This episode sees the racial unrest that is sweeping the United States reach British shores as Enoch Powell launches his tirade against immigration. But racial harmony can be found at the 'all-nighters' that take place in 1968, where disillusioned young people, black and white, escape the boredom of factory life to dance the night away to imported soul music. In Newcastle, the haven of equality found at the Carlton Ballroom all-nighter is destroyed when a young black girl, Dolores Kenny, is murdered, leading Gently to uncover a disturbing and racialist undercurrent growing within the local community.Written by
BBC Media Centre
Various characters were shown watching Enoch Powell's infamous "Rivers of Blood" speech on TV. This dates the episode exactly, as the speech was made on 20 April 1968 to the General Meeting of the West Midlands Area Conservative Political Centre. Gently refers to Dr. Martin Luther King in the past tense. King had been assassinated earlier in the month on April 4. See more »
During the chase scene Charlie runs into a scrap trailer and passes under a yellow crane arm. A few moments later the shot is re-used and cut at a different point. See more »
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 felt like 'Inspector George Gently' started to hit its stride with "The Burning Man" and that continued with "Bomber's Moon". The show hit a high point with "Gently with the Innocents" and the high point standards applies here in "Gently Northern Soul". There is a lot here that is particularly good about 'Inspector George Gently' and it shows that it is not at all hard to see why the show appeals to many.
"Gently Northern Soul" is one of my favourite episodes from 'Inspector George Gently'. It is indicative that the show has found its feet and hit its stride. It has the emotional impact and succeeding emotional reactions after watching of "Gently in the Blood" and "Gently with the Innocents" and it is a powerful episode nonetheless, doing a sensitive and hard-hitting job tackling a difficult and brave subject of racism (as bad, even worse one can argue, then as it is now).
However, "Gently Northern Soul", 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 has 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. "Gently Northern Soul", 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, 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. All the support is good.
All in all, brilliant. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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