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Classic British Crime Drama: #55 – The Gentle Touch – Jill Gascoine – S05 E13 – Exit Laughing

25/11/2022

This Episode

A minor civil servant is found dead in exotic circumstances, and Maggie tries to protect his widow from publicity.

The Series

The Gentle Touch is a British police drama television series made by London Weekend Television for ITV which began on 11 April 1980 and ran until 1984. The series is notable for being the first (by four months) British series to feature a female police detective as its leading character, ahead of the similarly themed BBC series Juliet Bravo.

The series starred Jill Gascoine as Detective Inspector Maggie Forbes, who has worked her way up through the ranks of the police force and is based at the Seven Dials police station in London. Maggie’s husband, a police constable, is murdered during the first episode, leaving her to juggle her career with single parenthood, raising her teenage son.

The Gentle Touch largely dealt with routine police procedures and offered a frank depiction of relevant social issues (including racism, sexism, homosexuality, mental health and euthanasia). It was low on action and violence in comparison to previous classic crime series such as The Sweeney, opting for a more realistic and low key approach. Although the series mostly focused on Maggie’s professional life in a male-dominated field, it also showed her home life with her teenage son Steve, who in one episode she castigated for looking at porn, as well as her occasional romantic involvements which sometimes clashed with her job. MORE AT LINK

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