George Gently is not a delicate police detective. He’s becoming a bit of a dinosaur as England goes through the youthquake of 1964. The Beatles have taken over the cultural landscape. The youngsters aren’t eager to just listen to their elders and wait their turn to lead. Can Gently handle the changing times? Can he also change his location from London to the quiet yet equally deadly coastal Northumberland. George Gently: Series 1 collects the first three film length episodes.
“Gently Go Man” opens with a shocker. George (Martin Shaw) and his wife are getting out of their car when she becomes a victim of a hit and run. Was this just an accident or a message from his target Joe Webster. At first George wants to quit Scotland Yard and retire. He feels disgusted that he never feared his police work could have consequences on his family. But after her funeral, he hears of a homicide in Northumberland that sounds like Webster’s type of killing. He wants one more shot at the guy now that he has nobody else to lose. He gets paired with Detective Sergeant John Bacchus to work the area. For a peaceful seaside area, there’s issues. The local kids have formed a motorcycle club. When one of their members turns up dead, people discover the group were up to more than weekend rides around the community. Turns out the leather guys were up to no good. They’re also sexually progressive. As George investigates the bikers, someone else is tracking them down with a vengeful streak.
“The Burning Man” makes George stick around when a body turns up near an air force base. A woman’s name is on the corpse’s stomach. He and Bacchus think there’s an IRA connection with the killing. Can they find the girl before they find more bodies? Is she the next victim or the killer? “Bomber’s Moon” reunites a German pilot who was shot down over England with the family that put him up during the war. The guy has done very well for himself since World War II ended. Everything seems to be fine until the German’s body is found in the water. Did a local finally get their revenge on the ex-Nazi who hid amongst them? George’s big problem seems to the German’s son.
George Gently is an enthralling detective series with its throwback vision on the mid-’60s when it took time to get information. George is an old school police investigator not too eager to embrace the Swinging London scene. At the same time doesn’t get too defensive about the changes. He just wants to makes sure Bacchus doesn’t think he’s a peer. He’s still a greenhorn in George’s eyes.
The video is 1.78:1 anamorphic. The high definition image looks fine especially since there’s a lot of night time action. They tweak the color a bit to give it a vintage look. The audio is 2.0 stereo PCM. It doesn’t overdo the mix. It’s about the kind of levels you’d hear from a show from 1964. The episodes are subtitled in case you can’t latch onto the English accents.
Text Interviews with Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby, and Peter Flannery give a bit of insight into going back nearly half a century.
George Gently: Series 1are a fine trio of films establishing the police detective who arrives at the seaside to solve cases and get a bit of revenge. Shaw is imposing in the role of Gently. He’s not quite ready to be the Mod detective.
Acorn Media George Gently: Series 1 Starring: Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby. Boxset Contents: 3 movies on 2 Blu-ray discs. Blu-ray Release: January 17, 2012. Available at Amazon.com.
Joe Corey is the writer and director of "Danger! Health Films" currently streaming on Night Flight and Amazon Prime. He's the author of "The Seven Secrets of Great Walmart People Greeters." This is the last how to get a job book you'll ever need. He was Associate Producer of the documentary "Moving Midway." He's worked as local crew on several reality shows including Candid Camera, American's Most Wanted, Extreme Makeover Home Edition and ESPN's Gaters. He's been featured on The Today Show and CBS's 48 Hours. Dom DeLuise once said, "Joe, you look like an axe murderer." He was in charge of research and programming at the Moving Image Archive.
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