Thoughts on TV #1 – George Gently returns…

Thought I’d start a little series on this blog ‘Thoughts on TV’ which will consist of mini reviews that give my perspective on the popular and frequently the obscure programmes that we crave on our screens. I don’t generally look at newspaper or magazine reviews as I find them to be bias one way or the other to the individual publication.  I sometimes doubt the journalists even watch the shows properly. That’s just my opinion and in short the star ratings you see everywhere aren’t always applicable to everyone. It goes without saying that everyone has their own individual tastes and preferences to what they like watching whether it be the daytime shows, gritty dramas or a soap. So here I will be giving a glimpse of what that means for me.



Ever since I began studying screenwriting at university, I have found that I cannot watch a show without analyzing it in some form. This could simply be character dynamics or dialogue down to the finer details of the plot. As an aspiring television writer this does have its advantages and disadvantages and I still enjoy what I watch, just in a different way.

Introduction over. I will try to keep these posts as mini(ish) reviews and not go into too much detail; I want to give an overview of my opinion and not go too deeply into analysis (hopefully!) and give away the plot (for anyone who’s interested).

To start with my first ‘Thoughts on TV’ post is about the return of the BBC’s ‘Inspector George Gently’ for its sixth series, set in Northern England in 1969. Here is a trailer for the new series broadcast by the BBC and added to YouTube by ‘MsGreenheart’:

The first episode of this new series was a really good start and introduction to how Gently and Bacchus are rebuilding their lives following their being shot in the cathedral at the end of series five. Both are coping very differently which is brought across brilliantly in the acting especially by Lee Ingleby (Bacchus).  Flashbacks occur frequently in the first half of the episode, covering both context and Bacchus’ state of mind. This was extremely effective.

Copyright: BBC

Martin Shaw as DCI George Gently & Lee Ingleby as DS Bacchus
Copyright: BBC

Patrick Smith from The Telegraph however, observed the episode as “drab as the Newcastle sky in winter”.  The reason probably for it being a little bit slow at the start was to remind the audience of context and the social changes of the era. He forgets that the show has been off UK screens for around 18 months. It’s hardly Eastenders or Coronation Street!

It was so interesting to see the changing dynamics between Gently and Bacchus as a father-son relationship begins to blossom in an unconventional way. Gently, having been used to being shot at during the Second World War, urges Bacchus to continue with his work despite his indignant letter of resignation. We see Bacchus slowly mellow throughout the episode as he comes to terms with his ordeal. By using rough encouragement and the ‘good ol’ fighting spirit, Gently gets him back on track. Although Bacchus spends most of the episode shouting in Gently’s face, the admiration for him is still clear.

Lisa McGrillis as WPC Rachel Coles & Martin Shaw as DCI George Gently  (Copyright: BBC)

Lisa McGrillis as WPC Rachel Coles & Martin Shaw as DCI George Gently
(Copyright: BBC)

I’d better stop there before I start getting too deep into the workings of this episode or start ranting!  I may do a review for next week’s episode (Thursday 13 February) so watch this space.

If you have any requests for, leave them as a comment below!

Thanks for reading!



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