The Singing Detective
BBC, London, UK, WNET/Thirteen, New York, New York
Once in a great while a television movie breaks the mold, moving into new territory of image and imagination. Such is the case with The Singing Detective. Produced by the BBC and presented in the United States as part of WNET/13’s Channel Crossings series, The Singing Detective is seven and one-half hours of visual and evisceral experience. Writer and director Dennis Potter tells an offbeat but involving story about a writer of pulp fiction who falls victim to his own physical and emotional malaise. In a stunning tour-de-force, the film moves from the reality of the character’s virtual imprisonment in a hospital, to his childhood, to his imagined exploits against the Nazis in World War II. The program is full of rich characters, often outrageous costumes and raucous production numbers. For an impressive drama in imagination, scope and achievement, a Peabody Award to The Singing Detective.