The Gentle Touch

For the 1956 British cinema film released in the USA as "The Gentle Touch", see The Feminine Touch (1956 film).
The Gentle Touch

Main title screen featuring Jill Gascoine
Created by Terence Feely
Starring Jill Gascoine
William Marlowe
Brian Gwaspari
Paul Moriarty
Nigel Rathbone
Derek Thompson
Bernard Holley
Opening theme Roger Webb
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 5
No. of episodes 56 (list of episodes)
Running time 1 hour (inc. commercials)
Original network ITV
Original release 11 April 1980 
24 November 1984
Followed by C.A.T.S. Eyes

The Gentle Touch is a British police drama television series made by London Weekend Television for ITV which ran from 1980–84. Commencing transmission on 11 April 1980, the series is notable for being the first British series to feature a female police detective as its leading character, ahead of the similarly themed BBC series Juliet Bravo by four months.

Series history

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 crime series such as The Sweeney, opting for a more realistic and character-driven approach. Although the series mostly focused on Maggie's professional life in a male-dominated field, it also showed her home life with her son Steve, as well as her occasional romantic involvements which sometimes clashed with her job. In real life Jill Gascoine could not drive so when Maggie had to be seen driving the scenes would be shot using a car towed behind the camera truck.

The Gentle Touch was a ratings success in the UK, where it was screened on Friday nights in a 9.00pm slot (except for the final series which was shown on Saturday nights). One episode shown in January 1982 garnered over 18 million viewers and was the 5th most watched television programme in Britain that year.[1] The Gentle Touch made Gascoine a household name and ran for five series until 1984, however the character of Maggie Forbes lasted longer and she returned in 1985 in the more action orientated spin-off series C.A.T.S. Eyes (also created by Terence Feely) about a team of female detectives in Kent who covertly work for the Home Office.

Main cast

Episode list

DVD release

The first and second series of The Gentle Touch were originally released on DVD (Region 2, UK) by DD Home Entertainment, but the company entered into administration as of 26 July 2007. The series rights were then passed to Network DVD who re-released series 1 (with new artwork) in January 2008, and followed on with the re-release of series 2 (also with new artwork) in April 2008. The third series was released on 15 February 2010, and the fourth series was released on 12 April 2010, the day after the series' 30th anniversary.

The fifth and final series was released by Network DVD on 14 November 2011.


  1. "Top 10 Programmes 1982". BARB (British Broadcasters Audience Research. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 8/10/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.