Review: Catch-up for Inspector George Gently fans

George Gently DVD.
George Gently DVD.

Political scandals seem two-a-penny nowadays, so it seems odd that the BBC postponed the final episode of Inspector George Gently for nearly six months.

That’s now been resolved with BBC1 screening the last-ever investigation of the final series starring Martin Shaw in the title role as the old-school police chief, which had been put on hold before the General Election in June.

And for fans who missed DCI Gently’s swansong, Acorn Media International have released this case, Gently and the New Age which lifts the lid on a murky web of unions and political intrigue -- and the preceding investigation, Gently Liberated, in which a body found in chemical storage tank is identified as the late husband of a convicted killer -- on a single disc, priced £19.99.

There’s also a bonus with these two final cases, set in 1970 as Ted Heath has just won a narrow victory for the Conservatives, topping up a special disc box set, priced £99.99, featuring all eight series based on the classic detective novels of Alan Hunter.

Playing the first of the 37 discs in this box set takes viewers to the ‘Swinging 60s’ to the time when London-based Det Insp Gently who, after the death of his wife, Isabella, moves up north to solve one more case . . . but ends up staying.

The pilot of this series, which proved popular when it was screened a decade ago, also introduced viewers to Gently’s cynical partner, Sgt John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) who didn’t always see eye to eye with his boss as they investigated cases in and around Newcastle upon Tyne and further afield in Northumberland and Co Durham.

This winning partnership was also bolstered by the feisty Det Sgt Rachel Coles (Lisa McGrillis) who often had to hold the balance when her bosses fell out on how to bring the baddies to book.