Inspector George Gently: Gently And The New Age. Television Review.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Cast: Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby, Lisa McGrillis, Richard Harrington, Adam Levy, Naomi Frederick, Steve Robertson, Tom Andrews, Louis Hilyer, David Prosho, Simon Hubbard, Michelle Bonnard, Jon Culshaw, Rachel Bavidge, Mandeep Dhillon, Grant Gillespie, Don Gallagher, Phil Corbitt, Christopher Brand, Geoffrey Breton, Katie West, Damien Matthews, Roger Barclay, Pip Chamberlin.

In the last few years the image of George Gently on television has been a reminder of less hectic times, still dogged by the sense of criminality that has weaved itself throughout society since records began, but one that was dealt with perhaps a more studious approach to policing and detective work, rather than relying on the science, the drip feed of automation against the human brain.

The new age dawns on the horizon beckons though, not so much the dawning of Aquarius, more so the realm of the computer chip and the technical over the passing of intuition and thought. It is an age in which detectives such as George Gently would perhaps find particularly maddening, for whilst a computer is a great servant and aid to the work of the policeman, it doesn’t have the human touch, it cannot understand why someone would murder, maim or kill.

Gently And The New Age, a hardly gentle end but one that perhaps fitted with the times in which the detective found himself embroiled in, the trust in his own profession seeped away, corruption not only in the force, but in the very powers that be as they try to discredit an outspoken Member of Parliament who has found a way to help his own constituency over the desires of the Government.

Martin Shaw has deservedly won huge amounts of praise for his portrayal of Alan Hunter’s old fashioned but decent detective, a man who is soon out of his time but one who the viewer knows will stop at nothing to prove someone innocent and more importantly chase down a murderer to the very end.

The story is left with the possibility of Lee Ingleby’s John Bacchus and Lisa McGrillis’ Rachel Coles picking up the pieces of policing in the North East as the 1970s, the hoped for age of peace, but instead one riddled with internal strife, emerges.

George And The Gently New Age, a superbly written finale for one of the great detectives of the times.

Ian D. Hall