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Gently and Bacchus find themselves knee-deep in the Summer of Love, and the results make for groovy mysteries, man....
Acorn Media / 354 Minutes / 2012 / Unrated / Street Date: May 28, 2013
As is the case with most modern crime dramas, the interplay between George Gently (Martin Shaw) and his wingman John Bacchus (Lee Ingleby) is imperative to George Gently’s survival. Structurally, these long episodes are similar to, say, Midsomer Mysteries, but the way our two protagonists work (and play) with each other makes this Series 5 Blu-ray set completely, almost impulsively watchable.
That being said, George Gently rests on cliche perhaps a bit more than it should. As a fan of the genre, I understand that crime dramas by their very nature are predictable affairs (after all, someone always commits the crime, whether they get found out or not), so to say that the smart, experienced older cop (George) and the sassy, instinctive younger dude (John) jump through similar hoops as their fellow detective TV brethren doesn't really mean much, but as enjoyable as these Series 5 episodes can be, there's not enough oomph to them to make them anything more than above-average entertainment.
But that's the great thing about TV-on-BD: sometimes you don't need to reinvent the wheel to facilitate enjoyable fare. George Gently may have shortcomings, but this writer spent a number of evenings with this set and had a blast watching it. And flower power plays a bigger role than it ever has on this new batch of shows – George Gently takes place in the late 1960s, and as this set unfolds, we see both the hippie happiness and cultural hangover that would follow them slowly seep into the show’s narrative paradigm. One can only imagine the disdain that would bloom in Gently’s face if somebody flashed him a peace sign….
Episodes included: Gently Northern Soul, Gently With Class, The Lost Child,andGently in the Cathedral.