DVD Review: GEORGE GENTLY: Series 2

Acorn Media
Release date: May 25, 2010
MSRP: $59.99

Based on the characters by novelist Alan Hunter, GEORGE GENTLY stars Martin Shaw as Inspector George Gently, a former Scotland Yard copper that now spends his time policing the North Country. Backing him up is Sgt. John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) , who is sort of a putz. Not a bad guy, but not quite as great as he seems to think he is. Cocky and kind of stupid, not a great combination in real life, but it does make for an interesting fictional character. This knob often tests the patience of Gently and ends up learning a lesson.

The series is set in the mid 60s and uses the social changes to great effect. Race, abortion, pedophilia and more place roles in the show. None of them would be quite as shocking today, but small town England in the 60s? The show appears to have to gone to great pains to ensure authenticity and, to my eyes, does a bang up job. I am hardly a historian, but nothing stood out as being inaccurate. Inspector Gently seems fairly open-minded for the times, but one would imagine he saw plenty as an inspector for Scotland Yard and that all those years have brought him the wisdom to understand, or at least try to understand, the changes occurring around him. Bacchus, lacking that wisdom, often is less understanding by what he sees.

Shaw and Ingleby both do an excellent job and are backed up by some exceptionally strong writing. Fairly solid mysteries, characters with depth and the fascinating backdrop of the 1960s make this well worth checking out.

Order series 2 on GEORGE GENTLY.