looking for a few good ideas

  amongst the irregular verbiage

The Singing Detective (1986, TV)

When Dennis Potter's "The Singing Detective" became available on DVD, I knew we would have to obtain a copy. It took a bit longer than I thought, but eventually we did. And last week, Lisa and I got around to watching it, an episode at a time. She remembers seeing it when it was originally broadcast on her local PBS station, years ago. I remember seeing it on TV in New Zealand.

The weird thing is, I could swear that I was about 12 years old when I first watched it. But that's not possible; it was produced in 1986. I would have to have been 21 or so. I guess it's understandable that a production that plays around with multiple story threads in different time periods, and includes a 12-year old version of the main character, would have the result of confusing my own memories. Not that I identify with the young Philip Marlowe at all.

I think "The Singing Detective" epitomizes the style and quality of Dennis Potter's work. It may not be everybody's favorite, however. Personally, I think the mental trickery of the postumously produced double-whammy "Karaoke"/"Cold Lazarus" productions appeals more.

But "Detective" will be the yardstick to which all future surrealist drama will be held.