Play for Today: Season 6, Episode 24

Double Dare (6 Apr. 1976)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 23 users  
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For the BBC's PLAY FOR TODAY series, Dennis Potter wrote this reflexive commentary on writers and actresses, the first Potter production to be done entirely on film. Playwright Martin Ellis... See full summary »

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Title: Double Dare (06 Apr 1976)

Double Dare (06 Apr 1976) on IMDb 8.1/10

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Cast

Episode complete credited cast:
Alan Dobie ...
Martin Ellis
Kika Markham ...
Helen / Carol
Malcolm Terris ...
Client
Joe Melia ...
Ben
John Hamill ...
Peter
Elaine Donnelly ...
Maid
John Joyce ...
Barman
Stanley Lebor ...
Waiter
Sarah Nash ...
Linda Beckett ...
Client's Wife
Colin Prockter ...
Porter
Ian Munro ...
Security Guard
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Storyline

For the BBC's PLAY FOR TODAY series, Dennis Potter wrote this reflexive commentary on writers and actresses, the first Potter production to be done entirely on film. Playwright Martin Ellis intends to write a play about a call girl visiting a client at a hotel. So he invites the actress he plans for the part to join him for a drink at a hotel, hoping this will give him some material to work with. As they talk in the hotel lobby, the boundaries between fantasy and reality begin to blur and overlap. Written by Bhob Stewart <bhob@genie.com>

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Drama

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6 April 1976 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Potter with some self-discipline
30 October 2007 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I saw this a few years ago on BBC4 (apparently only the second time it has been broadcast in the UK) and was very impressed. Dennis Potter wrote this at about the same time as "Brimstone and Treacle", but this has a much clearer structure and a more obvious point than "Brimstone".

Just about all Potter's plays were versions of incidents in his own life, this one even more than most. And, amusingly, the film makes it perfectly clear that we (the viewers) are supposed to draw some conclusions from this. (I especially like the scene when the actress telephones a friend to say "This writer gives me the creeps, I think he's going off his head".) For all his faults, Potter was very self-aware, even though he liked to play games with viewers and interviewers.

Unlike most of Potter's plays, "Double Dare" ends with a clear message

  • that the male writer's fantasies about women could have appalling


consequences if they spilt over into the real world. However, I like even more Kika Markham's suggestion of an extension to that scene: the woman could get up from the bed and say "Wait a minute - you can't do that to me !" This film could very well be remade today - I wish someone would.


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