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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 60's Era Police Procedural For Folks Who Love Quality Storytelling
In today's science-minded world, most police procedurals are ruled by the irrefutable clues of fingerprints, tire tracks, and hair samples. The make of the villain's car somehow becomes as important as the contents of the victim's stomach. And, after all, "if the glove doens't fit, you must acquit" we've been told time and time again in hundreds of novel variations...
Published on July 16, 2012 by E. Lee Zimmerman

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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great program, LOUSY PURCHASE!
This review is about the purchase, NOT the program. It's MY fault for not paying attention to the fact that this season is only TWO EPISODES! Most of the short British programs are at least four episodes. But to pay $35 for just two episodes is robbery.

Man alive, do I regret wasting my money on this! It'll be available from Netflix within a few weeks, no...
Published on July 3, 2012 by Frank Lee Honest


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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 60's Era Police Procedural For Folks Who Love Quality Storytelling, July 16, 2012
This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
In today's science-minded world, most police procedurals are ruled by the irrefutable clues of fingerprints, tire tracks, and hair samples. The make of the villain's car somehow becomes as important as the contents of the victim's stomach. And, after all, "if the glove doens't fit, you must acquit" we've been told time and time again in hundreds of novel variations. Long gone are the days when hard-driving detectives had to use their minds - instead of their microscopes - to get to the bottom of an inescapable mystery ... but, thankfully, Inspector George Gently (played by Tony nominee Martin Shaw) is a different breed of copper. He's far more concerned with the "passions and planning that lead to murder," and, with his cocky young partner, Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby), he'll overturn every stone to get the man, woman, or child responsible for breaking the law on his watch.

(For the purposes of clarity, I'm happy to explain that these GENTLY telefilms play out like two separate features.)

"Goodbye China": Gently receives word that a former confidential informant of his has passed away from curious circumstances. To Bacchus, it only looks like the `old drunk' died of an unfortunate accident, but Gently isn't convinced. After casually looking into the matter, he realizes he's only struck the tip of an iceberg that very well may involve the entire local police force.

"Gently Upside Down": The body of a promising, young schoolgirl turns up lovingly buried in a city park. When it appears as if her fellow classmates may know more than they're willing to divulge, Gently and Bacchus uncover that a few of their instructors may also be involved in some very inappropriate relationships. Eventually, they get a confession, but that doesn't deter them from exposing the real culprits!

What I found so particularly inspiring about these GENTLY telefilms is the fact that they're heavily grounded in the period. It's the mid-1960's, and all the world's a-changing. The youth were embracing `free love' and social structures were being put upon by hundreds of new influences and distractions around the world. Into the heart of this chaos, novelist Alan Hunter introduced his two leads - two upstanding police professionals - who followed their gut to get to the heart of whatever puzzle presented to them. When everyone else was socially abandoning their principles, Gently and Bacchus were sticking to theirs. While they certainly didn't agree on the proper course of action, they always stuck with the case until the villains were exposed, even if it meant capturing old friends and associates who'd lost their way in those treacherous times. Both of the leads are exceptional, both bringing something unique to their respective `age' to the stories, and it's their winning chemistry - albeit brief - that fuels these narratives.

Also, I'd be remiss if I failed to point out that this series boasts production values oft-times only seen in feature films. Everything is shot crisply, and most - if not all - of these episodes are photographed on location. And the shooting locations are terrific. Everything appears vintage from the era. This is such a welcome change from the police procedurals I watch in the U.S., where so much is clearly shot on-set in a studio. These features `breath' real life, and that strongly elevates the tone of realism, especially given the fact that these do end up being mild `period' productions.

Again, this is `old school' detective work wherein the inspectors had to rely on their own skills and their own intuition and NOT what the science lab told them. Autopsies only helped to establish a probably motive. Otherwise, it's up to their own wit and wisdom to solve the crime, and, on that front, GEORGE GENTLY is a fascinating throwback to a time when men were men and women loved (or hated) them in spite of it. Both of the features focus in on specific criminal profiles only uncovered once the questions are asked and the answers are given. The drama here comes from the people involved, and it's nothing short of the highest quality.

GEORGE GENTLY: SERIES FOUR is produced by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Company Pictures, Element Pictures, and the Irish Film Board. DVD distribution is being handled (stateside) by Acorn Media Group. The picture looks stunning, and the sound is excellent. (Note: English subtitling is available for those us who have any trouble with the dialect.) Alas - as is common with many foreign releases - special features are slim; there's only a brief (15 minute) `making of' featurette to cover this season's production efforts.

HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION POSSIBLE. I've had the luxury of viewing only two (2) of Acorn's latest releases, but both have been phenomenally entertaining to both me and my wife, and I've been told that we're both fairly picky consumers when it comes to television programs. GEORGE GENTLY: SERIES 4 is a terrific `old school' procedural that relies on the detecting skills of the police detectives - not a lot of high-minded physical forensic sciences like fingerprints and DNA. Therefore, it bucks the current trend nicely with engrossing narratives, impressive production values, and immensely likeable, believable, and even humanly flawed characters. I can say - without a doubt - that this will not be the only GENTLY series we invest our time with.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Series 4 is not much of "series", August 5, 2012
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This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
I have read Alan Hunter's novels with pleasure. I have also watched all of the preceding series with Martin Shaw. They are excellent. My biggest criticism of Series 4 is that it only contains two mysteries. To my mind, "two" is not much of "a series" and for that reason I am giving this four stars instead of five. Still, they are rich renderings, filled with great period detail (1960s in the North of England). The acting is excellent, the dramas are intense, and I do recommend them to those who savor intelligent mysteries with moral themes that challenge the viewer to think beyond the episode at hand. I only wish there had been more offerings included in Series 4. I would also add a gentle warning that the first episode in Series 4 is disturbing. It's an absolutely powerful drama; but it is also so very sad. It leaves one feeling bereft and haunted. It involves the vulnerable ones in society -- whether developmentally challenged, the victims of abuse, or the result of hard luck and the ravages of addiction -- these more fragile souls do suffer in this episode. There's lots of food for thought and reflection, but some viewers may find it hard to take. It stayed with my husband and me for some time . . . .
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 1960s Durham where 2 cop generations take on crime, May 12, 2012
By 
Harold Wolf "Doc" (Wells, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
George Gently based on Alan Hunter novels. Charismatic sixties murder. Series 1 showed Gently's wife killed right before his eyes. Burying grief, the cop takes the high road in finding criminals, & justice. Like "Midsomer Murders" [a superb series] without multiple victims. You get mixed-plots in police, private, and associates lives. Good writing makes the show. Gently, played by Martin Shaw, is through, calm, and plays the mentor/father to his youthful assistant, Detective Sgt John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby). Their relationship is as important to the story/series as the crimes and investigations. Both are performance perfect. 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.

SUBTITLES are available.
2 feature length episodes (178 min total) for the price of one typical theater film DVD. Gently series began in Ireland but these BBC episodes filmed in the England northeast where Catherine Cookson stories also took place decades earlier. The same rotten crime remains.

Goodbye China
Gently's aged informant, China (Tony Rohr) dead by accidental fall? A coroner's report is suspicious. Sgt Molloy (Dean Lennox Kelly) drove victim to hospital. Supt Shepherd's (Neil Pearson) son Danny (James Acton) robbed by teen brothers who disappear the day after China died. Did Molloy kill? And Gently tries a spot of female companionship (Lucy Akhurst). And Mark Benton (Land Girls Series 2) plays father of the Blackburn teens.

Gently Upside Down
Pop culture (meaning 1966 rock `n roll) teenager's body found after leaving with off an older guy. There is a wealth of guest-star suspects: her Lit teacher (Vincent Regan); the music teacher (Kieran Bew); a TV music host (Neil Morrissey); and the girl's violent dad (Sean Gilder). Will her class mates be of any help? Expect many twists, turns, and roundabouts. Even the murder becomes multiple when Gently discovers victim was with child. Is the confession for real?

`
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, September 4, 2012
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Excellent as always in these series. We are left asking for more. The personal touch makes it so real and likable. The chemistry between the actors is wonderful. The way writers dealt with difficult subjects like age, special eds kids, justice, love and responsibility for your fellow human being was superb considering the length of one show. Gutsy. Kudos for a great job!
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great program, LOUSY PURCHASE!, July 3, 2012
By 
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This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
This review is about the purchase, NOT the program. It's MY fault for not paying attention to the fact that this season is only TWO EPISODES! Most of the short British programs are at least four episodes. But to pay $35 for just two episodes is robbery.

Man alive, do I regret wasting my money on this! It'll be available from Netflix within a few weeks, no doubt. Buyer beware certainly applies to this purchase. I'll be extremely wary of purchasing video content here. It's a terrible value.

Again, fantastic series... LOUSY price!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressive Detective, April 17, 2013
This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
I have thought the 'George Gently' series was OK, but in the 4th series it is impressive! The fourth series of the BBC detective drama is one of the best series, police procedurals I have seen. The writing, directing and acting is exemplary. The filming is superb.

Detective Chief Inspector George Gently played by Martin Shaw is a laid back character, very thoughtful, he has a quiet way about him. Nothing sees to faze him, and, yet he reaches out to those left behind after a crime. His partner Sargent John Bacchus, played by Lee Ingleby is a really young, obnoxious at times, without experience. Gently puts the pieces together from the clues that are not forth coming, but he can 'feel' them. The series is so well written that it is not until the last minute we realize who the murderer really is.

The fourth series of the show has two episodes, both over an hour long. They feel like a full length TV show, and from start to finish I felt fully engrossed. Thebstorylinesvare pertinent and up to date, even though the year s 1966. This will bring you back to the day and time, fashions and hairstyles and music. Very true to life!

Recommended. prisrob 04-17-13
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent stories, March 22, 2013
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This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
Shows you can watch and be interested in, a good evenings entertainment and one doesn't have to go out and fight the traffic going to the show
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars George Gently, March 18, 2013
By 
S. Snow (Birmingham, AL) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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They were well done & very enjoyable. However, George Gently's character did not seem to be as strong as in earlier episodes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars British Cars, March 17, 2013
By 
Terry Draper (Hines, OR 97738) - See all my reviews
This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
In MIDSOMER MURDERS, the only cars you see are the very latest gas sipping or types that belong in the "Elegance de Concours" (spelling?).
In GEORGE GENTLEY, the only cars you see (sort of) are road/gas hogging USA types. The car George drives appears to be an European version of the Ford TBird but later on he appears to be running around in a large Bentley (which I hope to own some day).
Both series have large outstanding ambulances which puts our normal EMT wagon way down the list.
Acorn has so many good offerings either direct via ROKU (you sign up and have to pay about $6.00 for the year) or a whole slew of British programs via PRIME on Amazon. Just do the search thing in Amazon for Acorn and you'll get a lot more than Acorn shows at any particular time.

I really love these British series but find the cost of purchase to be extraordinarily high. I recommend that you get on the internet to Acorn and get the monthly shows list. Again, the Amazon Acorn selection is quite large by comparison. One other thing: apparently the British have no censorship and you can count on at least one pair of breasts available for gazing and about the only "bad" word missing is "M____ F_____". All the other ones on one program or the other will have a surplus of cuss words forbidden by our prissy censorship jerks in Washington.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just gets better and better., April 14, 2014
This review is from: George Gently Series Four (DVD)
Each new release of GEORGE GENTLY (known as ”Inspector George Gently” in the UK) is met with a sigh of gratitude from this reviewer. It’s simply one of the best police dramas currently in production. The stories are complex and literate, the acting is superb and the attention to period detail (the show is set in the 1960s) is impeccable.

The central relationship between Martin Shaw’s George Gently and Lee Ingleby’s John Bacchus is by turns fatherly, professional, warm, stern and humourous and is always at the heart of each episode. It is through Bacchus that we glimpse George Gently the very private man, whose grief over the death of his wife — which prompted his move to the north of England from London at the start of the series — is omnipresent in Shaw’s wonderful, world-weary demeanour. The two (yes, alas, only two) episodes that comprise Series 4 of GEORGE GENTLY are both excellent and continue to meet the expectations of discerning viewers who have enjoyed the earlier shows.

The episode “Goodbye China” is especially good, with an outstanding performance by Tony Rohr as China, Gently’s frequent supplier of street information whose struggle with alcoholism is a central plot point. Martin Shaw, a teetotaler in real life, could no doubt relate to the vice of excessive drinking. Although he has never been an alcoholic, a drunken brawl in Shaw’s youth resulted in severe facial injuries involving reconstructive surgery. While this incident never impacts the show, it is always interesting to ponder how such experiences can affect or influence a performer’s personal reaction to scripts and the characters they play.

It would be easy to say that the whole series is raised to an unsurpassed level of accomplishment solely because of Shaw, but this would be a disservice to the other fine elements that contribute to making GEORGE GENTLY a series not to be missed. Lee Ingleby, while relatively young, simply embodies his role as a mid-sixties young man, whose wardrobe and hairstyle give the show much of its dash and period flavour. Even minor roles are played to perfection in this series, which truly is something. There is never a false note on GEORGE GENTLY, perhaps because there have been so relatively few episodes produced thus far. With each one running 90 minutes, there is a lot to consider in getting things right. GEORGE GENTLY is every bit the equal of that other superb period program FOYLE’S WAR in this regard.

Savour these episodes. They will have to tide you over until the release — hopefully soon — of Series 5, which is about to be broadcast in the UK at the time of this writing and shouldn’t be too long in finding its way over to North America. What’s really exciting about this new series is that there are four episodes this time around.

Meantime, the two episodes of Series 4 will help us all “go Gently into that good night,” to paraphrase Dylan Thomas, a literary reference not out of place with the fine writing of the GEORGE GENTLY series.
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George Gently Series Four
George Gently Series Four by Nicholas Renton (DVD - 2012)
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