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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 »








Series cast summary:
Michael Gough ...  Maurice James Kingsley 4 episodes, 1989
Carol Royle ...  Jessica 4 episodes, 1989
Nigel Planer ...  Jeff 4 episodes, 1989
Gina Bellman ...  Blackeyes 4 episodes, 1989
Colin Jeavons ...  Jamieson 4 episodes, 1989
Hannah Morris Hannah Morris ...  Little Jessica 4 episodes, 1989
John Shrapnel ...  Detective Blake 3 episodes, 1989
David Westhead ...  Mark Wilsher 3 episodes, 1989
Nicky Bee Nicky Bee ...  Stilt Man 3 episodes, 1989
Gary Love ...  Colin 2 episodes, 1989
Peter Guinness ...  Photographer 2 episodes, 1989


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 interweaving narrative threads include novelist Maurice James Kingsley who appropriates accounts by his niece Jessica about her life as a professional model. Kingsley's embellishments become a trashy bestseller, "Sugar Bush," tracing the rise and decline of fictional fashion model Blackeyes, victimized by men. Angry and betrayed, Jessica begins to rewrite Kingsley's novel to set Blackeyes free from the abuse of men. Written by Bhob Stewart <bhob@genie.com>

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Did You Know?


A press screening on 22 November of the series provoked negative responses in several of the journalists and reviewers present. Its nudity and sex was described in previews as "soft porn" and "a simple turn-on for male viewers". Some journalists, mostly female, used their reports as excuses to attack writer and director Dennis Potter; in City Limits Deborah Orr described him as "unpleasant", Maria Lexton condemned him in Time Out as "a very sick man...[with a] twisted attitude to women and fucking" and in the Evening Standard he was dismissed as "a dirty old man." The Daily Mirror created a new nickname for Potter when its front page headline asked, "All clever stuff... Or just Dirty, Den?" Sally Payne summed up the tension between Potter's intentions and their execution in the Sunday Times, "My gut feeling was distinct unease which verged on outrage the more I thought about it. I became convinced that Potter was guilty of the crime he was condemning", i.e. the objectification of "young and attractive women as consumer goods in a way that brutalizes both sexes." See more »


Featured in Charlie Brooker's Wipe: Episode #2.3 (2006) See more »

User Reviews

Complex, worth it!
26 October 2001 | by davidf33See all my reviews

One of Potter's last TV dramas, it was panned by the popular press for its sex scenes. This however was a front for a more basic tabloid journalistic problem - no-one understood it. Not surprising as this multilevel play is three stories not one, each containing a variation of the most desired woman - Blackeyes. Underlying each of these scenarios are the questions of men and their sexual desire and idolatry of women, each as fruitless fantasy.

The acting is superb and the inter change between the various levels of the story mesmeric, however it is over long. Most of the third part could have been cut without loss. This is a small price to see one of the greatest TV dramas ever constructed. With the BBC having lost its nerve to produce drama of this depth I doubt if we will ever see its like again.

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Release Date:

29 November 1989 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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