Judge David Johnson played a conservative British chief inspector from the '60s in his Sunday School Nativity play.
Our reviews of George Gently: Series 1 (Blu-ray) (published February 2nd, 2012), George Gently: Series 3 (Blu-ray) (published June 1st, 2011), and George Gently: Series 4 (published May 31st, 2012) are also available.
In 1960s Britain, an upstanding detective takes on a dangerous world.
Hey may look like an assuming, harmless investigator, but George Gently will end you.
Facts of the Case
It's 1964, England, and like the rest of the world, the country is entering a major societal shift. This matters little to Chief Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw), an old-school police officer who generally keeps an even keel, unless of course there's a scumbag that needs rattling or a disrespectful young punk that could use a slap to the face. Gently is accompanied by his brash, impulsive sidekick, Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), and together, in this second series of George Gently the two will unravel four feature-length mysteries.
And here they are:
• "Gently with the Innocents"
The opening salvo of the set is my favorite mystery and easily the darkest. The secrets of the orphanage are rolled out gradually, and the writers do a great job of prolonging the suspense. When the cork finally pops, it's unsettling and Shaw is terrific as a buttoned-down detective who is outraged and sickened by what he discovers.
• "Gently in the Night"
And, since this is set in 1964, we need to get some abortion discussion in there. An activist nurse supplies the requisite talking points, but these only serve as a sidebar. The real meat of the episode is still the whodunit, and the resolution—and revelation of the killer—is satisfying.
• "Gently in the Blood"
Another required social aspect to hit upon: racism! Again, like the previous episode, there are portions of finger-wagging, but the meditations on prejudices take a back-seat to the crime-solving in what is my second-favorite episode of the set. Strong supporting performances and a genuinely moving finale raise "Blood" to the top-tier.
• "Gently through the Mill"
Easily the most disappointing show of the series, this mystery is full of uninteresting characters, a lame killer and a needless distraction with the Masons.
Each mystery is feature-length and the character of George Gently is the main focus. Which is great, because Martin Shaw's performance is consistently great. Gently is a strong, moral, committed detective. No gimmicks. No weirdo affectation. Just a dude who gets things done.
Acorn Media's presentation is strong. Each feature gets its own disc and the 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen treatments are beautiful. Extras are limited to text-based interviews, notes and historical facts.
Well-acted and well-written, Mr. Gently's adventures are highly recommended for the mystery-lover in your life.
Not Guilty. Groovy.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Acorn Media
• Text Extras
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