George Gently: Gently Go Man


Written by: Peter Flannery from a novel by
Alan Hunter
Directed by: Euros Lyn
Aired: 8 April 2007 on BBC1
Distributor: BBC


  • George Gently -
  • John Bacchus -
  • Ricky Deeming -
  • Joe Webster -
  • Christian Cooke -
  • Shaun Evans -

The pilot episode for a possible new series (at the time) Richard Armitage had a guest role as the 'flamboyant' and charismatic leader of a Durham Biker Gang in this police drama set in the mid 1960's. The show proved popular with viewers and was commissioned for a full series of 2 hour dramas.



The story opens with Chief Inspector George Gently of the Met Police returning home with his Italian wife Isabella. A car emerges from the darkness and drives into Isabella killing her.

At his wife’s funeral he tells a colleague to tell the commissioner he will be retiring. "That’ll cheer him up”.

The episode then shifts north to the Northumbrian coast to a group of bikers welcoming the morning sunshine and initiating a young man into their group by dunking him in the waves.

The bikers head to the Dice Cafe where there appears to be friction between a biker, Laurie Elton and Billy Lister, the new initiate. Laurie believes his girlfriend is paying too much attention to Billy and there is nearly a fight that Ricky Deeming, the gang leader, halts.

Billy asks to see Ricky and is told to come back at 8pm that evening. Impetuously he kisses Ricky’s cheek which causes Laurie to threaten to sort him out. Ricky says he will sort Billy Lister out in his own way.

However, later that night Billy Lister is driven off the road by another biker.


Back in London Gently is approached by an old informant, China, who tells him the man he suspects of his wife’s murder, Joe Webster has attended a funeral and not returned. Joe Webster had attended the funeral of Billy Lister. Gently asks his superiors to be assigned to the case of the biker although there has been an arrest. It is to be his last case.

In Durham they have arrested Laurie for Billy Lister’s death as he had blood on his clothes. Laurie tells them Billy Lister was a ‘poof’. They show him a scarf that was found in his garage. John Bacchus believes the scarf is not Laurie’s but someone else’s. He pays a visit to Ricky Deeming at his work and enquires whether he’s still flamboyant before revealing the scarf and arresting him.

Bacchus discovers he’s now working for George Gently. Gently advises Bacchus that he doesn’t think it’s Deeming. Bacchus explains that he feels Deeming had an ‘illegal’ relationship with Billy.

Things are complicated further by the discovery of Laurie’s body on the beach. He has been tortured.


Gently goes to speak to Billy Lister’s mother and finds lots of pictures of Ricky Deeming on the walls. His mother says it was a crush. She denies knowing Joe Webster. Gently searches the room and finds some tablets under a floorboard.

Bacchus tells Gently about an attack at the local cathedral on a priest. Gently suspects it's Webster.

Gently interviews Deeming and then tells him he’s free to go but warns him Joe Webster may come after him.

Gently suspects Webster’s involvement and tasks Bacchus with finding out a likely link between Webster and the Durham Defenders. Bacchus goes to a night club whilst Gently meets China who has come up from London.

Bacchus arrests a woman who supplies him with some drugs. In the morning Bacchus is approached by his boss, DI Setters who warns him against Gently and becomes agitated when the drugs are mentioned.

China is beaten up so Gently takes a visit to see Setters whom he suspects of involvement in China’s beating. Bacchus has discovered that Billy’s mother is not being paid by the merchant marine.

Valerie Lister goes home and finds Joe Webster in her house. Gently and Bacchus arrive and give chase as Webster flees. Webster escapes and the police return to confront Valerie Lister about where her money comes from.

She admits that Joe Webster is Billy’s father as the result of an assault and her father had paid a friend to marry her. The police go up to Billy’s room and find two pictures missing, one of Shirley, one of Ricky.


Webster talks to Laurie’s girlfriend Shirley and is angry at the implication by her that Billy was gay. She tells him about Ricky when threatened.

Gently goes to the Dice and finds Webster there with a gun. Webster tells Gently that Laurie killed Billy.

Bacchus fails to find Ricky and turns up at the Dice as Webster uses Roberto the Dice owner as a shield to escape.

A police officer sees Deeming outside his house but Ricky rides away. Ricky goes to his workplace to hide out but Webster is waiting for him. Bacchus and Gently are alerted by the policeman and head out in search of Ricky.

Webster strings Ricky up and starts to torture him. Gently shoots Webster but decides to leave him alive to stand trial. Bacchus lies to him that Laurie was also his son.


Back at the station Bacchus confronts Setters, accusing him of planting Ricky’s scarf and being involved in the drugs operation. The show ends with Webster’s execution and then shows Gently deciding to stay in the north and telling Bacchus that he’s blocked his transfer to the Met.


Useful Links

George Gently IMDB Page

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BBC Press Pack 28 Mar 07