What's fascinating to watch isn't just the police officers' disgust and anger at what's happened in the building over the years, but their gradual giving in to understanding and then believing what had happened. Not even world-weary Gently who has seen the worst of what big city crime has to offer can get his head around the idea initially. That attention to detail is the hallmark of all the episodes. When social issues we're familiar with, like racism, birth control, and abortion, are brought up in other cases, they are done so in the context of the time period.
During the questioning of a suspect in "Gently In The Blood," Gently has to catch himself from using a racist epithet at one point, and admits to his younger partner how a few years earlier he had found himself making a similar slur and is unable to explain why he did. In another episode, "Gently In The Night," while investigating the death of a pretty young woman their inquiries lead them to a doctor who they discover is guilty of giving birth control pills to unmarried women. It's touches like these that give each of the episodes a verisimilitude that merely using appropriate costumes or driving the right model of car can't match.
Shaw and Ingleby continue their high level of work from series one with Ingleby in particular bringing more depth to his character of John Bacchus this time round. He's like a young child who resents that he can't have everything he wants, but who is gradually growing up and learning that some things are worth more than others. He's still trying too hard to impress his boss for all the wrong reasons, but at least he's no longer making the wrong decisions while doing so. More and more you see him beginning to have doubts about his earlier ambitions of moving to London. While he continues to spout them, you have the feeling it's more from habit than anything else and that he just hasn't figured out a way of backing down from them without losing face. Shaw's Gently continues to bear the scars of his time in London, but he shows a great deal more humour than before. While the anger he displayed in the first series is still there, it's now not as close to the surface and he's become far more open than he was in series one. It will be interesting to see how the two characters develop in future episodes — series three began filming in January, 2010 — and I look forward to seeing what the writers have in store for both of them.