3 October 2020 | MrJRGO
Series 2 - The Quality Touch
(See my review for the first series). The show is currently running every Monday night, 10pm, on the UK's Talking Pictures (Freeview Channel 81).
Back in 1980, the second series started airing less than four months after the first finished, probably to capitalise on its success and to not allow the BBC's Juliet Bravo to take all the limelight. Anybody who was worried that they were rushing the next series out would most likely have been relieved that it was better than the first, fleshing out the characters a little more, particularly our heroine Detective Inspector Maggie Forbes.
I can say that Jill Gascoine's portrayal of the embattled Detective Inspector is truly exceptional and although I was quite young at the time, I'm sure she didn't get the recognition she deserved. The pressure on her must have been immense and yet it doesn't show one bit. She manages to find a perfect portrayal of a woman doing a hard job in tough conditions whilst also showing her to be a mother and a human being. Some of this was down to the quality of writing and the excellent support she got from the cast, but plaudits must go to the late Jill Gascoine.
Regarding the second series, I'm pleased to say we see the more memorable opening credits with the faster music that the first series missed out on. Perhaps there is a little more polish to the second series, the writers and the cast feeling more confident and comfortable in their work. The stories are interesting and keep you hooked from start to finish, bearing in mind that these episodes are an hour long with two short advert breaks. If my attention wanders, it's brief, and I'm often engrossed until the final credits start running, leaving me looking forward to the next week.
The second series strikes a good balance between presenting Maggie at work and in her private life, although the two are often linked. It does a good job of showing the human side of our leading lady, plus some interesting but minor development of other major characters. For instance, it's becoming clear that the chill between Maggie and Detective Inspector Bob Croft is thawing as well as the fact that her teenage son is doing some growing up.
It goes without saying that some episodes are stronger than others with my personal favourites being 'Something Blue', 'Decoy', 'Menaces', 'Chance' and 'Shame', with the episode 'Hammer' being the one that didn't click for me. Always interesting as well, as you often get when watching old TV shows, is seeing the familiar faces popping up in roles, quite often before they were famous. The second series has more than its fair share of these.
That's now seventeen Mondays on the trot that I have tuned in at 10pm and my desire to continue watching 'The Gentle Touch' is still unabated. I hope to watch all 56 episodes on this one a week basis and I'm finding it thoroughly enjoyable.
Series 3 will start at 10pm on Monday (5th October 2020), Freeview, Ch81 Talking Pictures. It's not too late to start following the show. There are still 39 episodes to come.
Series 1 - 8/10
Series 2 - 9/10