A long-running British TV series starring Alfred Burke as dour private-eye Frank Marker. Cynical and world-weary, Marker is frequently the unwitting stooge in bigger criminal wheels in his ...
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A long-running British TV series starring Alfred Burke as dour private-eye Frank Marker. Cynical and world-weary, Marker is frequently the unwitting stooge in bigger criminal wheels in his attempts to make a tenuous living on the outskirts of London. Fairly cheaply made on video, when the series went into colour in 1970, rather than re-making the evocative title sequence, the producers (Thames Television) merely put it through a sepia filter! Written by
Frank is given a display case of 15 pinned butterflies by a grateful client as part-payment for his fee. He has this in his Birmingham office and takes it to his short-lived Brighton premises. It then hangs in his Windsor home (as seen in "The Beater and the Game") before being displayed in his High Street office in "John VII. Verse 24". A nice piece of visual continuity, the box does actually differ slightly between the ABC and Thames episodes. See more »
The Golden Flower Chinese restaurant is visible through the window of Frank's Eton High Street office - but as seen in location work for editions such as "Come Into the Garden, Rose", the eaterie is actually found two doors down from Marker's premises. The Thames production team designed the studio backdrop like this as they felt what actually faced the office was visually uninteresting. See more »
They don't come any better than "Public Eye." It is one of the more realistic kinds of British television with a leading character who most viewers were rooting for. The series made the name of Alfred Burke, who easily made the character of Private Inquiry Agent Frank Marker his own. The tone and the style of the series never changed in the 10 years it was broadcast and that was the correct decision. It is a bit difficult in reviewing the episodes of "Public Eye" that were made from 1965 to 1968 as most of them are missing from the archives. Only about 4 exist. However, the episodes made from 1969 to 1975 all exist in their entirety. Amen to that! The very best of this series, are the episodes from 1969 til 1973. We are treated to some vintage television drama, the writing and the acting being of a high calibre. Frank Marker invariably finds himself on the receiving end of some decidedly dishonest and unlawful people in his line of work. It can be put down to an occupational hazard of a sort as he encounters dishonesty and corruption in almost of all his cases. There are times when Marker fails to be even paid for his troubles when his client is revealed to be less than genuine in many ways. It is a rather harsh and uncompromising world that he inhibits and this is magnified in that most of the police look down upon Marker. The moment he stumbles upon a case which perhaps includes something serious like murder or extortion, the police soon make themselves known to him. Frank Marker was based in different areas across England. To begin with, he set up a practice in Birmingham. Then after being sent to prison for something he hadn't done, he relocated to Brighton. The 1969 series covered his time there. For the 1971 series, Marker moved to Windsor. You would think that being based in such a prosperous area would mean he could make a respectable living. Not so as he is still struggling to make ends meet, financially speaking. For the rest of the series, he operated in the Surrey area. Alfred Burke is certainly playing the character as being downtrodden and someone who is usually lead up the proverbial garden path. For all of this, Marker still manages to maintain his own self-respect, honesty and integrity. Even so, he is quite a guarded person when it comes to trusting anyone and with good reason. The viewers never dispute why he doesn't take many people into his confidence. A rare exception to the rule was when Marker was living at the guest house in Brighton. His landlady was someone decent and honest but someone he could talk to. During the 1971 series, he befriended a local police officer. This character actually tolerated Marker more than most of his colleagues. This is a landmark television series, the kind of quality that is a thing of the past.
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