Friday, November 23, 2007

Twenty-One Years Ago

I only came across the fact by chance. Nothing seems to have been made of it. A week ago, November 16th, was the twenty-first anniversary of the BBC broadcasting the first episode of Dennis Potter’s masterpiece, The Singing Detective.

Then again, it’s the past, so why should anyone really give a shit? But for all the young whippersnappers who are happy to slump in front of the television for the next instalment of processed nonsense, and wonder why the old farts bang on about how bad British television drama has become, this is as good a reason as any.

The year before The Singing Detective had seen the arrival of Edge of Darkness. A year later or two later and the likes of Tutti Frutti and A Very British Coup hit the screens. Though Playhouse and Play For Today were over, Screen One and Screen Two delivered single dramas like In the Secret State, Frankie and Johnnie, After Pilkington and The Insurance Man.

The work was innovative and inventive. Which is why I think Poliakoff’s dramas are so important. Apart from his dramas, what do we have to compare to them now? Maybe someone who grew up to be a detective should find out.


At 3:21 pm, Blogger Clair said...

I find it hard to get excited about Poliakoff; all those middle class people do put me off. But I so agree that there's very little inventive drama around any more; imagine trying to pitch the story of a fading rock and roll band with an overweight lead singer, his girlfriend and his mad manager to a TV company today. 'Who's attached? Can you get David Jason/Sarah Lancashire/Martin Clunes/', they'd ask. Boo to that!

At 11:23 pm, Blogger Good Dog said...

And didn't Maurice Roëves' guitarist Vincent Diver attempt self immolation? Nice.

Shame the suits, from commissioning editors upwards seem to be so scared of new and different.


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