After ten years and 23 episodes, filming for the eighth and final series of BBC1’s period police drama, Inspector George Gently, begins this week. Martin Shaw returns as DCI George Gently alongside Lee Ingleby as his sidekick Inspector Bacchus and Lisa McGrillis playing Detective Sergeant Rachel Coles. Unfortunately, for me, this will be like a good friend moving away as, much like its period police drama cousin, Endeavour, I love the 60’s and the attention to detail is spot-on on both series.
Ingleby had previously indicated that he hoped to take the series into the 70s. Well, he will get his wish as the final two films are set in the year 1970 bringing along all that that entails. Sadly, series eight will consist of only two feature-length episodes set in the North East, “Gently Liberated” and “Gently and the New Age”.
According to press reports, in “Gently Liberated”, Gently and Bacchus become involved in an investigation that may be a miscarriage of justice. Guest stars will include Maigret’s Dead Man star Anamaria Marinca and Call the Midwife‘s Victoria Bewick.
Gently’s final outing, “Gently and the New Age” will see the DCI giving evidence at the Old Bailey against his old enemies, the corrupt police officers in the Met. Before the end of his career as a detective, he is then asked to take on one last job by the head of a new Special Investigations Squad.
One of the really ‘sad for us’ but ‘happy for the producers’ thoughts is that even though we will collectively be facing the end of Inspector George Gently as we know it, from a producer standpoint, it allows them to go out as they would like and tie up as many loose ends as they want. In a nutshell, because they know this going in to filming, they can go out on their terms which can mean the world to both producers and actors such as Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby who have invested ten years of their life in these characters.
On returning to the part of Inspector Gently for the last time, Shaw said: “It’s wonderful to be coming back to the show. We’re a very happy and close company, and working with such friends is a joy. I’m excited at being able to bring the series to a proper finale, a farewell that befits such a popular series.”
Tellyspotting had the opportunity to speak with both Shaw and Ingleby during the filming of series 6 where they spoke about their time on George Gently. Two delightful individuals and one brilliant series that I, personally, will be sorry to see come to an end. Look for the final installments of Inspector George Gently to come to public television in early 2018.