Inspector George Gently (2010)
In this 1960s period piece police drama, Detective Sergeant John Bacchus discovers that a murder victim was a freemason. He joins his father-in-law's masonic lodge to solve the case. This episode is yet another example of British television writers' portrayal of Freemasonry as "a bunch of crooks."
Inspector Gently is given the opportunity early in the episode to express his distrust of Freemasonry.
John: "Sir have you ever been asked to roll up your trouser leg?"
George: "Yeah, have you?"
John: "Yeah, Chief Constable asked me if I was interested. That was before I got his daughter up the duff and now he hates my guts."
George: "Stay away from them. That's my advice."
John: "Ah, they're harmless enough."
George: "They're not, they're not harmless. A police officer should never have a sense of conflicting loyalty. I hate secret societies anyway. I know one lodge in London's got just as many crooks in it as coppers. What does that tell you?"
With allowance for artistic licence the ashlars and working tools are placed on the altar, the square and compasses are placed separately on facing pages of the Volume of Sacred Law, and the newly initiated candidate is handed an apron, gloves and officer's collar while still standing at the altar a reasonable portrayal of a small part of an initiation ceremony is given.
Later John finds a pair of masonic gloves in the victim's study. His widow comments: "Yes, the mafia of the mediocre. Despicable men. My husband was a mason. They were phoning him all the time. Putting more and more pressure on him."
John: "Pressure about what?"
Mrs Fuller: "What do you think?"
John: "I don't know."
Mrs Fuller: "The election. The masons are all Tories."
The episode ends with the arrest of the murderer, who is not a freemason. John then turns to George and asks: "How do you resign from the masons, by the way?" George replies with a brief smile: "You don't. You know you've left the masons when they find you...[gesture of cutting throat]."
Inspector George Gently "Gently Through the Mill" (Series 7, episode 4). Directed by Ciaran Donnelly, written by Mick Ford. Martin Shaw, Lee Ingleby, Simon Hubbard. Produced by Company Pictures for BBC One, Broadcast 24 May 2009, UK, English.