Dennis Potter redefined the standards for television playwriting. His remarkable career included "Pennies from Heaven," the inspiration for the movie starring Steve Martin-for which Potter wrote the screenplay-and the brilliantly complex "The Singing Detective," one of the finest artistic achievements ever created for television.
W. Stephen Gilbert brilliantly analyzes Potter's work, emphasizing the dramatic interplay between this brilliant, difficult man's life and the medium to which he was devoted. At the age of twenty-four, for instance, Potter was diagnosed with psoriatic arthopathy, a rare debilitating skin disease whose horrors he portrayed with biting black humor through his alter ego, the Michael Gambon character in "The Singing Detective." Weeks before his foretold death, he gave an astonishing television interview to Melvyn Bragg. Unforgettable for its honesty about life and work and death, the result was a gripping piece of television-quintessential Dennis Potter. This is an essential book for anyone interested in television, film, or this courageous and fascinating man.