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40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
George Gently is a fearless London crime fighter cop who moves to Northumberland (NE England) after his wife is murdered. George Gently Series episodes are based on selections of the 46 Gently novels by Alan Hunter. Episodes are feature-length, and can serve as stand alone stories. No need to watch them back-to-back in a hurry. A really good 1960s period crime show with excellent plot writing. An acclaimed BBC hit.

All season/episodes come with SDH SUBTITLE option
Season 1: This first series shows the beginning, when Commander Gently's wife is killed right before his eyes. Even through his grief, the cop takes the high road in finding criminals and bringing them to justice. The 3 episodes in this series are very much like "Midsomer Murders".
- - - 2: Four feature-length episodes, each 89 minutes, & each serve as great stand-alone crime mystery films tied together only by a 1964 date. Gently has not given up fighting crime of all sorts and is now Chief Inspector in the extremely beautiful north countryside.
- - - 3: Gently, played by Martin Shaw, is through, calm, and plays the mentor/father to his youthful assistant, Detective Sargent John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby). Their relationship is as important to the story/series as the crimes and investigations. Both are performance perfect. Bacchus provides some laughs. 2 episodes.
- - - 4: PC Taylor (Simon Hubbard) is also back for both episodes. An emotional crime series, mystery, suspenseful, fast moving, and packed with plot. A perfect personality bounce between DCI Gently and Sgt Bacchus, with comedy spice. See individual series listings for George Gently on Amazon for my reviews having individual episode details, but not spoilers.

There is a fifth season to be released at the same time as the collection. Get them all.
Not recommended for the kiddies, bloody good murder, and emphasis on the bloody.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
George Gently is a series about a cop with a class all his own, based on the novels by Alan Hunter. Martin Shaw does a fabulous job in his role and really makes the show come to life. This box set takes you through the first four seasons. The show starts off his a bang when Gently watches his wife die right in front of his eyes. He has to overcome his grief and track down the killers and bring them to justice. Like many detective series, there are some episodes that are stand alone murder mysteries and others that are part of the larger storyline. Being able to watch them all back to back was great because I wasn't left hanging...well at least not until I reached the end of Season Four. Each episode offers its own unique and suspenseful storyline. It is set in 1960's Britain, and the costumes and scenery really bring to life this classic era. Getting all four seasons in this one set is an amazing deal! I am definitely looking forward to getting Season 5 and seeing where things go next.

***Complimentary products received in exchange for an honest review***
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
How does a boy become a man?

Chief Inspector George Gently of Scotland Yard came to manhood on the beaches of Anzio. But his rigid sense of ethics has got him in trouble with the higher-ups who are on the take, and cost him the life of his cherished wife. He accepts an assignment in the northeast of England (note: The opposite of the US, it is the north of England where accents take some getting used to, even for Londoner Gently).

You know that his assigned detective sergeant, John Bacchus, will be his opposite: Young, irrepressible, and given to cutting corners (such as assaulting suspects). It is 1964. England is changing, and John has come as far as his haircut. Homosexuals make him uneasy. "Electroshock might help," suggests Gently. "Nah, Guv; they just go right back," shrugs Bacchus. Gently regards him steadily. "I was thinking it might help YOU," he says.

Abortion is still a crime. So is attempted suicide. The death penalty will linger. If Gently tells you, "Stand up," and carefully puts on his jacket and straightens his tie, you are going to be charged with murder. The viewer is not spared the hanging scene.

We meet Baccus as a newlywed with a young daughter and a powder-blue MG, the "gift" of his father-in-law for "doing the right thing." But the marriage does not prosper, and soon he is haunting the new rock-and-roll halls. His dream is to win his way to London and Scotland Yard. Gently knows what awaits him there.

So he reluctantly takes him in hand, via the most powerful teaching method of all: modeling. Bacchus watches in exasperation as "obvious" culprits go free -- for a time -- for lack of evidence. "I could beat it out of him, Guv," he urges. Gently replies, "We're supposed to be better than they are."

They struggle together with the policeman's dilemma: Evidence, evidence, evidence. "Do you want.me to go back and break in, Guv?" says Bacchus. ""Ask me another way," replies Gently. "May I have the afternoon off?" "Yes. Don't get caught."

They confront communities roiled by the rise of the antisocial delinquent, a problem with us still. Bacchus could have been the worst sort -- a corner-cutting, impulsive copper. But the steady modeling of a man he respects saves him, as he will save his own young sergeant one day. Thus the string of decency twines forward, while training sessions, tests, etc. try to fill in the gaps.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2013
I love a good British mystery and George Gently becomes like family. I went through the collection like eating candy. It holds your
interest all the way.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 23, 2013
We always look forward to the Gently series and finally couldn't stand it--bought the entire series 1-5. Very good. Recommended if you like English who-done-its! Especially like the personal interactions between Gently, the victims, his co-workers, et. al. Thanks, Amazon for access to British shows. (Wish we could get Canadian, Australian and New Zealand offerings also!)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2013
I have been a fan of Martin Shaw for a long time. I rented this from Netflix And with the good pricing for this set, I bought it. HE is also great in Judge John Deed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Just a perfect reminder as to what was great about the Britain of my youth. The story lines and characters never failed to fascinate.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2013
I rated the series highly because of the character development, story lines and country settings. I would recommend it to all my friends and adult family.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 1, 2013
PBS has been broadcasting George Gently for years and all of these episodes are probably familiar to most viewers. What sets this collection apart is it's price compared to the individual series of the first 4 seasons. BBC home video products are almost always priced higher than other UK productions, usually averaging $10 to $15 per episode. In this compilation the US street price comes to about $5 an episode for the same product as in the individual series.

As usual Martin Shaw brings the title character to life with his portrayal of the iconoclastic Chief Inspector. And, as usual, many will find DS Bacchus irritating as the bagman who never seems to learn any lessons. After a while you just get used to him, but it's curious that they never explained just what Gently originally saw in this guy. Every episode has it's share of "Bacchus issues". He's not the brightest bulb in the box, is only marginally loyal, and is more than a little iffy when temptation comes a knockin'. He's supposed to intimidate suspects but comes across as the one most likely to get the cheese beaten out of him in a confrontation. Lee Ingleby is a fine actor but I think he was miscast as Bacchus. Other than this curious lapse the writing is excellent and is based on the stories and characters created in the Alan Hunter novels.

Set in the 1960's and beautifully filmed, each episode captures the areas in and around Northumberland* in a manner that enhances the overall theme of individuals struggling during a period of significant social change. While there is no particular political agenda on display a number of the episodes deal with issues that seem to disturb certain viewers, no doubt stemming from the sometimes violent class struggle affecting post WWII Britain. Labor conflicts, in particular, were much more contentious than in the US as the UK went from work houses to unionized factories seemingly overnight. These themes come from the Hunter novels and, if anything, the films tend to downplay any controversial material. But be forewarned, if you're the sort of person that likes to believe racism, homosexuality, child abuse, and abortion politics never existed in jolly old England, this might not be your cup of tea. The series is fairly limited as there's only 11 episodes spread over 4 seasons, due in part to Shaw working on the Judge Deed series at the same time. That might change as Judge Deed has come to an end and perhaps Shaw will devote more time to Gently in the future.

All in all an excellent production that borders on the dark and somber which may not suit all tastes. It's not a fluff piece about Carnaby St., Twiggy, pop music or any other 60's ephemera, but the writing and cinematography are first rate and the entire series has a cognitive narrative as opposed to just a collection of random episodes. Additionally, the time period correctness is spot on as the fashions, music and cars accurately track an era of rapid social change. The only negative for some might be an over reliance on flashbacks and, more recently, cliff-hangers, as a dramatic device. One star off for the annoying Bacchus, but overall an excellent series.

* The early episodes were filmed in Ireland as it was deemed better suited to portray 1960's Northumberland. They subsequently relocated production to Durham during the later seasons.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2013
The wife found it a little more gory and brutal than what she likes. We both found that most of the first one of two episodes were filmed at night and you can't make out what is going on most of the time. Some of the later ones are better but have not viewed all episodes so far.
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