British Film

Sexuality and Potter's attitude towards women have prompted debate over much of his work and again feature prominently in The Singing Detective. It was the sexual content of the series that aroused (if that's the right word) the wrath of Mary Whitehouse. Marlow's attitude towards sex is spelt out in Dr. Gibbon's word association game; "woman", "fuck", "dirt", "death". We can assume that this attitude stems from witnessing his mother's adultery and her subsequent suicide, she appears as a 'lady of the night' in the detective story. Sex and death are linked, for example with Sonia, the prostitute who is killed after sex with Binney, the corpse is naked when dragged from the river. In Episode 3, flashbacks of his mother's adultery are inspired by and intercut with the death and attempted resuscitation of George, the patient in the next bed. Marlow is disgusted by sex, he says at one point that he wants to fuck Nicola next to a full length mirror so he can spit in his own face. Binney watches himself in a full length mirror as he has sex with Sonia in the detective story. Equating the wife and the prostitute was further explored in Secret Friends(1992) and Lipstick on Your Collar(1993). Peter Stead, in Dennis Potter, says "The promiscuity of sexual betrayal is what poisons relationships and prevents any kind of emotional maturity and equilibrium".

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