The Singing Detective: addictive and avant garde – even 25 years on

Dennis Potter's masterpiece, repeated on BBC4 from this evening, makes even the best current drama look like amateur hour

In January, every Us TV station – cable and network – shows off its forthcoming programmes. This year, there was a lot of deserved self-congratulation. Dustin Hoffman's Luck (HBO) is an impressive study of the murky underworld of horse racing and mob tactics; Smash (NBC) is an ambitious take on the High School Musical/Glee trope about the backstage antics of a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe; Kiefer Sutherland's riff as the father of a mute Aspergers sufferer sets post-9/11 American parenting in a sharp, cruel context. Everyone agrees, we're in a golden age of TV.

BBC4, meanwhile, has a show coming up that makes these epics look like amateur hour. The Singing Detective meshes the finest bits of Glee and Smash with the edgy darkness of Dexter and Breaking Bad,
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