Inspector George Gently (2007–2017)
3 user

Gently Northern Soul 

After a young black girl is murdered, Gently uncovers a disturbing and malevolent racist undercurrent lurking both within the local community and his own police force.


Gillies MacKinnon (as Gillies Mackinnon)


Alan Hunter (based on the novels by), Peter Flannery (created for television by) | 1 more credit »




Episode complete credited cast:
Pippa Bennett-Warner ... Dolores Kenny
Lenora Crichlow ... Carol Morford
Craig Conway ... Gary Watts
Philip Correia ... Charlie Watts
Martin Shaw ... George Gently
Lee Ingleby ... John Bacchus
Gary Carr ... Joseph Kenny
Eamonn Walker ... Ambrose Kenny
Simon Hubbard ... PC Taylor
Cliff Lee Cliff Lee ... Alfred Braxton
Maggie O'Neill ... Matilda Braithwaite
John Bowler ... Bernie Watts
Ryan Bernstein ... Reporter
Tracy Whitwell ... Mrs Stubbs


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery







Release Date:

26 August 2012 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (DVD)

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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Did You Know?


The quotation cited during the episode, "Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad" was first spoken in English by Prometheus Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem "The Masque of Pandora" (1875). 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 »


Carol Morford: Can I go now?
John Bacchus: No, don't.
Carol Morford: You not finished lying to me yet? You not fiished using me... Jim?
See more »


Tighten Up
Written by Archie Bell and Billy Buttier
Performed by Archie Bell & The Drells
See more »

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User Reviews

Racial tensions
27 May 2018 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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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