Inspector George Gently (2007–2017)
3 user

Goodbye China 

Gently and Bacchus look into the suspicious death of Gently's old friend and ex-snout, China.


Gillies MacKinnon (as Gillies Mackinnon)


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


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
James Acton James Acton ... Danny Shepherd
Jay Miller Jay Miller ... David Blackburn
Niek Versteeg ... John Blackburn
Martin Shaw ... George Gently
Lucy Akhurst ... Liz Thompson
Simon Hubbard ... PC Taylor
Lee Ingleby ... John Bacchus
Philip Harrison Philip Harrison ... PC
Tony Rohr ... China
Jane Holman Jane Holman ... Norma
Shaun Prendergast ... Lafferty
Christine Bottomley ... Terri Molloy
Diana O'Hara Diana O'Hara ... Ward Sister
Darren Morfitt Darren Morfitt ... Paul Collison
Dean Lennox Kelly ... Sgt Molloy


Gently learns that his old informant China Mates has died, after an apparently accidental fall in the nearby town of Wellaby. He suspects foul play when a nurse contradicts the coroner's report and it transpires that her husband, Sergeant Tommy Molloy, took China to hospital and not an ambulance. Gently visits his colleague, Superintendant Alan Shepherd, whose autistic son Danny was robbed by the thieving teenage Blackburn brothers, one of whom has recently disappeared and the other is discovered a gibbering wreck. Gently initially believes that Molloy killed China and blamed the young thugs though ultimately a different cover-up is exposed, which tests Gently's loyalty and earns him the derision of Bacchus. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Crime | Drama | Mystery


Did You Know?


The ambulance in the hospital shot has been used in many 60s based dramas including The Royal and Heartbeat. See more »


Near the end, Gently is talking to his old friend Shepherd about corporal punishment being banned 20 years ago. Since the series takes place in the 1960s, this is a clear error since the UK banned it in 1986, not the 1940s. See more »


Liz Thompson: [looking at Durham Cathedral] That's my favourite view, Chief Inspector
George Gently: I think it's becoming mine too. Why are you here, sergeant?
Liz Thompson: I'm the Chief Constable's new driver.
George Gently: You enjoying it?
Liz Thompson: Yes. I get to go everywhere he goes. Never knew County Durham had so many golf courses.
See more »


The Hammer in Me
Performed by Jay Miller
See more »

User Reviews

Gently and China
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" 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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Release Date:

11 September 2011 (UK) See more »

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Aspect Ratio:

16 : 9
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