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George Gently: The Complete Collection
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In this acclaimed BBC detective drama based on the novels by Alan Hunter, Tony nominee Martin Shaw (Death in Holy Orders) stars as Inspector George Gently, an incorruptible cop transplanted from London to the North East of England in the mid-1960s. Gently and his cocky young protégé, Sergeant John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby, Line of Duty), together investigate menacing crimes and confront the social and political changes rumbling through the country.<br><br> This complete collection includes all 25 feature-length mysteries hailed as “gripping” (TV Times, UK) with “great performances and superb characterizations” (San Francisco Chronicle). Guest stars include Richard Armitage (The Hobbit trilogy), Phil Davis (Poldark), Kevin Whately (Inspector Lewis), Helen Baxendale (Friends), Mark Gatiss (Sherlock), Mark Williams (Harry Potter fi lms), Eamonn Walker (Oz), Jemma Redgrave (Bramwell), and Warren Clarke (Dalziel and Pascoe), with Lisa McGrillis (Hebburn) later joining the team as forward-thinking constable Rachel Coles.
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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.