Alan Hunter's George Gently novels are set in East Anglia, around the area in Norfolk where he grew up, but the TV series is set in County Durham and Series 1 and 2 were filmed in Ireland.

From Series 3, the series has been filmed in County Durham. The production has been based at the old Whinney Hill School, which is also used as the front of the Police Station with a wonderful view of Durham Cathedral.

Alan Hunter's informant character named China, was originally mentioned in his first George Gently novel published in 1955. Author Ken Bruen put an informant character named China in his first Jack Taylor novel in 2001, as a tribute.

The final episode was originally set to broadcast on 28 May 2017, but it has been postponed due to the story-line dealing with a controversial politician and its proximity to the general election in the UK.

In early 2010 the BBC announced it had secured funding from the North East Content Fund to produce additional episodes in the series.

Martin Shaw is much older than a working policeman.

In "Gently With Class" Bachuss refers to "Hooray Henry's from the Bullingdon club " which is an oblique reference to the then (at the time of broadcast) PM David Cameron and colleagues George Osbourne and Boris Johnson. However, the term "Hooray Henry" was not in use in the 1960's and a provincial Newcastle policeman would be unlikely to have been aware of an exclusive, little-known club for aristocrats at Oxford university.

Even when the series began in 2007, Martin Shaw, at 62 years old, was already several years past the age of retirement for a senior investigating officer.

The Series 3 episode Inspector George Gently: Gently Evil (2010) is clearly based on the real-life case of Mary Bell, an 11-year-old girl who, in 1968, strangled two 3-year-old boys, whom she was babysitting, in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne and was convicted of manslaughter, serving twelve years in prison before being released in 1980. She has lived under a protected identity and in anonymity since release.