Martin Shaw returns to BBC One in George Gently
In his first ever literary adaptation for television, Our Friends In The North writer Peter Flannery re-visits 1960s Britain for George Gently (working title), an adaptation of one of the Inspector Gently series of novels, by Alan Hunter, for BBC One.
Martin Shaw stars in the title role, and he is joined by a first rate cast including Phil Davis, Richard Armitage and Lee Ingleby.
Britain, 1964: a time when the line between the police and criminals has become increasingly blurred; when the proliferation of drugs is about to change the face of policing forever; when Britain's youth stand on the brink of a social and sexual revolution.
Inspector George Gently is one of the few good men at Scotland Yard, his sense of public duty an increasingly rare commodity in a police force where corruption is rife and unchecked.
But his relentless pursuit of notorious gangsters such as Joe Webster (Phil Davis, Bleak House) leads to the murder of Gently's beloved wife Isabella, a killing arranged by Webster himself in an act of revenge upon Gently.
When a grieving Gently learns of the murder of a young biker, Johnny Lister (Christian Cooke, Where The Heart Is), who was part of a Northumberland drugs ring, it has all the hallmarks of a Webster operation and he insists on being given the case, deciding it will be his last...
In Northumberland, George takes on the headstrong young Detective Sergeant Bacchus (Lee Ingleby, The Street) who is convinced that the prime suspect for Johnny Lister's murder is Ricky Deeming (Richard Armitage, Robin Hood), the charismatic leader of the Defenders biker gang.
But as the case grows ever more complex, Gently must decide if Bacchus can be trusted – hot-tempered and ambitious, could he too be drawn to the corrupt road taken by so many of his contemporaries? Or can Gently keep Bacchus's integrity intact?
As the case reaches its violent climax, Gently begins to feel that his brand of policing is needed now more than ever – and perhaps he is not ready to call this his last case after all...
Writer and Executive Producer Peter Flannery says: "George Gently is a hugely interesting character and I know that Martin will bring him to life perfectly.
"The youthful rebellion element of the film – the jukebox cafés, biker gangs and drugs running – contrast brilliantly with Gently's old-school persona; and the spectacular landscapes, including wild fells and rugged coastline, really add to the dramatic visual style of the piece."
George Gently is written and executive produced by Peter Flannery.
Other Executive Producers are George Faber and Charlie Pattinson for Company Pictures and Polly Hill for BBC One. Produced by Jake Lushington (Mysterious Creatures) and directed by Euros Lyn (Doctor Who).
George Gently is a Company Pictures production for BBC One. It is being filmed on location in Dublin, for transmission on BBC One in Spring 2007.
George Gently was commissioned by Jane Tranter, Controller, BBC Fiction.