Writer Philip Marlow is in hospital being treated for a severe skin affliction, something he has suffered from for 25 years but is now worse than it has ever been. He finds himself in a general ward ...
Arthur, a sheet music salesman, has an ear for the hit tunes, but nobody will trust it. And his imagination often bursts into full song, building musical numbers around the greatest ... See full summary »
The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »
Past and present intertwine: An elderly couple returns to the hotel where they became close when they were young and flashbacks to the earlier visit reveal the origins of both their ... See full summary »
Called out of retirement to settle the affairs of a friend, Smiley finds his old organization, the Circus, so overwhelmed by political considerations that it doesn't want to know what ... See full summary »
During the Suez Crisis of 1956, two young clerks at the stuffy Foreign Office in Whitehall display little interest in the decline of the British Empire. To their eyes, it can hardly compete... See full summary »
Blackeyes is an attempt to explore "what does go on between men and women in their heads, to show the possibilities of the ways that they see each other." Complex and multi-layered, the ... See full summary »
Daniel Feeld is a screenwriter with pains in his gut and a new screenplay called "Karaoke", about a girl named Sandra who works in a seedy Karaoke bar and is murdered by a lowlife named ... See full summary »
Dr. Emma Porlock and her colleagues, attempting to unlock the secrets of human memory for the Masdon drug empire, get a cryogenically stored 400-year-old human head to project its memories ... See full summary »
Frances de la Tour
Reworking material from his first novel, "Hide and Seek" (1973), and folding this into a prismatic blend of autobiographical details, popular music and 1940s film noir, Dennis Potter delivered a drama now regarded as a 20th-century masterwork. Detective novelist Philip Marlow (Michael Gambon) suffers from the crippling disease of psoriatic arthritis. Confined to a hospital bed, Marlow mentally rewrites his early Chandleresque thriller, "The Singing Detective," with himself in the title role, drifting into a surreal 1945 fantasy of spies and criminals, along with vivid memories of a childhood in the Forest of Dean. As past events and 1940s songs surface in his subconscious, Marlow's voyage of self-discovery provides a key to conquering his illness, while his noir-styled hallucinations evoke the Philip Marlowe of Chandler's "Murder, My Sweet" (1944), starring Dick Powell, who later became a "singing detective" on radio's "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" (1949), crooning to ... Written by
Bhob Stewart <email@example.com>
Although my comments could belong under the 2003 film version, I choose rather to make the comparison here because the film, more than anything else, gives reinforcement to the view that there are reasons this original miniseries is 6 hours long.
In the original, there really isn't a wasted minute of it's 6-hour running time. The complexity of this man's situation requires that the story reveals several different conflicts in his life simultaneously, and how they relate and resolve through psychiatry, The Singing Detective writing, his relationships (past and present), and the music that had become so important in his life. For the film version, because most of this can't be explored in such a short amount of time, most of these elements aren't included. As a result, the film is light and detached... and forgettable.
Apart from that. as another reviewer here pointed out, the acting and casting is MUCH MUCH better in this original despite the lack of famous handsome Hollywood faces (the 2003 film features Mel Gibson sporting a bald head piece to look like a 'nerdy' psychiatrist!).
I'm not an easy critic, but this version is in my top five of all time (movies, not TV- it feels more like a movie that TV to me). 10 of 10
17 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?