Gently at the Crossroads of Life and Violent DeathA column article, Riding Shotgun by: Don McGregor
George Gently stands at the side of a rural English road, staring at the icy expanse of water below, cold and with dark, fathomless depths, in the midst of tangled wild grass.
Gently is staring at his new life.
In the dark depths, Gently sees his past, haunting and lovely and bleakly sad with lost love and the corruption of justice within the ranks of those charged with finding and enforcing the law.
The wind whips at his long coat.
He stands alone, white hair tousled, weary, eyes filled with emotion changing like little shards of glass within.
This image comes about five minutes into the first George Gently feature, Gently Go Man, which set the tone and mood and why he has travelled so far, and how much he has lost, and what he has rigidly retained in his sense of ethical behavior and compassion for those that are often disenfranchised.
I'll tell you how much I love the George Gently movie series, which was released by Acorn on DVD and Blu-ray. Originally I was just going to review the latest set of Gently movies, Series Six. But I just could not write about the show without examining some of the beautifully realized films, year after year. So this "Riding Shotgun" column covers all six sets of the George Gently series, which star Martin Shaw as the titular DCI, who has lived through war and peacetime scattered with violent death.
I believe them you will find my comments about the series intriguing and that the visuals will supplement that. I wanted to support this series that does not have the high visibility of a Game of Thrones or a Mad Men.
This is a series that deserves to be well known.
Setting the George Gently series in the 1960s allows the series to deal with the confrontations of that decade which happened not just in the United States at the time, but in England as well. The Second World War carries brutal memories for the older people; the rage of racism, gender discrimination and sexual orientation boil under the seething scenes of murder.
Those problems all exist as they always have.
The only difference between then and now is that the media now admits that alternative ways of life exist. It would have been near impossible to handle any of these human topics in actual 1960s pop culture – certainly only obliquely, if at all, on television. Naked City, in the US, filmed in New York City locations during the 60s, was one of the few shows that gnawed at the edges of subjects most series could not approach.
George Gently is a DCI who cannot turn a blind eye to the law being bought and sold, a commerce with a high cost in human lives and dignity. He has come to the rural hinterland of Northumberland to team with a young assistant, John Bacchus, who is more or less inclined to go with the status quo. Sexism. Racism. Bacchus's initial reaction is to wonder what those things have to do with him. He already knows where he stands, and he's not touched by those problems.
A lot of the growth in the Gently films that delve into lives affected by violent death belongs to Peter Flannery. He writes many of the episodes, and his statements that he wanted the series to handle serious issues through human voices grows stronger with each season. They are not just empty words to promote the project.
The Acorn Blu-ray editions of all six Gently years are beautifully reproduced, with sharp color, a clarity of audio, and with subtitles included. The only thing I would ask of Acorn is to include more bonus features.
In "Gently Go Man", the series Pilot film, I'm not giving any serious spoilers to tell you that it starts with the murder of Gently's beloved Italian wife. One of his chief informants, China, who served with Gently during World War II, attends Gently's last gravesite visit before he leaves for Northumberland. Gently is already under fire with law enforcement in London because he has sought to bring to light corrupt policemen. He travels to a distant region because the man responsible for his wife's death has taken to the place, and Gently, as a police inspector, can find out why, and maybe find some justice for himself. He meets John Bacchus, who becomes his assistant.
Gently at his wife's gravesite, with his informant, China, who served with him during World War II.
Bacchus, played by Lee Ingleby, wants nothing more than to be a part of big city law enforcement, and thinks Gently just may be the guy to get him ahead in his career. Ingleby manages to bring a likeability to Bacchus, despite the fact that he is almost always on the wrong side of a human issue, not seeing beyond his own petty narrowmindedness until watching the tragic consequences revealed on the faces of the survivors of those who have loved ones taken from them by violence, often for reasons of intolerance and bigotry or bitter memories.
I love the Dice Club that exists in the middle of nowhere, red dice blazing brightly atop its roof. No wonder people living in a place with little night life comes to the glowing dice. I'd have loved to have seen a bonus feature just on how they constructed that place.
I searched all over for a shot of the Dice Club, but no dice. Damn it!
With this first feature, Gently only begins to hint at how far it is willing to go as a series; Peter Flannery's authorial voice gains strength as the series ensues.
The Burning Man
This second Gently film is also a part of Series 1, though in some episode guides it is listed as the first episode, discounting, I guess, the Pilot. The series has yet to find its emotional complexity within its cast and thematic thrust, but once again it displays a visually arresting gathering place, seemingly in the middle of nowhere, that plays a key role as the drama unfolds.
The woman who runs The Rook Bar and Hotel has her property situated near a military base. Having her place in the proximity of a place rife with espionage, duplicity and discipline, while the story is set in the 1960s, allows for a brief examination of what is important to governments in different points of time to sacrifice lives for what is deemed important and in national defense.
Pooky Quesnel as Wanda Lane plays the proprietess of The Rook, one of the few characters in the series who was inspired by film noir, a true femme fatale. When she dresses in corset and nylons to seduce Gently, will she succeed? Is she truly lonely for sexual companionship or is she just playing Gently?
Will Gently succumb to corsets and nylons? I'm not telling tales out of school. Watch and find out.
In the last film in Series 1, in the individual voices and ways of life in a small fishing community with surrounding farmland, Gently really evokes a sense of place. Strategic filming of the locations from various angles as stories and flashbacks unfold give a real sense of what it might be like to live there on a daily basis.
A German businessman returns to the place that gave him refuge during the Second World War. Violent voices and actions ensue, from those that fondly remember the businessman, who feels his life was transformed so much in this foreign place that he must bring his family back to try to comprehend what he experienced.
He ends up with a fisherman's hook in his eye, and being hauled out of the nearby water's edge.
As Gently and Bacchus try to unfold what really happened on the last night of the man's life, visually we see that area from different POVs that give viewers a real sense of where things are in spatial relationship to each other.
There is a moment when Gently interrogates a father in a car in the parking lot, with the autistic daughter in the back seat. When Gently starts to shout, the young girl is distraught to see her father badgered and yells at Gently in a frenzy, "A man named Gently shouldn't shout."
Gently, taken aback by the sincerity of the young girl's attack and defense of her father, is Martin Shaw showing how much he owns this role. He nods, and his eyes accept her criticism. And with a weary, forlorn smile, he apologizes to the girl.
There is genuine suspense at the film conclusion, when the motives become clear and we realize more murder is a distinct possibility -- to one of the people we have come to care about.
Gently with a shotgun while going after a murderer. That seems like a wise thing to do. In Midsomer Murders, Barnaby and whoever his assistant is confront psychos all the time, unarmed. That seems like an unwise thing to do.
Gently Among the Innocents
Right out of the gate in Series Two, Gently shows tremendous strength with this episode about an old man's murder in a house that used to shelter and care for children over the decades.
The film is written by Mick Ford, the first time an author other than Peter Flannery scripts.
The setting is rustic and beautiful; the history is claustrophobic in environment. Before it is over, horrific history manifests itself, and with that history questions of the innocent being punished over the guilty. As Gently stubbornly refuses to yield to the authorities in charge of the area, and from his own "patch", the question that appears all over the globe, in every decade, every year, is who questions those in authority, and at what peril to themselves and the ones around them?
The more heinous the crime, the more invested it is in the people of power to keep it hidden.
Innocents will always be victims. The perverse will believe they are justified in fulfilling their desires and edicts. The innocent victims are given little voice, even when they are screaming in pain and despair.
Gently tries for the best solution he can, knowing the scars and psychic wounds continue, as long as the victims' memories endure.
Gently and Bacchus accompany the local constabulary to an old man's battered corpse in beautifully tended gardens that belie the history of this seemingly tranquil place in "Gently Among the Innocents".
Gently In the Night
Corpses can be found anywhere.
A corpse laid out in a church can lead to London's equivalent of a 1960s Playboy Club.
The Gently team are really starting to hit the emotional chords and striking visual imagery with consistency now.
There is a lot of continuity in Bacchus' life in the series, and when murder leads to the men's club, Gently realizes John is not unfamiliar with the place or with the women there.
Religious groups protesting outside the club lead a confrontation between radically different lifestyles. The people who seek succor or sex or feeling a part of an erotic fervor they have never felt they could belong are caught in the midst of both ends of the spectrum.
Gently and Bacchus also set up a match to square off in the boxing ring. It is quite evident from Martin Shaw's stance and the way he hits the punching bag, that he's spent at least some time in the ring.
One has no doubt that age doesn't prevent him from still delivering a punch that will be felt.
And in the sexual revolution there were casualties from both the abstainers and the adulterers. Nobody gets home free.
But love is the question mark, love is sought and stalked and obsessively embedded in the flesh and in the mind.
"Gently in the Night" - It doesn't take long for George Gently and John Bacchus to find a corpse in a church and end up in a Playboy styled men's club, where sex and religion collide.
"Gently in the Night" - When not interrogating the sex kittens in the posh men's club, Gently and Bacchus square off in the boxing ring. Personally, you can keep the gloves and punching, even though the fun and games at the nightclub have costs way above the entrance fees. Martin Shaw looks as if he really has spent some time doing some boxing. Cubby Broccoli's daughter reportedly once asked Martin if he would consider playing James Bond during the 1970s. Martin apparently was not shaken or stirred.
Gently in the Blood
The third entry in Series Two starts with pulp origins, with a stakeout in a cemetery that eventually leads to stolen passports.
The pulp atmosphere is obliterated when one of the workers at the passport office, a young woman, is found dead, left on sandy desolate space off chill water coastline. Her mixed-race baby is missing, and Gently and Bacchus search grimly for the less-than-a-year-old child, finding the baby near death from overexposure to cold.
The ethnic hostility confronted in Flannery's script is saddening in its righteousness and callousness; from the family that won't embrace their grandbaby fighting for his life in the hospital to the poolroom where race divides, joins and often ignites like unstable nitroglycerin. This gives the story a depth that emphasizes the ultimate consequences of bigotry.
The local pub becomes the place where violence flares between Arab-British and Irish pool players when fierce desires for the same woman set the site for cruelty and tragedy.
Gently Through the Mill
The last film of the Series Two mixes political chicanery, rivalry, and the extent candidates will go to win elections, into the middle of a factory drama in which one of the owners of the mill has apparently hung himself.
Until, that is, Gently and Bacchus survey the scene, and the coroner announces the suicide isn't suicide, but murder. The mill is on a river with dark currents that remind me of the mills I knew as a kid in Rhode Island. I was never inside those mills. I merely hovered over the dark rivers where my mother feared I would drown. If she knew what I was doing at six years old, fighting imaginary bad guys on railroad track beams that spanned the frothing water where the ill discharged chemicals that looked like acid made the fantasy that much better. I was six. What the hell did I know about pollution in the 1950s? I certainly did not know anything about the intricacies of the working inside those mills, the power plays and affairs, the daily grind in a noisy place to make a dollar and survive another day.
One of the aspects I liked in this film is the way writer Mick Ford and director Ciaran Donnelly played with audience expectations for this kind of genre story -- not so much with the crime, but by baiting the audience to go with what is often the norm in movies and then twisting it to fit the way it is in real life.
There is a strikingly softly spoken sequence between John Bacchus and his wife on how marriage can turn into a life of "living with strangers" that is sadly quiet in its forlorn nature.
Julie (Kate Heppell), works for the man hanging from the rafters, and she is as talked about as much as she does about herself.
This is the first film where we meet Bacchus' much discussed wife, Lisa (Melanie Clark Pullen). Lisa and John's daughter gives a lot of depth to Bacchus and Gently, and a continuity that evolves as the movies continue.
Oh, and for all you conspiracy theorists out there, Bacchus joins the Freemasons in an attempt to find what he believes may be the secret reason the boss was murdered before his neck was stretched.
That makes four solid movies as the second two closes, and the relationship between Gently and Bacchus becomes closer and more complex during each movie. If you are looking for single sets of Gently, this is a good one to start with. However, I would recommend the four-series set. It gives you the first four years of films complete.
Click on the link above to see clips from the Gently movies I have written about above. You'll be able to see how beautifully filmed and edited the openings are.
English television series fluctuate radically in how many episodes are done each season. There are only two Gently films in the third year of the series.
I have recently been watching the Complete Naked City set, and the production had to film 30-some episodes a year, in inclement New York City winters, the ice-sooted curbs and plumes of air coming out of the actors' mouths giving testament to the harsh elements endured. The writers had to come up with 30-some plots; the crew had to film on location everywhere, including the East River with ice flows. But Naked City was and is still superb.
When I was starting this article I read a brief plot synopsis for this film that discussed a family secret. I had forgotten what the family secret was because I'd watched "Gently Evil" back when the George Gently Collection first came out.
There's more than one secret in the family of a woman who is discovered with her face bloodily shattered but has the ugly drying wound covered with a handkerchief. Before it is over secrets of postnatal depression, incest, even an environment of evil will haunt both Gently and Bacchus.
Bacchus' life continues to unravel, and Gently goes to the shore with Lisa and her daughter to discuss where Lisa's life with Bacchus is headed.
There is extra resonance for John here because as he yearns to see more of his daughter, and realizes his inability to communicate with her, the case has him sitting across from a young girl, Agnes, the daughter of the murdered woman.
Natalie Garner gives an effective performance as Agnes, who is detached, remote from the acts of evil around her.
There is even a Dr. Who connection with the Daleks, in a brief sequence where Agnes watches television.
Daniel Casey plays Agnes's father. It's interesting seeing Barnaby's partner for the opening years of Midsomer Murders play such a tortured man. Casey's Troy was always so accepting and took any of Barnaby's commands placidly.
Peace and Love
As the series progresses through the decade, the next film brings Gently and Bacchus to a University where among the pillars, free love, group sex, drugs and other frolicking pastimes is marred by murder of a student who leads a protest against a local Polaris submarine base.
Gently and Bacchus make their way through mini-skirts, gay clubs, teachers having sex with students, cop-as-pigs insults, the old guard viewing their way of life as being nullified or threatened, and sometimes angry because they did not have the freedom to live their lives without repressing their deepest, strongest desires.
And in the end, a bleak truth is that no matter what other turmoil in any time or place, sex can always be a motive for murder.
I once stood on a subway platform at Kings Highway as policemen with drawn guns commandeered a train filled with students who had rampaged through the streets after a murder at a local school. The police came swarming up the stairs onto the platform like a horde of locusts, packing themselves onto the arriving subway platform as if the train was a meat car. The authorities had guns on the open doors. And some guy was still cursing a man with his finger on the trigger. I thought he was out of mind.
Gently Upside Down
Now we move on to Series Four.
In the first of two movies. Gently and Bacchus go behind the scenes of a British version of American Bandstand, where teens from working class neighborhoods come to dance and have their moment on television as the music plays.
The backstage egos and career manipulations are set against the technical backdrop of putting the show together. The effect that a television appearance can have on the individual is shown with sincere impact, but it isn't until the outside world beyond the glitter intrudes that this episode becomes increasingly complex in its examination of dying dreams, domestic violence and generational miscommunications.
The scenes in which a father who labors in a back-breaking, filthy job runs up the blocks of stark apartment buildings, having already heard rumors that his daughter is dead have tremendous cinematic energy and impact. This is a hard man living a hard life. In one powerful sequence, domestic violence erupts, and his teenage daughter -- who loves to write poetry -- condemns her father with words. However, there is no poetry in her condemnation, just the word "Monster!" The father arrives home to find Gently and Bacchus giving the dreadful news to his wife, and the anguish on the father's face is palpable. He knows they have come to announce death. The father and daughter the final time they were together.
Those were words that slice and wound can never be taken back. The last memory is a terrible one.
The show does not justify the father's violence, but it does show the emotional complexity of life. The funeral procession through the streets where they have lived reminds me of a New Orleans final trip to the grave, but without the music. When the mother has the father read a poem he wrote for his daughter when she was born, we can see where his daughter's creative influence came from at the same time we realize he gave up his poetry to live a life enclosed in hard labor. And that he had no non-physical way of trying to protect his daughter from an outside world he knew could victimize her. Sadly, he ends up estranged from her because of fear and rage and because he has lost the words to communicate. The performance by Sean Gilder is truly moving. You have to be harder-hearted than me to not have tears in your eyes by the end of the episode.
There only may be two Gently movies in series four, but they are both strong entries. This time one of the supporting cast who has been around off and on since the first movie is found dead.
Gently tries tough love with that supporting character, China, and then wonders if it cost him China his life. At the same time there is a disturbing case that involves the disappearance of a teenage boy, and the investigation progresses from parents who have no control over their teenage children to law enforcement officials determined to keep their area of the world in order. But at what cost?
From pig farms to institution rooms of discipline, Gently pursues the truth, even truths that hurt him terribly, truths that show that he, himself, might not have been the friend he wanted to be.
Now, you can get all these films from Acorn or on Amazon in the George Gently Collection. It is one of the strongest sets I have seen in some time. The editing on these films and the performances by the talented cast are universally superb.
I don't want to leave you with the impression that Gently is all grim and unrelenting. There is often a gentleness to many sequences. Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby have a likeable appeal together, and the fact that they often disagree adds a playfulness that would be sourly missed if it wasn't present.
This is the best police procedural being done in our time period.
You can find Series Four here.
Gently Northern Soul
This set of four Gently movies starts out just as involving and humanely powerful as the last films.
Music has become more of a factor in these later Gentry films, this one with an evocative use of Motown-style music setting a tone for the era in the portrayal of an investigation of the murder of a young black woman.
We are now up to 1968, and this film includes a number of true historic moments along the way, setting the dates pretty specifically, from the assassination of Martin Luther King to Britain's Race Relations Act.
The woman's father and brother are at odds about the right response each should have to racism. Father and son argue bitterly over the death in the family. The father has always believed in King's nonviolent approach to end racism; the son wants to confront it head on, like Malcolm X.
A white woman puts up signs saying she won't rent to dogs, blacks, or Irish. She is convinced that even if the law changes, she is right, and in her ignorant sense of self-superiority dooms herself and others around her.
Eamonn Walker, who was a regular on HBO's Oz, gives a tremendous performance as a man engaged in inner conflict, in loss of a child, in alienation from a second child, in concepts of the right way to conduct oneself as a man.
Eamonn's reading at his daughter's funeral has the same mournful riff that was in "Gently Upside Down". Again it is a father displaying his grief at a daughter's loss, except this time the wake is disrupted by bigots and rioting. Physical violence isdwarfing the psychic grief during its punishment of flesh.
"They can't take away our humanity," the father says, trying to believe his own words, "unless we let them."
Eamonn Walker is extremely powerful in "Gently Northern Soul". His anguish over his daughter's death and his emotional turmoil at the conflict over violent and nonviolent action against racism in the late 1960s England with his son -- both are captured with dignity, anger and despair.
Gently With Class
Irish ballads replace Motown as the musical thematic backdrop for an episode that examines class divisions in England with elegance and style, and once more, a father whose loss of a daughter is caught in words and eyes.
The singer is found dead in a car twisted upside down by a crash into water. The car belongs to the local aristocratic family, whose mother has adamant plans for a political future for her son, who may have been driving the car. Somebody left the songstress to drown.
Locals all listened to the singer's lilting voice, her spiritual defiance, the glint of mischievousness in her eyes as she sang. The question is: Who drove her home? Who abandoned her?
Once again, music adds immensely to the proceedings, and the nighttime dalliances have a music of their own.
The Lost Child
Late 1960s music again opens the third film of this season, as the camera slowly moves up a suburban street, all the Pleasant Valley Sunday morning routines displayed, as people wash their cars and tend their flowers.
The camera stops at a house near the end of the block and then cuts ominously to the front door. A mother, horrified, realizes her young child is missing!
There is not a false note in the opening of another strong entry in the Gently movies.
After the veneer of blandness outside, the interiors of the houses are shadowy, the people vulnerable, but also suspect. The mother and father seem like a perfect couple in initial conversations. Then Gently and Bacchus learn the kidnapped child is adopted, and the mother reveals she had thought upon occasion of stealing another woman's baby.
The investigation takes the two policemen to a place that finds parents for the unborn babies of pregnant women. Just about every person they question at the facility appears to be open only to learn that secrets abound, and what is on the surface scarcely reveals what lies beneath.
The main suspect is the birth mother. Did she steal her baby back? As time passes, the question becomes more intense: Is the baby still alive?
And then hounds trained to discover corpses find something buried in the backyard of the adoptive parents. The job is to dig the earth up and see what is beneath the surface. And live with what you see, even when you close your eyes at night.
A series of images from The Lost Child. It is difficult to see even with binoculars what lies buried behind the eyes, sealed behind lips telling the public version of the truth.
The mother sitting in the back yard, waiting. Does she know what is buried beneath the carefully tended lawn? Does she have her own secrets screaming in her head that she does not give voice to?
Gently in the Cathedral
This the first time the season series have ended with a cliffhanger.
In a more traditional police procedural framework, Inspector Gently is fighting for his career, his reputation and his integrity. He is being forced by one means or another to retire from the police force. Bacchus is tempted by promotion to betray Gently. Gently is forced to go on the run.
Punches are thrown while children are pleasantly playing with their toys.
Showdowns occur with gunshots ripping the air and bullets rending flesh. Nowhere is safe. A bucolic farmyard is ripe for killing! Death may come at a huge cathedral where silenced gunshots are not heard by the choir singing hymnals while death stalks the holy space.
Once again, series five brings four adult dramas, laced with a little humor, delving into the main characters' lives as the 1960s head toward a close.
Here is where you can find Series Five on Amazon.
Gently Between the Lines
This film opens with both Gently and Bacchus recovering from and reacting to their near-death experiences in the previous Series. As usual, the way they respond is radically different from the other, while allowing the audience to see the characters change from where the series began.
The end of the 1960s sees demonstrations escalate between police and citizens. The ones in uniform aren't considered by many to be the good guys or rescuers, but rather as the oppressors.
One such confrontation with rioters over the upcoming demolition of buildings in their neighborhood ends with a number of people in jail. It isn't long before WPC Rachel Coles finds one of the prisoners dead in his cell. She's assigned to help Gently, who is still slowed by his wounds. She is already used to his world of the cruelty human beings can inflict on one another.
Rachel becomes a regular in the rest of the films on this set, which the last of the Gently films, though there is word spreading in the social networks that there is going to be a new series filmed.
With Series Six a woman joins Gently and Bacchus in taking on the brutal cases. WPC Rachel Coles (Lisa McGrillis) gets immediately starts her experience in her introductory scene by finding the corpse of a dead protester in a police cell.
Blue For Bluebird
Time to go on vacation Gently style, which means with a corpse bringing the newly formed threesome to a holiday family camp, a kind of Disneyland in the Northumberland area. This means rides, stage shows, interactive events -- and one of the young performers dead on the beach.
As Gently and Bacchus prowl the playground from the vacationers to the inside machinations to keep the family fantasy grounds working with un-fantasy-like rules and demands, it's like exploring a low-budget Disney concoction.
Bacchus and Rachael interact, as she brings 1960s technological knowhow into the mix, something Bacchus would ridicule, until it works to their advantage.
Pixie Lott found dead on the beach, behind the scenes. Pixie seems to get a lot of news space for the Gently series, whether she is dead on the shoreline or singing at a holidayer's family playground. You can find a lot of photos of her in promotions for the show. Finding a lot of these other photos for the episodes is oftentimes not so easy.
Gently with Honor
When murder occurs on a military base, Gently has to confront his own sense of honor as a man and a soldier during the Second World War.
There are moments in this film that have an echo of The Manchurian Candidate, without the political ambitions but with the skullduggery. This is when those in control conduct experiments on readymade human guinea pigs. The acts were kept secret when done, until the aftereffects manifested themselves in society outside the military base.
For Gently and Bacchus, they realize that selected men were used for tests to see the effects of LSD and other drugs on human beings, without their knowledge or consent.
There are people of rank who would not want that information revealed. They would act without honor to stop Gently, a man of honor, from discovering and making known what has happened in secret, and was supposed to remain secret.
Ethics and honor on the battlefield become perishable. Covert actions, Gently learns, as weapons explode, were used on the country's own soldiers. Don't let them get away with it, George.
Gently Going Under
The latest Gently film has the Inspector going below ground, into the mining tunnels where a body lies in an area unsafe for work. The writers this season move Gently and Bacchus into completely different settings for each film. The oppressive tunnels are a long ways from the vacation atmosphere of "Bluebird".
There is often a claustrophobic atmosphere in shadowy lights, with rock just overhead, cave-ins threatening at any moment. There are dark disclosures above and below. The light shines starkly on the hidden depths of human anger that is as old as the rocks.
Hard hats won't help you much if a deep shaft caves a ton of dirt and rock on top of you. Gently and Bacchus descend into the depths, and for them, naturally, that doesn't just mean earth.
This last set of Gently movies which aired the beginning of this year can be found on Amazon.
This became a much more ambitious "Riding Shotgun" column than I had intended in the beginning, but since it is one of the best series being done right now, I just could not only write about the last season when so many of the earlier stories brought such solid storytelling and so many unexpected human moments in the midst of its genre tales, and with wonderful chemistry between the two leads.
I hope you found the words involving here, because that is the nature of what I hope to achieve with "Riding Shotgun", whether they are reviews or stories of a personal nature.
Before I end this piece, here are a series of photos I found during early morning hour cyberquests. I believe the work enhances these lengthy studies of shows, hopefully giving you a chance to see as well as hopefully learn things about the show you never knew before.
I love doing sequential sequences or panel layouts on a particular theme for these columns. I found these after a lot of searching at http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Inspector_George_Gently and thank them for putting this together. Now, go out and buy George Gently already.
DCI Gently and DS Bacchus sign out their Webleys.
Gently confronts Joe Webster in the Pilot.
At various times in the Pilot, Gently and Bacchus are shown cocking their revolvers.
Bacchus prepares to storm a room in "Gently in the Night" (S02E02).
Gently with his Webley in the same episode.
Charles Hexton (Warren Clarke) with a Webley Mk IV in "Peace and Love" (S03E02).
And on this gentle note, with gun to temple, the stagecoach rides off in search of new vistas to explore. Oh, and ride shotgun, too.
Copyright ©2014 by Don McGregor
The hardcover edition of Detectives Inc. is still available. Continued sales on the series can help make the new Detectives Inc.: A Fear of Perverse Photos/A Repercussion of Violent Reprisal a reality. You can order Detectives Inc. from Amazon.
And new things are about to happen at donmcgregor.com.