What is it about the crime procedural that just ropes us in so damn effectively. They keep getting served up from every nation and audiences everywhere keep inhaling them at every turn. One of the very best characters on TV is the grizzled George Gently and in "George Gently-Series 6" which is now available on DVD and Blu-Ray sees our hero deal with his own problems trying to get work while London is in social upheaval.
Detective Chief Inspector George Gently (Martin Shaw) returns to the job six months after he and his sergeant, John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) were shot and gravely injured in the line of duty. At first glance both men are seemingly on the mend, at least from a physical standpoint. However while Gently is determined on putting the incident behind him and moving on, but Bacchus has put in his resignation and Gently just doesn't know how to take it and at a time when the attitudes and values are changing at a mile a minute, these two partners are undergoing some pretty intense changes of their own.
With so many different procedurals on the air in various countries it really does come down to the strength of the character work that is apparent in these four feature length mysteries that comprise Series 6.
Based on the Inspector Gently novels by Alan Hunter, this long running show thrives as it has allowed these very distinct characters to grow over the years of the run of the show. Show runner had head writer Peter Flannery has done something that rarely gets to happen in the short term memory of British television and has allowed for a slow burn of character development that is fun to watch as we get used to these characters and get behind their emotional struggles and personal lives as well as their quest to figure out who the killer was.
Both Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby are veteran well traveled actors and after 7 years and 6 series their chemistry together is second to none that plays into the genre so well. However this year we get to see both men go a little deeper than the standard procedural as the shooting from Series 5 affects them both in some pretty series ways. It's these types of layers that not only helps to keep a series going, but also add new ones along the way. These British mystery series not only reward the hardcore long time viewer but for anyone who wants to pick this up mid stream and the quality writing allows for exactly that.
Special features on this 4 disc set include some behind the scenes featurettes, interviews with the cast, a photo gallery and some historical facts about 1969 London.
At the end of the day "George Gently-Series 6" proves how a richly written procedural drama can not only survive but even thrive in a world with countless channels struggling to grab our attention in the mass of content around us all.
4 out of 5 stars.
"George Gently-Series 6" is now available on DVD & Blu-Ray from all major providers as well as via the Acorn TV streaming service.