Gently and Bacchus look into the suspicious death of Gently's old friend and ex-snout, China.


(as Gillies Mackinnon)


(novels), (created for television by) | 1 more credit »

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Acton ...
Jay Miller ...
David Blackburn
John Blackburn
Philip Harrison ...
Jane Holman ...
Terri Molloy
Diana O'Hara ...
Ward Sister
Darren Morfitt ...
Paul Collison
Dean Lennox Kelly ...
Sgt Molloy


Gently learns that his old informant China Mates has died, after an apparently accidental fall in the nearby town of Wellaby. He suspects foul play when a nurse contradicts the coroner's report and it transpires that her husband, Sergeant Tommy Molloy, took China to hospital and not an ambulance. Gently visits his colleague, Superintendant Alan Shepherd, whose autistic son Danny was robbed by the thieving teenage Blackburn brothers, one of whom has recently disappeared and the other is discovered a gibbering wreck. Gently initially believes that Molloy killed China and blamed the young thugs though ultimately a different cover-up is exposed, which tests Gently's loyalty and earns him the derision of Bacchus. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery





Release Date:

11 September 2011 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


This episode sees Lee Ingleby reunited with two former co-stars from the comedy series Early Doors: Christine Bottomley, who played his girlfriend "Melanie" and Mark Benton who played "Eddie ". See more »


David Blackburn: When I was a laddy/ I lived with my mammy/ And many's a hammer/ My mammy gave me/ And when I grow up/ I can hammer me mammy/ Serves her right for hammerin' me
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The Hammer in Me
Performed by Jay Miller
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User Reviews

The police go too far
12 September 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This moving episode opens with a couple of yobs breaking into a home for children with severe learning difficulties and assaulting one of the children; that isn't the case that Insp. Gently is initially interested in though; he starts of asking a few questions about the death of a former informant known as China. When he learns of China's death he just wants to know what happened but soon realises that his routine questions are being met by lies. As the investigation deepens he learns of the disappearance of the two yobs; one of whom Bacchus had spoken to earlier on an apparently unrelated matter. With the evidence pointing towards police brutality Gently must decide whether or not to proceed.

I have enjoyed most episodes of this series and this one was particularly good; at first I thought it was going to be a story of bad police officers doing bad things but while what they did was undeniable bad the story was written in a way that made their reasoning sympathetic. As always Martin Shaw did a fine job as Gently and Lee Ingleby was entertaining as Bacchus. Guest stars Dean Lennox Kelly and Neil Pearson put in convincing performances as two misguided police officers. As well as having a crime to solve it was nice to see Gently having a bit of a private life even if it was spent with a woman in the police force.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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