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 ...
See full summary »
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 »
It's been over 30 years since I last saw Public Eye on UK ITV, but having just watched some of the 1969 episodes released on DVD it's as I remembered it: grimy and gritty. There was a marvellously downbeat downtrodden atmosphere to all the series (I'm too young to remember the first from the mid-sixties, all wiped), partly thanks to the fact neither ABC nor Thames wanted to spend much money on it, and not just the acting or the stories. Those who remember the series have no chance in forgetting the lugubrious theme music, oft repeated per episode at the commercial break bumpers.
Welcome to Brighton? broadcast 30.07.69: Framed ex convict Frank Marker indelibly played by angular and craggy Alfred Burke leaves HMP Ford for a new start in Brighton. A few ordinary adventures later his cynical outlook is seemingly proved justified by our glimpse into a dull grainy world of varying but usually seedy human emotions. Being an "Enquiry Agent" was in his blood, as performing a simple favour to an acquaintance in prison brings out the bloodhound in him.
I don't go overboard for "realism" in films or TV - give me Abbott & Costello any day! But I do recommend Public Eye for something refreshingly different to today's type of TV drama, a realism at once hard but at the same time humdrum and fantastic too, and also basically portraying a non-colour, non-violent and non-CGI world too.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?