BBC (ended 1996)


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Daniel Feeld is a successful screenwriter whose world is coming to pieces. He is suffering agonizing pain in his nether regions on two counts: (1) a physical illness in his bowels that his doctors repeatedly misdiagnose, and (2) an insufferable director who, in an obsessional effort to place the actress who is also his mistress at the centre of every shot, is bent on wrecking Feeld's latest drama, called Karaoke. Through a haze of pain dulled first by alcohol and then by morphine, Daniel begins to notice people all around him seem to be repeating scraps of dialogue from his play. Is his script a psychic forecast of reality, or has he himself only been lip-synching to some prewritten karaoke script? When he discovers he has accidentally named his repulsive little villain after an actual (and dangerous) person, he must reconsider the relationship between his real and fictional worlds. Then he is given the opportunity to grant a boon that only someone in his position can do with equanimity. Together with the companion series Cold Lazarus, which picks up Daniel Feeld's story 374 years later, this was Dennis Potter's last work, written after he was diagnosed with advanced cancer of the pancreas with a prognosis of just three months to live. It is therefore a conscious summation and farewell and, as Potter says in the introduction to the scripts of both series, "a glancing valediction to all the previous works as well." Potter's characteristic self-referentiality therefore transcends the three levels of Potter, Feeld and Oliver Morse. (Morse is to Feeld what Feeld is to Potter and, in a brilliant bit of casting, was played by Ian McDiarmid, who so closely resembles Potter that some preview critics believed that the author, closing the referential circle, was himself appearing as his protagonist's protagonist, so to speak.) It encompasses material directly and indirectly quoted from earlier Potter dramas such as: Son of Man Blue Remembered Hills Pennies from Heaven (the song itself stands at the centre of Karaoke's denouement), Lipstick on Your Collar (e.g., Karaoke's opening sequence), Blackeyes and, above all, The Singing Detective. Initial critical response to Karaoke was hotly divided, largely over the matter of self-quotation which some saw as a weakness. Others, however, accepting this feature as one of the givens (the "cutting-room floor" and the Steenbeck editing console that dominate the drama), discovered a narrative fabric with a richness and complexity as great as, or greater than, that found in Potter's previously established masterpieces. ========================= Runtime: 50 min (4 episodes) Country: UK Language: English Color: Color ========================== Crew: Directed by Renny Rye Writing credits (in alphabetical order) Dennis Potter Original Music by Christopher Gunning Cinematography by Ashley Rowe Film Editing by Clare Douglas Casting by Mary Selway Sarah Trevis Production Design by Gary Williamson Art Direction by Sarah Jane Cornish Paul Cross Costume Design by Janty Yates Makeup Department Alan Boyle .... makeup artist: Albert Finney Elaine Davis .... makeup artist Carmel Jackson .... makeup artist Dorka Nieradzik .... hair designer Dorka Nieradzik .... makeup designer Production Management Shelley Powell .... post-production supervisor Second Unit Director or Assistant Director Adam Goodman .... second assistant director Sallie Anne Hard .... third assistant director Nick Heckstall-Smith .... first assistant director Jo Marshall .... third assistant director Art Department John Bohan .... construction coordinator Judy Farr .... set dresser Sarah Hauldren .... assistant art director Robin Heinson .... painter Chas Johnson .... property master Dave Morris .... property buyer Sound Department Mark Auguste .... sound editor Simon Firsht .... sound maintenance Dominic Lester .... dubbing mixer John Midgley .... sound recordist Robin O'Donoghue .... dubbing mixer Clive Osborne .... boom operator Visual Effects by Stuart Brisdon .... visual special effects Other crew Catherine Brandish .... clapper loader Ian Clark .... focus puller Lindy Davies .... performance consultant Sam Donovan .... script supervisor Wendy Edgar-Jones .... assistant editor Lisa Gravelle .... location manager Sarah Hammond .... assistant to producers Alexandra Harris .... assistant to producer Kevin Higgins .... grip Vivien Jordan .... production coordinator Mark Lane .... assistant editor Sandra Nixon .... production accountant Kevin Rudge .... clapper loader Jane Soans .... location manager Andrew Taylor .... gaffer Jo Thomas .... assistant to producers Amanda Trewin .... costume assistant Mariam Vossough .... production assistant Marion Weise .... costume supervisor John Whickman .... best boy ============================== Production Companies * British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) * Channel 4 Television Corporation * Whistling Gypsy Production Distributors * Bravo Cable ========================== Awards: BAFTA Awards 1997 -- Nominated -- Best Actor -- Albert Finney ========================== Release dates: Portugal -- 6 October 1996 Finland -- 29 March 1997 USA -- 2 June 1997 ====================== Followed by: "Cold Lazarus" (1996) (mini) Edited into: "Cold Lazarus" (1996) (mini) ============================ Filming Location: London, England, UK ===========================moreless