8.7/10
3,771
48 user 15 critic

The Singing Detective 

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.
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1  
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
...  Grandad Baxter 3 episodes, 1986
Kate McKenzie ...  Sonia 3 episodes, 1986
...  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>

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Release Date:

16 November 1986 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az éneklő detektív  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The third episode "Lovely Days" derives its title from the song "It's a Lovely Day Tomorrow" which crops up several times throughout. See more »

Quotes

Philip E. Marlow: I've not seriously doubted since that afternoon that any lie will receive almost instant corroboration, and almost instant collaboration, if the maintenance of it results in the public enjoyment of someone else's pain, someone else's humiliation.
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Connections

Referenced in Gilmore Girls: Teach Me Tonight (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

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

 
Greatest television ever made
5 December 2002 | by 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.


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