Sunday, April 08, 2007

BBC1's George Gently

I've recorded tonight's George Gently which starred regular authoritative figure Martin Shaw. I've mentioned this show on the blog a couple of times.

The BBC has an interview with Martin Shaw about playing George Gently. There are several other links off that page about the filming, cast etc.

I'm not sure which, if any, book the pilot is based on but Alan Hunter did write 46 novels so plenty more to have a go at. The full list is here.

I'd heard some rumours that it was very slow but perhaps anyone who's seen it, would leave a comment on how good it was.


Anne Brooke said...

You're so good! I must admit I can't stand Martin Shaw in anything these days, so I was really put off watching this one. But let me know if I've missed anything!


Maxine Clarke said...

I read an article about it in the Times and am mildly interested. I think I'll wait for the DVD boxed set (reduced price) on Amazon, you know me.

Martin Shaw-- I have not seen him in anything since The Persuaders on TV and in a couple of things on stage--maybe Blood Brothers? Anyway, he was an early proponent of vegetarianism so cannot be all bad?

Anonymous said...

Watched it - was quite good. My fave scene - the one involving Bacchus and the gay hotel worker - no, that's not a sex scene! I suppose the liberal Gently could be criticised as Judge John Deed becomes sixties copper!

I never read the novels, but I understand they were set in Shaw's native East Anglia. Why the move to the North East - is it becuase East Anglia is seen as 'uncool'?

When I can be ar*ed will buy Gently Go Man just to see how much the show was based on the book.


It was rather spoiled by a gratuitous and unnecessary execution scene. If we need to be told that the killer was executed, a passing mention in a conversation, or a glimpse of a newspaper headline, could have done it.

I hope it comes back as a series, anyway!

Anonymous said...

< When I can be ar*ed will buy Gently Go Man just to see how much the show was based on the book. >

Don't bother - it wasn't. There are a lot of Gently books - I've read most of them over the years, and enjoyed them all. Martin Shaw admits he hasn't read any - apparently the script was so good, he didn't need to.

Obviously, the scriptwriter hadn't read any either. Why is it, that a book that has stood the test of time for what, 40 years?, is deemed not good enough to be used as the basis of a TV show? Instead, the scriptwriter (whose name I forget) has "created" a character of his own, added a previously non-existent sidekick; a non-existent wife, a non-existent county... you get the idea.

Pretty much as the "good" Dalziel and Pascoe's were the early ones, based on the books; this version of a Gently story is like the later D&P's. Nice - but could have been so much better.


Anonymous said...

Anon, sometimes producers just buy the idea, when it comes to rights. And what is good in a novel needs some major adaption when it comes to screen, as it's a different format. But I've not read the novels here, so I'm not about to debate.

I wanted to see this, but a long family phone call got in the way, so I saw the beginning and the very end.

Martin Shaw seems to have come into some stick here, so I'll say what I noticed. At the very start, he came on screen and was a very different character. I could accept Gentle. He even had a different accent - a bit cockney - so he was very true to a different character.

But oh dear, the accent wavered over time. He sounded very Judge John Deed at one point (or many more) and also very Dalgleish at others. But I liked the final stroll on the beach where he had the advantage over his side-kick and let him know!

As for setting, I read that the location (Norfolk) was changed to the north east, but even that wasn't good enough and they shot in Ireland. All down to tax breaks, I suspect...

I have to watch this in its entirety though. It did look good and I think Shaw has bettered immeasurabely with age.

dejlah said...

I've liked Shaw since The Professionals, so had no problems seeing him in something new, and I enjoyed the movie even if all it had in common with the book was the motorcycle/beatnik background. That said, I found the Gently novels and have started reading them.

In The Honfleur Decision, Gently meets Gabrielle in France, and marries her in the Scottish Decision, so there is a wife. Whether she's killed later, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

This was a terrific show, well acted and well scripted.

There is a great chemistry between the seen-it-all-world-weary George Gently and his I-want-it-now assistant, John Bacchus.

This was literate, intelligent entertainment.

I have read none of the books, so can't compare/criticise.

All in all a good, entertaining 90 minutes.

Karen (Euro Crime) said...

Thank you for the comments. It looks like there are more episodes planned and I'll be watching :-).