A cozy, dimly-lit writer's room filled with scattered notes and screenplay pages, with a group of diverse television writers sitting around a large, cluttered table discussing a storyboard for the pil

Introduction to The Gentlemen TV Series Pilot

The television adaptation of The Gentlemen, originally a successful film directed by Guy Ritchie, kicks off with a pilot episode designed to capture the essence of its cinematic predecessor. This pilot serves not only as an introduction to the stylish and gritty world of Mickey Pearson’s marijuana empire but also sets the tone and pace for the series. In this review, we delve into the structure of the pilot episode using a TV beat sheet to analyze how well it establishes characters, setting, and potential story arcs.

Opening Image and Setup

The pilot begins vividly in the streets of London, a nod to the film’s characteristic setting, introducing viewers to the bustling yet underground world of crime intertwined with luxury. The opening scene effectively paints a quick sketch of the city’s dual nature, juxtaposing the grit of East London’s back alleys with the polished exteriors of West London’s elite social clubs. In these first moments, key characters are introduced, with lingering shots that highlight their importance, mirroring the stylistic choices from the movie.

Establishing the Protagonist

Following the Ritchie template, the protagonist, Mickey Pearson, is introduced through a dynamic sequence that establishes him as both formidable and strategically brilliant. The pilot uses flashbacks, a technique that stitches past triumphs and pivotal decisions into the current narrative, showing rather than telling Mickey’s rise to power and his control over the weed empire.

Inciting Incident

The calm of Mickey’s meticulously managed operation is disrupted when an assassination attempt narrowly fails. This event not only serves as the inciting incident but also propels the storyline into the high stakes world of crime, loyalty, and betrayal that defines the series. It effectively sets the stage for the plot’s central question: Who wants Mickey dead?

Plot Points and Rising Action

Following the attempt on his life, Mickey and his ensemble of subordinates, including the cunning Ray and tough-man Coach, begin to peel back layers of allegiances and rival ambitions. The pilot peppers in engaging conflicts and alliances, each beat revealing motives and plans, which keeps the tension taut and the pace swift. During these sequences, the episode skillfully drops hints and misleads, maintaining a sense of unpredictability and suspense.

Introduction to the Antagonist

Amidst the unfolding chaos, the antagonist is gradually revealed. Unlike traditional reveals, however, the pilot withholds a full disclosure, presenting instead a series of potential threats. This narrative choice builds complexity around the antagonist’s identity, encouraging viewers to engage deeply with every character’s motivations and actions.


The climax of the pilot is meticulously crafted, with Mickey confronting one of his closest allies turned betrayer in a tense showdown. This confrontation not only serves to showcase Mickey’s analytical prowess and dominance but also ties back to themes of loyalty and power dynamics introduced earlier in the episode. The clash occurs in a quintessentially Ritchie-esque setting— a dimly lit boxing ring, surrounded by onlookers, enhancing the theatrical intensity of the scene.

Falling Action and Conclusion

Post-climax, the episode begins to tie up loose ends while setting the stage for future episodes. It revisits earlier plot points to resolve immediate questions but leaves enough ambiguity to drive the series forward. The final scenes return to a reflective tone, with Mickey contemplating the scope of his empire and the loneliness it breeds, a nuanced look at the cost of power that adds depth to his character.

Setting Up Future Episodes

The pilot closes on a teaser note, introducing a new character or element that promises to upheave the status quo Mickey fights so hard to maintain. This strategic hook is designed to keep audiences returning, eager to see how new dynamics will unfold and how Mickey will maneuver through the continually evolving landscape of high-stakes crime.


Overall, the pilot episode of The Gentlemen makes a strong case for its continuation as a series. By staying true to the film’s roots through its style, narrative techniques, and character development, while also expanding the universe and its complexities, the episode sets a promising foundation for the series. For fans of the film and newcomers alike, the pilot provides an engrossing blend of intrigue, strategic conflicts, and rich character exploration, all set within the magnetic world of London’s criminal underbelly.

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