Review All Things DENNIS POTTER!

Discussion in 'TV: General' started by Doctor Omega, Mar 6, 2018.

  1. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

    Feb 5, 2017
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    Dennis Christopher George Potter
    (17 May 1935 – 7 June 1994) was an English television dramatist, screenwriter and journalist.

    After standing for parliament as a Labour candidate at the 1964 general election, his health was affected by the onset of psoriatic arthropathy which led to Potter becoming a playwright. He initially worked in journalism before making the transition to television drama. His new career began with contributions to the BBC's Wednesday Play anthology series in 1965, and continued to work in the medium for the next thirty years. He is best known for his BBC TV serials Pennies from Heaven (1978), The Singing Detective (1986), and the television plays Blue Remembered Hills (1979) and Brimstone and Treacle (1976). His television dramas mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social and often used themes and images from popular culture. Potter is widely regarded as one of the most influential and innovative dramatists to have worked in British television.


    Although Potter won few awards, he is held in high regard by many within the television and film industry, and was an influence on such creators as Mark Frost,[30] Steven Bochco,[31] Andrew Davies,[32] Alain Resnais, and Peter Bowker.

    BBC Four marked the tenth anniversary of Potter's death in December 2004 with a major series of documentaries about his life and work, accompanied by showings of Pennies from Heaven and The Singing Detective, as well as several of his single plays — many of which had not been shown since their initial broadcast.[35]

    Potter's papers, including unproduced plays and unpublished fiction, are being catalogued and preserved at the Dean Heritage Centre in Gloucestershire.

  2. Doctor Omega

    Doctor Omega Moderator

    Feb 5, 2017
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    Influenced in part by Potter's watching and liking of BLAKE'S 7....

    Cold Lazarus

    Cold Lazarus
    Created by
    Dennis Potter
    Starring Albert Finney
    Country of origin United Kingdom
    No. of episodes 4
    Kenith Trodd
    Editor(s) Clare Douglas
    Running time 60 minutes
    Original network
    Channel 4
    BBC One
    Original release 1996
    Cold Lazarus is a four-part British television drama written by Dennis Potter with the knowledge that he was dying of cancer of the pancreas.

    It forms the second half of a pair with the television serial Karaoke. The two serials were filmed as a single production by the same team; both were directed by Renny Rye and feature Albert Finney as the writer Daniel Feeld. The plays were unique in being co-productions between the BBC and Channel 4, something Potter had expressly requested before his death. The show was first aired on Channel 4 in 1996 on Sunday evenings, with a repeat on BBC1 the following day.

    Parts of Karaoke and Cold Lazarus were filmed in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, which is where Dennis Potter was born and raised, and children from local schools including St. Briavels Parochial Primary School appeared in the film as extras in flashbacks.

    As a result of the BBC and Channel 4 collaboration on these works, the copyright and further usage rights have remained unclear.[citation needed] However, both are available to watch online via the Channel 4 website, and Virgin Media's on demand service. Both Karaoke and Cold Lazarus were released on DVD from Acorn Media in September 2010.

    #2 Doctor Omega, Mar 6, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2018
  3. michaellevenson

    michaellevenson Member: Rank 8

    Feb 8, 2017
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    I'm lucky enough to have the DVD of both Karaoke and Cold Lazarus which are quite hard to get. Karaoke is easily the better of the two. Both are very weird.
    In karaoke Albert Finney plays Daniel Feeld, a playwright dying of cancer, echoes of Potter's own situation.
    Feeld has created a play called Karaoke, which Richard E Grant playing a tv producer, is mishandling as he adapts it to tv. Feeld descends into madness as he sees and hears his " karaoke" lines repeated in "real life". The whole thing is a metaphor for Potter, his work and relationship with tv.
    In Cold Lazarus, set some 300 years in the future Feeld is still alive, or at least his head is! Frozen and kept alive in a life support tank, while tv moguls and general weirdos probe his memories for fatuous entertainment. Feeld is apparently aware of his situation as he screams out, mentally " for God's sake let me die"
    There's some nasty characters in this that only care about the ratings and making money out of Feelds disembodied head.
    Neither of these productions is a picnic to watch , but overall worth the effort.
    • Informative Informative x 1

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