Blaise, as "she doesn't have any modesty". However, Fawn Granger, her best friend, was using her real name.
- Scooter Riding Mod: The rivalry between Mods and Rockers featured prominently in one episode.
- Shotgun Wedding: How Bacchus ended up marrying his wife.
- The Sixties: 1964 to begin with, but moves on roughly in real time just as the books do.
- Surprise Incest: "Gently Going Under" features a half-siblings version. The girl's father had an affair with the boy's mother while her husband was away at the war. When the relationship is discovered, the father tries to move away and take the daughter with him but she is already pregnant. The boy's mother tells her the truth, causing her to attempt to abort the child.
- Time-Delayed Death: In "Gently Between the Lines", a prisoner who died in the cells actually succumbed to liver damage sustained in a beating he received before he was arrested.
- Undercover Cop Reveal: Frequent with Bacchus, who does most of the undercover work.