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Wednesday 24 Sep 2014

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Inspector George Gently is back for four new single dramas for BBC One – Gently In The Night

Gently (Martin Shaw) and Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) are investigating the murder of a young woman whose body is found in a local church. It transpires that the girl was a "Fox" – a waitress working at the first hostess club in Newcastle, Rakes, run by the smooth American Patrick Donovan (Brendon Coyle) and his wife Helen (Clare Calbraith), an ex-Fox.

Like many of the regular Rakes punters, Joe Bishop (Mark Williams) has some secrets from his religious wife Margaret (Tracey Wilkinson), who leads the locals in a protest against the club.

Gently and Bacchus have to investigate a sexually-charged murder that taps into their and society's differing attitudes towards sex at this time in the early Sixties. Women's rights were not as advanced as they are today; abortion was illegal, resulting in backstreet operations, the term and act of rape was less clearly defined and the argument that "she was up for it" may have been accepted. However, at the same time, the pill, (which was only legally allowed to be prescribed to married women), was beginning to change people's behaviour.

Gently In The Night explores the reality of Larkin's "sexual revolution" colliding with old-fashioned prejudice, bigotry and law.

As for Bacchus, his home life has become unexciting and his relationship with his wife stale. So when he's faced with several sexually-confident Fox girls at Rakes, he is simultaneously aroused and intimidated. And, with one suspect in particular, Fawn (Nichola Burley), Bacchus is in danger of having to choose between his desire and his loyalty to the case.

Behind the scenes on Gently In The Night:

Mark Williams made the crew laugh on his first day on set by using his famous Fast Show line "I'll get my coat", getting in there before the crew could!

The tails and ears of the Foxy Ladies had to be sewn onto each girl's costume individually each day by the costume department. Designer Susan Scott had a great time designing all of the costumes for the series – but particularly these.

A casino expert was on hand to show the extras and cast how to play the roulette tables at Rakes. Production Designer David Wilson once ran a jazz club in Scotland in the Sixties and based some of the Rakes Club design on his own experience there.

The art on the walls were original pieces by professional artist, Annette Dowling, mother of a member of the Art Department – they were liked so much that the director, producer and cast members all purchased them after filming!

Cast list:

George Gently – Martin Shaw

John Bacchus – Lee Ingleby

PC Taylor – Simon Hubbard

Joe Bishop – Mark Williams

Margaret Bishop – Tracey Wilkinson

Audrey Chadwick – Sian Breckin

Fawn Grainger – Nichola Burley

Patrick Donovan – Brendan Coyle

Helen Donovan – Clare Calbraith

Dr. Sprague – Siobhan O'Kelly

Mrs. Chadwick – Mary Jo Randle

Ronnie Chadwick – Bill Fellows

Flower Lady – Margaret Jackman

Frank Allingham – Diarmuid Murtagh

Mrs. Beaney – Eileen Colgan

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