The second episode of the current series of Inspector George Gently offered an urban setting in contrast to last week’s story centred around a lonely old building in the countryside. Gently in the Night featured the murder of a young woman called Audrey, who told her parents she was a nurse, but in fact worked as a ‘fox’ in a seedy night club under the name of Blaise.
Martin Shaw, as the eponymous cop, had a nice variety of suspects to question, including three couples. There was the husband and wife duo who ran the club, the parents of the deceased, and a religious campaigner, married to a solicitor with links to the club. Gently’s sidekick, Bacchus, turns out to have been a patron of the club, and he fancies another ‘fox’, who disappears after being questioned.
Setting the series in the early 60s has given script writer Peter Flannery the chance to give modern audiences a flavour of long-gone times. This was the era just before the legalisation of abortion, but something I had not known (and found truly startling) was that prescribing the Pill to an unmarried woman was actually illegal.
The show was worth watching, but I have to say that Bacchus is shaping up to be the stupidest detective sidekick since Captain Arthur Hastings was banished to the Argentine. He lied to his boss, became improperly involved with a witness, and foolishly taunted Gently about his boxing prowess. When challenged to a charity boxing match, he was, predictably, knocked out by a single blow from Gently’s fist. That will teach him.