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George Gently: Series 5

George Gently

Series 5
On DVD: 
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, June 28, 2011

~Behind The Scenes Featurette 

George Gently Series 5 is the tops in the series, offering up a fantastic soundtrack for the season, three out of four amazing stories, and the usual stellar performances by Martin Shaw (Apparitions) and Lee Ingle by (White Heat.

The series kicks off with Gently Northern Soul. When a young black woman is found dead Gently sends Bacchus to an all nighter called Northern Soul, a place where kids of all color can come and hear great music, dance, and sell their vinyl singles to one another. Bacchus and Gently find themselves immersed in a world of racial tension, about to become worse after the infamous Rivers of Blood speech from Enoch Powell makes it’s broadcast.

The episode manages a current feel, seeing as how racism and prejudice never seems to stay dead, and boasts a fantastic soundtrack that gives the episode a very cinematic feel that transports you from your home cinema into the world 1968. Instead of just allowing the usual isms to present themselves in a generic way so that viewer intolerance of such despicable human behavior becomes expectable motivators, Gently Northern Soul has a great story. There are so many characters wound in this episode with so many motives that you never really know who the killer is, or even who the real villains are. I absolutely loved this episode for its willingness to put down the usual antagonist motivations second and tell a great story filled with great music.

Episode two, Gently With Class, follows along the same theme. While Gently Northern Soul gave us a look at race relations, Gently With Class gives us a look at class issues when the daughter of a hard working blue blood is found dead in a car crashed upside down in the river and the blame seems to point to a rich family with issues.

Roger Lloyd-Pack (The Vicar of Dibley) plays Hector Blackstone, the patriarch of the rich family who Bacchus suspects is responsible for the death of Ellen Malham (Ebony Buckle). Their son James (James Norton; An Education) has been arrested by Bacchus several times for drunk driving, and each time the family has lawyered up and gotten James off without so much as a slap on the wrist. This time Bacchus is determined to have James put away and might very well go to extremes to get the job done.

Once again I loved the music. Ebony Buckle, who is a singer/songwriter in real life, does a great job here. The story was once again powerful and amazing. I particularly liked the performance from Geraldine Summerville (Harry Potter franchise) as Alethea Blackstone, the matriarch of the blamed family, who really lets her opinions fly and makes for the best type of villain, one who is easy to hate. 

The Lost Child was the only episode in the series that was a complete throwaway for me. It plays like your usual abducted child soap opera and rarely had anything amazing or exciting going on. Music was drab, performances seemed phoned in, and it ended up being a forgettable experience all around.  

When George finds himself up on corruption charges in Gently In The Cathedral we end up seeing the best of the series, hell, of he entire show run. Bacchus is recruited by a secret one off police force, a man Gently put away years ago is about to be released from prison due to George’s corruption case and vows revenge, and a young police officer is killed in the line of duty.

Shaw is at his most powerful here as he goes from being the good guy cop to the innocent man bent on proving himself as such. With the one off task force assigned to taking down Gently, helped by Bacchus, bent on putting him away, Gently has to solve the crime, mostly, from behind bars. It will take using a lot of resources from his past to uncover the mastermind behind the set up and to find out of Bacchus is still on his side or finally through taking orders.

This episode was all action, suspense, and intrigue. I literally couldn’t turn away from the screen and felt completely blown away when the show ended. If you’ve never seen George Gently before, and you decide to take up the show here, you will be back for the sixth series. It’s not even a choice. Just amazing. 

AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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