British Film

As the three subplots are basically telling the same story they intermingle in Marlow's head. As Marlow hallucinates due to his illness the flashbacks and fantasy scenes have an anchor in reality and a credibility for the viewer. Graham Fuller, in Potter on Potter, says "even more than his beloved Forest of Dean, the landscape Potter occupies is the inside of the head". Seeing the story subjectively from Marlow's perspective forces us to associate with this unsympathetic character. In Marlow's head, where all the stories are based he is unravelling the plots to reach a resolution. By reworking his novel he assimilates his childhood memories and so comes to terms with his reality. In Potter's own words (in 'Potter on Potter'), Marlow is "trying to rewrite [the novel] simply as an exercise in not going mad. That in turn led him to start assembling his life". The multi-temporal narrative, with 'worlds' crossing into each other, had been tried by Potter before and more so since (Cream in My Coffee, Blackeyes, Secret Friends) but it was probably most effectively realised in The Singing Detective.

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