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One for die-hard fans only
on 30 July 2012
Oh the nostalgia of all those early 1980s fashions, and in the case of The Gentle Touch (series 5) lots of wooden acting, clunky direction and poor dialogue. This DVD is the final instalment of the long-running female lead cop show from LWT, and looking back at it now, it's a complete mystery to me as to how phenomonly popular it was in its time. To be fair, this is probably the weakest of the entire five series run, and the fact that the production team and the main cast were bored and had run out of creative drive, is there to see on screen. I know this pre-dates all the empowered women shows that were to come, but in all honesty, Jill Gascoine as Detective Inspector Maggie Forbes has so little to do (both in her portrayal of a senior police officer, and as an actor), that I am surprised she didn't feel guilty about taking home a salary. This clearly wasn't Gascoine's fault, as the show should have ended after series 4; series 5 is for the most part pretty dire. One episode in particular (The Conference) is almost unwatchable, with its ham-fisted humour and social and racial stereotypes.
The Gentle Touch was a great idea and in its early days, there was some thoughtful, believable and genuinely dramatic episodes, but by 1984 it had clearly lost its way, and if it wasn't for my obsession with having complete collections of the series that I buy, I wouldn't have wasted my money on this one. For fans (and there are plenty of them), all the problems with structure and execution won't matter one jot, but if it's a believable 50 minutes of police drama that you're after, I'd have to suggest looking elsewhere.