MARK GATISS in INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY: THE LOST CHILD – Mini Review

Screening on BBC One on Sunday September 9 2012 at 20:30BST, Inspector George Gently: The Lost Child is the third episode of the fifth series of the period police drama starring Martin Shaw and Lee Ingleby, and features Mark Gatiss in a guest role.

From a sparse, direct montage opening, the episode is an economical ninety minutes centred around the disappearance of an infant from its crib at home, and framed by the wider sociological events of 1968, not least child care and the unspoken presence of the Abortion Act – introduced in the previous year.

Mark Gatiss plays the child’s father Stephen Groves, here second billed in the guest cast to Helen Baxendale, who plays his wife Frances. Mark delivers a performance of depth, nuance, and emotion, playing nicely against any expectations you may have of him from other roles. Relatively non-descript, with a beard, glasses and a quiet northern accent, he performs a quietly complex character who carries a great amount of private guilt with aplomb, and by the close truly gains our sympathy. The episode also sees a reunion for Mark with Lee Ingleby, his co-star in The Wind in the Willows, Crooked House, and The First Men in the Moon, though their shared screen time is sadly slightly limited.

Perfect Sunday evening viewing, Inspector George Gently: The Lost Child is an onion like examination of lies in suburbia in the most socially dramatic decade of the 20th Century, a tangled web of duplicity that only reveals itself incrementally, and features strong performances by all involved. We highly recommend watching.

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    This episode sucked.
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    Looking forward to watching this later!
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