Which British detective series?

OK, this isn't a travel question as such... but, I figured someone here might know the answer. From time to time when I'm in Belgium, I've seen this particular series shown on TV, and I can't seem to remember or find the title online. It looks fairly recent, and each episode lasts about 90 minutes. It takes place somewhere in the north of England during the 1960s. The main character is a crusty older detective, and his partner is a much younger man who rather resembles a contemporaneous John Lennon. Is this ringing a bell to any of our British regulars?

Posted by Laurel
Arlington, WA
829 posts

Kevin, Wasn't it Martin Shaw who also went on to play Adam Dalgliesh after Roy Marsded left...?

Posted by Jim
Seattle
143 posts

Tom, The series you're looking for is likely to be "George Gently" which is in about its fifth year. The lead actor, playing the "crusty" older detective of the title role is Martin Shaw, who, in my view, is quite marvelous.
DVDs of the series are available in the UK and the US. My wife and I watched two or three episodes, and, impressed by Mr. (perhaps he's been knighted by now) Shaw's performance as Gently, then watched the entire five or six seasons of Martin Shaw playing a wise, humorous, and very romantic (in the context of relationships with a quite handsome group of women) High Court judge who is much of the time at odds with British bureaucrats who seem much more interested in domestic politics than in justice. That series is entitled Judge John Deed and Martin Shaw, in that role, gives a master class in acting and succeeded in getting us to root for a guy who breaks more than a few rules. It is after all a jolly good drama/comedy. and we're not even British.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

Thanks. I entered "George Gently" into Google images, and that's the one.

Posted by Kevin
near Ringwood, Hampshire, UK
521 posts

Jim is right, of course. However, I feel obliged to draw your attention to a younger Martin Shaw, as featured on a poster which spent the whole of my wife's teenage years fixed to her bedroom wall. He played Ray Doyle in The Professionals, a TV series about a fictional 'secret service' division called CI5, filmed between 1977 and 1981 (and so I suppose it was in fact a series of series). If you want to see high quality acting and high quality British TV, that's it. Or maybe not... You can be the judge - there's plenty of it on YouTube. Still airing here daily on satellite TV, amazingly. EDIT - if you liked George Gently, see if you can find 'Endeavour', about the young Inspector Morse. Also set in the '60s, it was excellent.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
17780 posts

Tom, When I first read your post, the TV show Heartbeat came to mind but it didn't fit all your criteria. Many of the shows from the U.K. are aired here, so I think I've seen a few episodes of George Gently and I also enjoy it. Another show you may see is A Touch of Frost, which is set in more modern times rather than the '60s. Cheers!

Posted by Dick
Olympia, WA, USA
671 posts

Yes, Laurel, Martin Shaw played Dalgliesh in a couple of later PD James episodes. Older fans may also remember him as the deservedly ill-fated Captain Scott in "The Last Place on Earth." He failed to properly plan his trip and pack light, and so perished. Let it be a warning to us all!

Posted by Linda
Bromley, Kent,, UK
1631 posts

Second the plug for "Endeavour". Both lead actors are excellent, but really like the marvelous Roger Allam (that voice!) as the careworn/worldly Detective Inspector Fred Thursday. Kevin - have you heard RA in "Cabin Pressure" on Radio 4?

Posted by Kevin
near Ringwood, Hampshire, UK
521 posts

Kevin - have you heard RA in "Cabin Pressure" on Radio 4? Ah! I knew that voice from somewhere, but I hadn't connected the two. I'll listen more closely in future, thank you Linda. And speaking of younger versions of famous TV detectives, did you see Young Montalbano on BBC4 on Saturday? I think it was you who mentioned it on this forum some time ago. I thought that it was at least as good as the original Montalbano, while my 16 year-old daughter seems to regard the actor playing the lead character with much the same admiration that my wife has for Luca Zingaretti, bow legs or not...

Posted by Linda
Bromley, Kent,, UK
1631 posts

Not seen Young Montalbano yet, we were away at the weekend so looking forward to seeing the recording.