Gideon of Scotland Yard
|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)
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. 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". 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.
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.
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
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.
- Gideon's Day (1955)
- Gideon's Week (1956)
- Gideon's Night (1957)
- 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)
Gideon at Work (1957) Three Volumes in one, Gideon's Day, Gideon's Week, Gideon's Night
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
|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|
- "FFB: Gideon's Fire". In Reference to Murder. June 6, 2014.
- "Book Review: Gideon's Fire by John Creasey". Kansas City Public Library. September 11, 2014.
- CROWTHER, BOSLEY (May 20, 1959). "Screen: John Ford Spoof; Gideon of Scotland Yard' at the Odeon". The New York Times. Retrieved 9 August 2017.