Inspector George Gently returns in four new feature length episodes

Gently and Bacchus return in 1968. There are huge changes taking place in society and hopefully our series continues to give a real portrait of the age."Peter Flannery, writer and creator
Date: 26.03.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.11
Category: BBC One; Drama
The year is 1968 and Martin Shaw returns to BBC One as Inspector George Gently, in four new feature length films created by Peter Flannery (The Devil’s Whore, Our Friends in the North).

This classic series set in Northumberland is a vivid and colourful insight into a time of major social change as the swinging 60s hits the North-East. With the wit and sharp banter between our passionate growling detective hero (Shaw) and his mouthy sidekick Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) Inspector George Gently lovingly recreates the warmth of the period and the Geordie world that they inhabit.

Writer Peter Flannery says: "Gently and Bacchus return to my home turf of Durham and Northumberland with plenty more murders and cases to solve. It's 1968 and there are huge changes taking place in society, and hopefully our series continues to give a real portrait of the age."

Written by Flannery, the first film, Gently With Class, sees a darker side of 1968 as the social landscape of the Western World is being shaken to its core. In Paris, riots rage as the workers and students take to the streets. In the United States, thousands rally against the Vietnam War. And in England, antipathy for the upper class’ outmoded social graces and their abuse of privilege is growing by the day.

The indefatigable Chief Inspector George Gently and Detective Sergeant John Bacchus experience the inflated authority of their ‘social betters’ first hand, when a beautiful young girl called Ellen Mallam is found dead in the passenger seat of a an upturned car, registered to local aristocrats.

Guest stars include Roger Lloyd Pak and Geraldine Somerville as Lord and Lady Blackstone; with James Norton, Nick Hendrix, Christopher Fairbank and Fred Pearson. The film also introduces Ebony Buckle as the young and free-spirited Ellen, who sings “with a voice that could make angels weep”. As ever, Bacchus and Gently clash over their differing opinions - Bacchus believes that the aristocracy’s days are numbered, whilst Gently feels that the ruling class will stay impenetrable as ever…

The second film, Gently Northern Soul, written by David Kane (The Field of Blood, Sea Of Souls), sees the racial unrest that is sweeping the United States reach British shores as Enoch Powell launches his tirade against immigration. But racial harmony can be found at the ‘all-nighters’ that take place in 1968, where disillusioned young people, black and white, escape the boredom of factory life to dance the night away to imported soul music.

In Newcastle, the haven of equality found at the Carlton Ballroom all-nighter is destroyed when a young black girl, Dolores Kenny, is murdered, leading Gently to uncover a disturbing and racialist undercurrent growing within the local community. Guest stars include Leonora Crichlow, Eamonn Walker, Philip Correia, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Gary Carr, John Bowler and Maggie O'Neill. 

In the third 90-minute film, written by Simon Block, Gently and Bacchus are thrown into an emotionally-wrought case when a middle class couple’s adopted child is kidnapped. It takes them to a mother and baby home where young single mothers are forced to give up their infants, where the shame of illegitimacy still burns the cheeks of single mothers.

The final film this series, written by Peter Flannery, sees Gently’s enemies from his London Met days coming after him. Gently finds himself suspended from duty – powerless, unprotected and persecuted. Gently must confront his deepest fears and fight to the death…

Notes to Editors

Inspector George Gently is made by Company Pictures, executive produced by Peter Flannery, George Faber, Charles Pattinson and Claire Ingham for Company Pictures, and Polly Hill for BBC One.

The films are produced by Faye Dorn, who is joined by the two directors from the last series Gillies Mackinnon (Hideous Kinky, Above Suspicion) and Nicholas Renton (When Harvey Met Bob, A Room With A View), who will each direct two films. Inspector George Gently was re-commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One.

Further casting to be announced.

The series is currently filming on location in Durham and the North East and will be shown on BBC One later in the year.