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Lee Ingleby as Detective Sergeant John Bacchus and Martin Shaw as Chief Inspector George Gently in "Inspector George Gently."
Courtesy of Company Pictures
Lee Ingleby as Detective Sergeant John Bacchus and Martin Shaw as Chief Inspector George Gently in "Inspector George Gently."

Airs Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Award-winning actor Martin Shaw ("Judge John Deed," "The Professionals") stars as Inspector George Gently – an incorruptible, uncompromising cop transplanted from London’s Scotland Yard to England’s North Country in the mid-1960s.

Award-winning actor Martin Shaw stars as Commander George Gently.
Courtesy of Executive Program Services
Award-winning actor Martin Shaw stars as Commander George Gently.

Gently’s reputation for honesty and relentlessness makes him almost as feared among his colleagues as he is among criminals. But he finds an odd ally in John Bacchus (actor Lee Ingleby, "Nicholas Nickleby") – an overeager, opinionated young sergeant who plays fast and loose with police procedures.

Together the two tackle cases involving murderers, drug dealers, gun runners, and more. Gently is about to discover a whole new world of murder and intrigue in 1960s Britain, a place where everything is about to change, but the past is always present.

Based on the long-running series of novels by Alan Hunter, these feature-length modern dramas boast clever writing, stylish direction, and strong casts, including guest stars Richard Armitage ("Robin Hood"), Phil Davis ("Vera Drake"), and John Kavanagh ("The Tudors"). The powerful mysteries unfold against the beautiful backdrop of rural Britain, a region just beginning to feel the rumbles of the era’s social and cultural quakes.

"George Gently" Episode One (aired in 2011) - Chief Inspector George Gently takes on one last case before retiring, following the murder of his wife. The case involves the death of a young biker in the North East of England, and interests Gently as it has attracted the attention of Joe Webster -- his nemesis and the man responsible for the death of his wife. Gently enlists the aid of ambitious policeman, John Bacchus, to solve the case, but both find themselves up against enemies both within and outside the police force itself.

"The Burning Man" Episode Two (aired in 2011) - The discovery of a burning body near an RAF base and possible connections to the IRA make an interesting case for Gently and Bacchus.

"Bomber’s Moon" Episode Three (aired in 2011) - Is the death of a German businessman connected to anti-German sentiments or connected to Army Special Forces?

"Gently With The Innocents" Episode Four (aired in 2011) - Gently and Bacchus investigate the murder of the occupant of Harrison House. Their prime suspect is a former resident of the children's home that once occupied the premises, and their investigation leads to the shocking discovery of abuse.

"Gently In The Night" Episode Five (aired in 2011) - The body of a young woman is discovered in a church. Investigating, Gently and Bacchus uncover the seedy nature of the hostess club where she worked.

"Gently In The Blood" Episode Six (aired in 2011) - Gently and Bacchus are investigating the trade in fake passports when the body of a young civil servant, who had been working at the passport office, is found by the sea alongside her mixed-race baby. Gently uncovers a turf war between rival criminal gangs

"Gently Through The Mill" Episode Seven airs Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 9 p.m. - The manager of a mill is found hanged after an apparent suicide, but money is missing from the office safe and Gently suspects foul play. Bacchus attempts to infiltrate the local freemasonry.

Season One of INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY is re-distributed by Executive Program Services, and the episodes are presented in a different order than listed on the BBC program website.

Video Excerpt: Inspector George Gently: The Burning Man
Preview: Inspector George Gently: Episode One