Monday, 12 March 2012

the singing detective (bbc series) - 1986

It's funny how the old memory can play tricks with you, as l was sure that l had originally watched 'The Singing Detective' with my parents (or at least one of them), as l seemed to recall squirming with embarrassment at having to watch the saucy bits in their presence. This however, cannot have been the case, as  it was released in 1986, and l already had my own place by then, and l was certainly not going round to the family homestead to watch TV.
Maybe l had just been traumatised by it and not realised, as it is a pretty strange, scary, sexy and puzzling piece of work, even after all of these years.
Philip Marlow (an outstanding Michael Gambon) has Psoriatic arthritis, and has been admitted to a NHS hospital to recover. Because of his refusal to take drugs, plus his high temperature, Marlow hallucinates episodes from his past, a new book he is composing in his head, and his real life and surroundings.   All are intertwined and confusing, with plenty of old songs thrown into the mix, but as his condition improves, the memories and fantasies are worked out and understood.
A superb series, written by Dennis Potter, and based on his own (but worse) condition.
I would happily pay my licence fee for more miniseries such as this. One of the greatest things ever to have been shown on TV, and l'll argue to the death with anyone who says otherwise (because they will be wrong).
The film version, starring Robert Downey, Jr is being shown on TV later on in the week, and l will approach that with trepidation, but it would be amiss of me not to give it a go, even if l'll do so with a heavy (and faulty) heart.
Wish me luck, as l suspect that l will need it.

toodle pip

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