"Inspector George Gently" Goodbye China (TV Episode 2011) Poster

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The police go too far
Tweekums12 September 2011
Warning: Spoilers
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.
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Gently and China
TheLittleSongbird27 May 2018
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" continuing in that way until dipping ever so slightly. "Goodbye China" is not quite a high point but is still great. 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.

"Goodbye China" is not quite one of my favourite episodes from 'Inspector George Gently'. Nonetheless it is indicative that the show has found its feet and hit its stride. Did feel though that everything with Gently's private life was not quite as interesting as the rest of the episode.

However, "Goodbye China", 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. "Goodbye China", 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. It handles its brave subject matter beautifully too.

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.

Overall, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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Exceptional story, superb performances.
Sleepin_Dragon13 January 2019
It is very easy to see why Goodbye China is the highest rated episode of the lot, and although it's not a personal favourite, I understand the appeal. The story is terrific, if a little upsetting at times.

It was so nice to see China, a character that made a big impact in an earlier story, then simply vanished, he had a fitting send off.

As is so often the case, the story manages to get under your skin, to make you feel sadness, anger, and definitely to empathise with the characters. A really impressive set of characters here, including Liz Thompson, a bit of a love interest for Gently, and of course the dubious Sgt Molloy.

The performances were very impressive here too, one of Shaw's best performances, if not his very best, the moment where he reads China's note, with watery eyes had me choked. I thought Dead Lennox Kelly was fantastic also as Molloy.

It's a definite story of people who take justice into their own hands, and suffer the consequences.

A terrific watch. 9/10
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