19/01/2017 12:24 GMT

'Inspector George Gently' Going Away Quietly, As BBC Confirms Martin Shaw Drama Will Finish After 8 Series

End of an era.

’Inspector George Gently’ will be going away quietly, with the BBC confirming that the eighth series, which begins filming this week, will be its last. 

Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby have been starring in the North Eastern crime drama for 10 years, and have 23 episodes under the belts as the eponymous DCI and his colleague Inspector Bacchus. 

Preparing for his final portrayal of Gently, Martin Shaw says: “It’s wonderful to be coming back to the show. We’re a very happy and close company, and working with such friends is a joy. I’m excited at being able to bring the series to a proper finale, a farewell that befits such a popular series.”

Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby star in 'Inspector George Gently'

The series will finish with two feature-length episodes, set in 1970, with great change in the air. It is the start of a new decade, Edward Heath has just won a narrow victory for the Conservatives at the General Election, but there’s radical change for women, political paranoia in the Cold War - and industrial unrest in the air.....

‘Gently Liberated’ sees George Gently and John Bacchus become involved in an investigation that may be a miscarriage of justice. Guest stars include Anamaria Marinca (’Fury’, ‘Maigret’s Dead Man’) and Victoria Bewick (’Call the Midwife’, ‘The Iron Lady’).

The very final episode - ‘Gently and the New Age’ - begins with Gently giving evidence at The Old Bailey against corrupt police officers in the Met - his old enemies. It should be one of the final acts of his career, but he is asked to take on one last job by Lister, the head of a new Special Investigations Squad, which examines evidence against ‘bent’ coppers. Guest stars include Richard Harrington (’Poldark’, ‘Hinterland’), Adam Levy (’Before I go to Sleep’) and Steven Robertson (’Trainspotting 2’, ‘Shetland’).

‘Inspector George Gently’ has been adapted for TV from Alan Hunter’s original novels by Peter Flannery, who also serves as the show’s exec producer. He says now: 

 “I’m sad to finally part with George Gently - the series and the character. Loosely based at first on the novels of Alan Hunter, the world of the stories became my own creation which audiences have enjoyed for nearly 10 years.   It’s been a privilege along the way to work with talented and committed teams and I hope that many of them will look back on George Gently - as I will - with pride and pleasure.”