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Category:    Home > Reviews > Drama > Police > Crime > British TV > George Gently Series One (2007 8/Acorn Media)

George Gently Series One (2007 8/Acorn Media)


Picture: C+ Sound: C+ Extras: C- Episodes: B-



It has been many years since Martin Shaw made an international splash with the Brian Clemens-produced hit TV series The Professionals, but he was a very successful character actor who could easily do lead roles and passed on some leads that could have really set him up (namely The Equalizer) yet in recent years, has taken on more lead role TV like Judge John Deed and now, George Gently. Comprising of three telefilms, George Gently Series One almost brings Shaw full circle.


Like Police Surgeon, the series that would become The Avengers (putting Clemens on the map), you have a lead character who gets involved in murder cases with the live of his life killed in the middle of a crime. Here, instead of a mis-delivery of heroin, it is a hit-and-run auto. It also happens in the mid-1960s, around the same time as Police Surgeon, but there is no direct connection.


I have to admit that I had not seen Shaw in the years since The Professionals and vaguely remembered his work in his Adam Dalgliesh telefilms or on Cranford, so seeing an older, more somber Shaw playing this role was something impressive to watch. The makers know they have an ace in the hole with this great, enduring actor and that aspect of the show works very well. The actual teleplays derived from the Alan Hunter books are more ordinary police procedural type of tales with some character study that makes the difference. I look forward to seeing where this series goes next.


The letterboxed 1.78 X 1 image is again on the soft side like too many of these British TV productions have been of late, from Acorn or otherwise and the lack of form or character does not help. The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo is once again a good, professional recording, but nothing exceptional and all we get are talking heads. Text interviews with Shaw, Lee Ingleby & writer/producer Peter Flannery and bio on Shaw are the only extras.



- Nicholas Sheffo


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