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The Bates sadly care for their severely disabled daughter Pattie. Martin arrives at their door claiming to be her college friend. He charms them into accepting him as a lodger and carer for Pattie. But Martin is not all he seems.
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Frances de la Tour
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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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
The first time Michael Gambon was wheeled onto set in his full make-up, all the cast and crew were reduced to a stunned silence. Gambon broke the ice by saying "What's all this fuss about Chernobyl then? I went there for a holiday and it didn't do me any harm". See more »
[Doctors and nurses have been clustered round, discussing Marlow's condition while ignoring him]
How do you feel about trying one of the new retinoids? Hmm?
Do you understand the question?
Philip E. Marlow:
Uh - no, I don't think so.
I'm asking you if you'd like to try one of the new...
Philip E. Marlow:
I don't understand the question because I seem to have regressed into a helpless, pathetic condition of total dependency, of a kind normally associated with infancy. The last time I experienced anything remotely ...
See more »
One of the Greatest Things Ever Seen on Television
The BBC television production of "The Singing Detective" caused a huge stir when it was first broadcast back in 1986, and now it is commonly acknowledged as a classic.
Hospitalised by a severe case of psoriasis, crime novelist Philip E Marlow, escapes the grim realities of ward life into a rich inner world where he imagines himself as the "singing detective", hero of his own novels. From these fantasies he drifts to memories of his grim childhood during World War Two, and paranoid fantasies about his estranged wife.
The script, by celebrated writer Dennis Potter, is truly remarkable. The acting is good, especially from Michael Gambon (as Philip Marlow) who is perfect in a very difficult role.
The series lasts nearly seven hours and yet never fails to entertain. The series has a rich vain of dark humour and features some hilariously surreal song-and-dance sequences.
This is a true masterpiece and, very possibly, the best TV series ever made. Don't miss any opportunity to catch it.
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