The Singing Detective (1986)

TV Mini-Series  -   -  Drama | Musical | Mystery
8.7
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Ratings: 8.7/10 from 3,167 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 10 critic

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

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Title: The Singing Detective (1986– )

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Season:

1

Year:

1986
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Philip Marlow (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mark Binney / ... (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Nurse Mills (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mr. Hall (6 episodes, 1986)
Gerard Horan ...
 Reginald (6 episodes, 1986)
Leslie French ...
 Mr. Tomkey / ... (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 First Mysterious Man (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Second Mysterious Man (6 episodes, 1986)
Sharon D. Clarke ...
 Night Nurse (6 episodes, 1986)
Lyndon Davies ...
 Philip (aged 10) (6 episodes, 1986)
Geff Francis ...
 Porter (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Nicola (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mrs. Marlow / ... (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mr. Marlow (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Staff Nurse White (5 episodes, 1986)
Janet Henfrey ...
 Schoolteacher (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Dr. Gibbon (4 episodes, 1986)
William Speakman ...
 Mark Binney (aged 10) / ... (4 episodes, 1986)
...
 Dr. Finlay (4 episodes, 1986)
Charles Simon ...
 George Adams (4 episodes, 1986)
Wally Thomas ...
 Grandad Baxter (3 episodes, 1986)
Kate McKenzie ...
 Sonia (3 episodes, 1986)
Trevor Cooper ...
 Cloth Cap / ... (3 episodes, 1986)
Charon Bourke ...
 Amanda (2 episodes, 1986)
Mary MacLeod ...
 Sister Malone (2 episodes, 1986)
Thomas Wheatley ...
 Registrar (2 episodes, 1986)
...
 Uncle John (2 episodes, 1986)
...
 Aunt Emily (2 episodes, 1986)
Niven Boyd ...
 First Soldier (2 episodes, 1986)
Angela Curran ...
 Mary (2 episodes, 1986)
...
 Second Soldier (2 episodes, 1986)
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Storyline

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 <bhob2@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1986 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Singing Detective  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

All the incidental music for the 1940s "spy thriller" segments was taken from royalty-free collections of "clip music". See more »

Quotes

Doctor: [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?
[pauses]
Doctor: Do you understand the question?
Philip E. Marlow: Uh - no, I don't think so.
Doctor: [slowly] 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 »

Connections

Referenced in Film Geek (2005) See more »

Soundtracks

Peg o' My Heart
(uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
Performed by Max Harris & His Novelty Trio during the credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Greatest television ever made
5 December 2002 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

Dennis Potter was the master of the teleplay and this is the pinnacle of his art. Clever and intelligent dialogue, a brilliant use of non-linear narrative, and a faultless cast all contribute to making this a modern masterpiece.


24 of 29 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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