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The Singing Detective ()


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Season: 1 Year: 1986

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

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Series Cast Summary

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  Philip Marlow (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Mark Binney / ... (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Nurse Mills (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Mr. Hall (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Reginald (6 episodes, 1986)
Leslie French ...
  Mr. Tomkey / ... (6 episodes, 1986)
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  First Mysterious Man (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Second Mysterious Man (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Night Nurse (6 episodes, 1986)
Lyndon Davies ...
  Philip (aged 10) (6 episodes, 1986)
Geff Francis ...
  Porter (6 episodes, 1986)
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  Nicola (5 episodes, 1986)
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  Mrs. Marlow / ... (5 episodes, 1986)
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  Mr. Marlow (5 episodes, 1986)
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  Staff Nurse White (5 episodes, 1986)
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  Schoolteacher (5 episodes, 1986)
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  Dr. Gibbon (4 episodes, 1986)
William Speakman ...
  Mark Binney (aged 10) / ... (4 episodes, 1986)
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  Dr. Finlay (4 episodes, 1986)
Charles Simon ...
  George Adams (4 episodes, 1986)
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  Grandad Baxter (3 episodes, 1986)
Kate McKenzie ...
  Sonia (3 episodes, 1986)
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  Cloth Cap / ... (3 episodes, 1986)
Charon Bourke ...
  Amanda (2 episodes, 1986)
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  Sister Malone (2 episodes, 1986)
Thomas Wheatley ...
  Registrar (2 episodes, 1986)
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  Uncle John (2 episodes, 1986)
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  Aunt Emily (2 episodes, 1986)
Niven Boyd ...
  First Soldier (2 episodes, 1986)
Angela Curran ...
  Mary (2 episodes, 1986)
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  Second Soldier (2 episodes, 1986)
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  Ali (1 episode, 1986)
Richard Pescud ...
  Consultant (1 episode, 1986)
John Sheraton ...
  Dance Hall Drummer (1 episode, 1986)
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  Policeman (1 episode, 1986)
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  Physiotherapist (1 episode, 1986)
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  Visiting Doctor (1 episode, 1986)
Heather Tobias ...
  Nurse Godfrey (1 episode, 1986)
Paul Lacoux ...
  Houseman (1 episode, 1986)
Richard Butler ...
  Grancher (1 episode, 1986)
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  Busker (1 episode, 1986)
Samantha Bryant ...
  Barbara (1 episode, 1986)
Martin Camm ...
  Harold (1 episode, 1986)
Maggie Holland ...
  Gran (1 episode, 1986)
Joan White ...
  Mrs. Adams (1 episode, 1986)
Claire Phelps ...
  Rita (1 episode, 1986)
Neil Pittaway ...
  Brian (1 episode, 1986)
Dennis Plowright ...
  Evangelist (1 episode, 1986)
Astley Harvey ...
  Mortuary Attendant 1 (1 episode, 1986)
Timothy Peters ...
  Evangelist (1 episode, 1986)

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

Re-working 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, Writer Dennis Potter delivered a drama now regarded as a twentieth century masterwork. Detective novelist Philip Marlow (Sir Michael Gambon) suffers from the crippling disease of psoriatic arthritis. Confined to a hospital bed, Marlow mentally re-writes his early Chandleresque thriller, "The Singing Detective", with him 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 girlfriend Helen Asher at the end of each episode. Written by Bhob Stewart

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Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Der singende Detektiv (Germany)
  • El detective cantante (Spain)
  • El detectiu cantant (Spain, Catalan title)
  • Den sjungande detektiven (Sweden)
  • Az éneklő detektív (Hungary)
  • See more »
Runtime
  • 415 min
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Did You Know?

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Trivia The first time Sir 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 »
Movie Connections Featured in Dennis Potter (1987). See more »
Soundtracks Peg o' My Heart See more »
Quotes Philip Marlow: I used to think that all I wanted was the good opinion of honorable men and the ungrudging love of beautiful women. Now I know for sure that all I really want is a cigarette.
See more »

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