It’s 1969 and Gently (Martin Shaw) and Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) are both suffering from their own physical and mental scars several months after the horrific shootings that nearly claimed their lives in Durham Cathedral.
Inspector George Gently has become an audience winner and is renowned as a series that lovingly recreates the Sixties in perfect, nostalgic detail – and Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby make the perfect police partnership, full of warmth, humour and attack. In this new series they discover they have different approaches to a world that is changing very fast.
As the series opens, Gently has been pushing himself to full fitness and is back at work, whilst Bacchus is still recuperating from his serious injuries in a police convalescent home…
The first film, Gently Between The Lines by Tim Prager, sees Gently shocked to receive Bacchus’s resignation, but he soon realises that his sergeant has lost his confidence. Setting about to fix Bacchus, Gently insists that while he serves out his notice, he needs him to help investigate a death in custody. The Newcastle police have arrested rioters as they tried to clear a slum due for demolition. The next morning, one of the protesters is discovered dead in the cells by WPC Rachel Coles (Lisa Mcgrillis – Hebburn, The Pitman Painters). This will turn into a case that will have both Gently and Bacchus questioning what it means to be a police officer at a time when attitudes to the police are changing. They are no longer the trusted, familiar, local ‘bobbies on the beat’. Police officers are now being seen as agents of the state. Cast includes: Robert Pugh, Steve Evets, Ruth Gemmell, Matt Stokoe and Caroline O’Neill.
The second film, Green For Greencoat by Jess Williams, takes Gently and Bacchus to a family holiday camp to investigate staff and holidaymakers, when the body of one of the greencoats is washed up nearby. The colourful inmates of the holiday camp, from the flamboyant owner and his sister, to the chalet girls, performers, lifeguards and guests, throw the investigation sideways as Gently and Bacchus uncover a story of jealousy, ambition and the dark underbelly of the permissive society. PC Rachel Coles (Lisa Mcgrillis) is now part of the support system for Gently and Bacchus at the police station with her modern policing ways…
Film three, Gently Going Under by Mike Cullen, sees the painful effects that the pressures on the coal mining industry in Northumberland have on a close-knit pit community. A suspicious death in the mine in Burnsend leads Gently and Bacchus to explore the tensions and relationships in a community whose seams have been ripped wide open by politics – and discover grudges that date back to the Second World War.
The final film this season is Gently From The Cold, also by Jess Williams. When two deaths connect in an unexpected way, Gently finds himself drawn into the world of drugs and LSD, and considering a Cold-War conspiracy. In the process of his investigation Gently relies on the help of an old friend – and as they begin to dig into the case, old feelings begin to stir for Gently.
Executive producer Claire Ingham says: “We’re delighted to be filming Inspector George Gently again in Durham and the North East – and it’s fantastic to be able to recreate the world of 1969. There were such vivid and colourful changes in society at that time – and hopefully our series will continue to give a real portrait of the age.“
Inspector George Gently is made by Company Pictures, executive produced by Claire Ingham, Peter Flannery and John Yorke for Company Pictures and by Polly Hill for BBC One. The films are produced by Matthew Bird (Death In Paradise, The Street), and directed by Nick Renton (Far From The Madding Crowd, Lewis), Bill Anderson (Case Histories, DCI Banks) and Ben Bolt (Downton Abbey, Doc Martin). The writing team this season is Tim Prager (Silent Witness, Waking the Dead), Mike Cullen (Donovan, Taggart) and Jess Williams (Call The Midwife).
Inspector George Gently was re-commissioned by Ben Stephenson, Controller BBC Drama Commissioning and Danny Cohen, Controller BBC One.
Inspector George Gently VII is filmed on location in Durham and the North East.