"The Burning Man"
is an episode of Inspector George Gently starring
Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby, and Tony Rohr.
After an unidentified badly burnt body is found near an RAF base in 1964, Gently works alongside Special Branch officers who suspect the victim was involved with the IRA.
The charred corpse of a man believed to be Ruari O'Connell is found near RAF base Huxton and a ring found in his stomach leads Gently and Bacchus to his lover cafe owner Wanda Lane. When a second Irishman is shot dead supercilious Special Branch commander Empton arrives, telling Gently that Ruari was an IRA informer on the run from vengeful compatriots and he believes Ruari faked his death to avoid them. In that case who was the burning man? And will Bacchus survive a hostage situation to allow Gently to take him fishing?Written by
don @ minifie-1
As a huge fan of detective/crime/mystery series, there is the admission that it took me a while to start watching 'Inspector George Gently', worrying as to whether it would appeal to me for "can't put my finger on it" reasons other than being young at the time and not being as knowledgeable of the period. Getting into the show eight years ago and continuing to watch it without fail, it turned out to be simply wonderful and actually became a favourite.
After a very solid, if still settling, start in "Gently Go Man", it feels like 'Inspector George Gently' is starting to hit its stride with "The Burning Man". There are better episodes since when things became even more settled and fresher and the stories richer and more complex. There is a lot here already that is particularly good about 'Inspector George Gently' and it definitely makes one want to carry on watching.
There is very little wrong here, other than still having familiar tropes that have been done with more freshness elsewhere
However, "The Burning Man", like the rest of the show, looks great, often beautiful. It is strikingly filmed and the scenery and period detail are atmospheric, handsome and evocative, a lot of work and care went into re-creating the period and it shows loud and clear. The music is stirring and haunting, dynamic with what's going on and never intrusive.
The writing already shows a lot of thought-provoking intelligence and balances subtle humour and drama very well and executing both individually just as well. The direction is alert and accommodating and the story, despite having an air of familiarity at times and not as rich as other stories for other episodes, is easy to follow and absorbing with a good deal of suspense. "The Burning Man", and 'Inspector Gently' in general, is very interesting for how British law was like in the 60s and how much it's changed and come on compared to now.
Love the chemistry between Gently and Bacchus, one of the most interesting and well-contrasted detective/crime/mystery drama pairings (perhaps the most interesting since Morse and Lewis). The two couldn't have more different personalities and how they gel and clash entertains and intrigues. Both are fascinating characters already, and became even more fascinating as the show progressed.
Can't fault the acting, the continually brilliant performances from Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby here and throughout the show are career highs for both actors. Robert Glennister is especially excellent in support.
Overall, very good and solid. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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