The Singing Detective (1986 - 1986)

The Singing Detective


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Series Info

Dennis Potter's compelling, wonderfully surreal six-part musical miniseries probes the mind of cynical mystery writer Philip E. Marlow, who's bedridden in a hospital with a debilitating case of psoriasis when he begins to fantasize that he's a crooning 1940s gumshoe in one of his pulp novels. Blurred with his hallucinations are reflections from his troubled childhood. The Peabody-winning production first aired on the BBC in 1986, and was made into a feature film with Robert Downey Jr. in 2003.

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Critics Consensus: Drawing from his real life battle with psoriasis, Potter delivers a thrilling parallel narrative with the noir mystery, The Singing Detective.

1986, BBC, 6 episodes


Michael Gambon
as Philip E. Marlow
Janet Suzman
as Nicola
Patrick Malahide
as Mark Binney/Mark Finney/Raymond
Alison Steadman
as Mrs. Marlow/Lili
Bill Paterson
as Dr. Gibbon
Jim Carter
as Mr. Marlow
Joanne Whalley
as Nurse Mills
David Ryall
as Mr. Hall
Gerald Horan
as Reginald
Leslie French
as Mr. Tomkey
Ron Cook
as First Mysterious Man
George Rossi
as Second Mysterious Man
Imelda Staunton
as Nurse White
Janet Henfrey
as Schoolteacher
Lyndon Davies
as Philip (age 10)
Niven Boyd
as First Soldier
David Thewlis
as Second Soldier
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Series Details

TV Network: BBC
Premiere Date:
Genre: Musical & Performing Arts
Executive Producer: Rick McCallum
Full Cast
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