This is absolutely the best way to get these shows, economical compared to individual seasons. We are quite pleased by the shows which are actually shot as period pieces from 50+ years ago and quite deep in some of the subject matter. Can't say I'm not a little jealous of Bacchus' little blue MGB. Makes me miss my BRG MGB from about that time, left-hand drive, though cuz that's what us Yanks drove.
Chief Inspector George Gently of Scotland Yard came to manhood on the beaches of Anzio. But his rigid sense of ethics has got him in trouble with the higher-ups who are on the take, and cost him the life of his cherished wife. He accepts an assignment in the northeast of England (note: The opposite of the US, it is the north of England where accents take some getting used to, even for Londoner Gently).
You know that his assigned detective sergeant, John Bacchus, will be his opposite: Young, irrepressible, and given to cutting corners (such as assaulting suspects). It is 1964. England is changing, and John has come as far as his haircut. Homosexuals make him uneasy. "Electroshock might help," suggests Gently. "Nah, Guv; they just go right back," shrugs Bacchus. Gently regards him steadily. "I was thinking it might help YOU," he says.
Abortion is still a crime. So is attempted suicide. The death penalty will linger. If Gently tells you, "Stand up," and carefully puts on his jacket and straightens his tie, you are going to be charged with murder. The viewer is not spared the hanging scene.
We meet Baccus as a newlywed with a young daughter and a powder-blue MG, the "gift" of his father-in-law for "doing the right thing." But the marriage does not prosper, and soon he is haunting the new rock-and-roll halls. His dream is to win his way to London and Scotland Yard. Gently knows what awaits him there.
So he reluctantly takes him in hand, via the most powerful teaching method of all: modeling. Bacchus watches in exasperation as "obvious" culprits go free -- for a time -- for lack of evidence. "I could beat it out of him, Guv," he urges. Gently replies, "We're supposed to be better than they are."
They struggle together with the policeman's dilemma: Evidence, evidence, evidence. "Do you want.me to go back and break in, Guv?" says Bacchus. ""Ask me another way," replies Gently. "May I have the afternoon off?" "Yes. Don't get caught."
They confront communities roiled by the rise of the antisocial delinquent, a problem with us still. Bacchus could have been the worst sort -- a corner-cutting, impulsive copper. But the steady modeling of a man he respects saves him, as he will save his own young sergeant one day. Thus the string of decency twines forward, while training sessions, tests, etc. try to fill in the gaps.