Gideon of Scotland Yard

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George Gideon
Gideon.JPG
Jack Hawkins in the film Gideon's Day; John Gregson in the TV series Gideon's Way
First appearance Gideon's Day
Last appearance Gideon's Fear
Created by John Creasey (as J.J. Marric)
Portrayed by Jack Hawkins (film)
John Gregson (television)
Information
Gender Male
Occupation Police detective
Nationality British

Commander George Gideon of Scotland Yard is a fictional policeman who appeared in 26 police procedural novels, 21 of which were written by John Creasey under the pseudonym J.J. Marric, and published between 1955 and 1976.[1] Portraying Gideon as a master balancing the management of cases and the workings of law enforcement, it has been considered his "most famous police procedural series".[2] After Creasey's death, the series was continued in five further novels by William Vivian Butler.

Anthony Boucher of the New York Times Book Review considered the first of the books, Gideon's Day (1955), to be author's best book. H. R. F. Keating, reviewer for the London Times picked Gideon's Week (1956) as one of the "100 Best Crime and Mystery Books" (1845-1986). Gideon's Fire (1962) won the Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.[1]

The character[edit]

George Gideon ("G.G." or "Gee-Gee" to coppers and crooks alike) is powerfully built but has a gentle voice. He has pale-blue eyes. He is famed for his prodigious feats of memory and his ability to handle a bewildering work-load of cases simultaneously. Despite his seniority in rank, Gideon often takes a hands-on approach and on occasions physically engages with criminals. He is respected and liked by his staff - but they know to keep their heads down when his temper is aroused. In the first novel, Gideon's Day he holds the rank of Detective Superintendent, but in the second Gideon's Week, he has been promoted to Commander, and is the operational head of the Yard's entire CID, a position he holds for the rest of the series.

One of Creasey's technical advisers for the series was Commander George Hatherill, who had organized the British Army's Special Investigation Branch during World War II, and was the operational head of the Yard's CID from 1954 through 1964 (the same position Gideon held in fiction) during which time he was awarded the OBE. Hatherill is generally believed to have been Creasey's model for Gideon.

Family[edit]

Throughout the series, Marric emphasizes the pressure experienced by police families due to the demands of police work, and the impact of distress in the family on the ability to work. Gideon is married to Kate, and has six surviving children. Their relationship has been strained by the loss of a seventh child while Gideon was on the Flying Squad (prior to the start of the series). In Gideon's Day , the first book in the series, the children are described as Tom (age 26); Prudence (18+), Priscilla (15+), Matthew (14), Penelope (12), and Malcolm (8). The oldest children are self-supporting; the younger ones in school. As the series progresses, the children train for careers, move out, and marry. Family relationships are usually mentioned only briefly, to establish a time frame or as they relate to or affect Gideon's work.

Penny, the Gideon's youngest daughter, is mentioned most frequently, in part because of her on-and-off relationship with an older police officer, Alec Hobbs. In Gideon's Wrath (1967) Alec Hobbs' first wife Helen dies, around the time that Hobbs becomes Gideon's deputy. In Gideon's River (1968) Hobbs escorts Penelope to the river gala, accompanying Gideon and Kate. In Gideon's Way, written by William Vivian Butler and published in 1983, Alec and Penny are married and have a son, George.

The number of children was trimmed in the TV series.

Film and TV[edit]

In Gideon's Day (1958, directed by John Ford, USA title: Gideon Of Scotland Yard), Gideon is played by Jack Hawkins. The co-stars were Anna Lee (Kate Gideon), Dianne Foster (Joanna Delafield), Ronald Howard (Paul Delafield), Cyril Cusack (Birdy Sparrow), and Andrew Ray (PC Simon Farnaby-Green). The film was released by Columbia Pictures and is only loosely based on the book of the same title. Ford treats it as a comedy-melodrama, whereas the book is a more serious and straightforward procedural.[3]

A 26-part TV series Gideon's Way (USA title: Gideon C.I.D.) was made in 1964, starring John Gregson, which ran until 1966 in the UK, produced by ITC Entertainment.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Gideon's Day (1955)
  • Gideon's Week (1956)
  • Gideon's Night (1957)
  • Gideon at Work (1957) Three Volumes in one, Gideon's Day, Gideon's Week, Gideon's Night
  • Gideon's Month (1958)
  • Gideon's Staff (1959)
  • Gideon's Risk (1960)
  • Gideon's Fire (1961)
  • Gideon's March (1962)
  • Gideon's Ride (1963)
  • Gideon's Vote (1964)
  • Gideon's Lot (1965)
  • Gideon's Badge (1966)
  • Gideon's Wrath (1967)
  • Gideon's River (1968)
  • Gideon's Power (1969)
  • Gideon's Sport (1970)
  • Gideon's Art (1971)
  • Gideon's Men (1972)
  • Gideon's Press (1973)
  • Gideon's Fog (1975)
  • Gideon's Drive (1976)

The series was continued after Creasey's death by William Vivian Butler:

  • Gideon's Force (1978)
  • Gideon's Law (1981)
  • Gideon's Way (1983)
  • Gideon's Raid (1986)
  • Gideon's Fear (1990)

Gideon's staff and family[edit]

Title (Year) Gideon's Position Gideon's Assistant Assistant Commissioner for Crime Commissioner Children mentioned
Gideon's Day (1955) vt. Gideon of Scotland Yard Superintendent, New Scotland Yard Chief Inspector Lemaitre (wife Fifi) Assistant Commissioner, A.C. Tom (26); Prudence (18+), Priscilla (15+), Matthew (14), Penelope (12), Malcolm (8)
Gideon's Week (1956) vt. Seven Days To Death Commander, CID Chief Inspector Lemaitre Assistant Commissioner, A.C. Commissioner Tom (living in North of England); Prudence ("eldest daughter"), Priscilla (age 16), Matthew, Penelope ("their youngest girl"), Malcolm (age 9)
Gideon's Night (1957) Commander Chief Inspector Lemaitre (Fifi leaves, Lemaitre to switch to Chief Superintendent on nights) Assistant Commissioner Prudence, Matthew (age 17), Penelope
Gideon's Month (1958) vt. A Backwards Jump Commander Chief Inspector Lemaitre Assistant Commissioner, "A.C.", "Old Man" Commissioner Prudence, Priscilla (18), Matthew (17), Penelope (14), Malcolm (5 children at home)
Gideon's Staff (1959) vt. Thugs And Economies Commander Lemaitre is Chief Superintendent on night duty; Riddell (temporary); Bell (temporary) Hugh Rogerson (announces retirement) Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Prudence (22, violinist, planning to marry Peter), Matthew, Penelope, Malcolm
Gideon's Risk (1960) vt. Gideon Combats Influence Commander Chief Inspector Joe Bell Rogerson (back from 6 months leave) Sir Reginald Scott-Marle, Commissioner Tom (28, married, north of England), Prudence (23, married to Peter); Priscilla (nearly 21), Matthew (studying for scholarship), Penelope (nearly 17), Malcolm (15)
Gideon's Fire (1961) Commander Joe Bell Rogerson Sir Reginald Scott-Marle, Commissioner Tom (married), Prudence (married); Priscilla (nearly 21), Matthew (not yet 19), Penelope (16), Malcolm (13)
Gideon's March (1962) vt. A Conference For Assassins Commander Joe Bell Rogerson Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Priscilla, Penelope, Malcolm
Gideon's Ride (1963) vt. Travelling Crimes Commander Lemaitre (has remarried 2 years after 1st wife leaves) Rogerson Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Tom (married), Prudence (married), Matthew (Cambridge); Priscilla, Penelope, Malcolm
Gideon's Vote (1964) vt. An Uncivilised Election Commander Lemaitre (temporary substitute for Gideon) Rogerson Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Priscilla (23), Penelope (19), Malcolm (15)
Gideon's Lot (1965) vt. Criminal Imports Commander Lemaitre (has now been married 3 years to Chloe) Rogerson (critically ill) Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Prudence (pregnant), Priscilla is married to Dick & living in Midlands
Gideon's Badge (1966) vt. To Nail A Serial Killer Commander Lemaitre (temporarily substitutes for Gideon) vacant Sir Reginald Scott-Marle
Gideon's Wrath (1967) vt. From Murder to a Cathedral Commander Lemaitre, Alec Hobbs (recommended to Deputy Commander; wife Helen dies) vacant Sir Reginald Scott-Marle
Gideon's River (1968) Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs Commissioner ("away") Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Penelope
Gideon's Power (1969) vt. Darkness and Confusion Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs Commissioner ("relatively new") Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Tom, Prudence, Matthew (married); Priscilla, Penelope, Malcolm (19)
Gideon's Sport (1970) vt. Sport, Heat, & Scotland Yard Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Penelope, Malcolm
Gideon's Art (1971) Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs Wilson Chamberlain Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Prudence & Peter have a five-year-old; Penelope, Malcolm
Gideon's Men (1972) vt. No Relaxation At Scotland Yard Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs Donaldson Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Priscilla (married); Penelope, Malcolm
Gideon's Press (1973) vt. Impartiality Against The Mob Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs Gideon 'doubles' post of A.C. Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Penelope
Gideon's Fog (1975) vt. Not Hidden By The Fog Commander Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs vacant Sir Reginald Scott-Marle Penelope
Gideon's Drive (1976) vt. Good And Justice Commander Detective Inspector Tiger (temporary substitute for Deputy Commander Alec Hobbs) vacant Sir Reginald Scott-Marle No children at home

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "FFB: Gideon's Fire". In Reference to Murder. June 6, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Book Review: Gideon’s Fire by John Creasey". Kansas City Public Library. September 11, 2014. 
  3. ^ CROWTHER, BOSLEY (May 20, 1959). "Screen: John Ford Spoof; Gideon of Scotland Yard' at the Odeon". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2017. 

External links[edit]