British Film
the singing detective

The Singing Detective(1986) is in some ways a contradiction. It is often regarded as the epitome of Dennis Potter's writing, the peak of his creativity and the culmination of all his previous themes, but at the same time it stands out as a very atypical work, with its use of genre and the absence of many Dennis Potter themes.

The thematic consistency across Dennis Potter's work has resulted in him being dubbed a 'TV Auteur', but in this text the use of genre may undermine this. W. Stephen Gilbert, in Fight and Kick and Bite says "The Singing Detective is a summation of Potterana. It is his Hamlet, his Ulysses ... his White Album. It is a vade mecum of his themes and concerns and characters and techniques". I think it is more reasonable to regard The Singing Detective as a turning point, an accumulation of many old themes and an introduction of new ones for further exploration. Even if it doesn't cover all of Dennis Potter's themes it is the one single work in his canon that attempts to bring together the greatest number of themes in one text.

This project examines some of Dennis Potter's themes as expressed in The Singing Detective.

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Dennis Potter - The Singing Detective
Dennis Potter - Detective
Dennis Potter - Marlow
Dennis Potter - Infirmity
Dennis Potter - Guilt
Dennis Potter - Sexuality
Dennis Potter - Auteur
Dennis Potter - Religion
Dennis Potter - Autobiography
Dennis Potter - Auteur
Dennis Potter - Other
Dennis Potter - Bibliography
Dennis Potter - Links
The Singing Detective