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126 of 128 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives Up To Expectations!, 22 July 2004
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
For fans of this series, 1960's nostalgia, but quality television in general, this is an absolute treat. This DVD set focuses on the fourth series from 1969 set in Brighton (almost all the earlier episodes are sadly lost.)
I had never seen these episodes, all but one in black and white, but had been hugely impressed by the later colour ones. I never seriously thought I'd be let down but even I was delighted by the quality of the seven stories. They really form a serial rather than a conventional series as they track Marker from his release from prison (following a wrongful conviction) through his parole and eventually setting up his own inquiry agency.
For those who have seen the later series, the same qualities are still present but amplified. Marker is a loner with the right principles but here he is more introverted, more bitter and resentful. The stories show his rightful frustration as the authorities and most of the public refuse to trust him and dog his every move. He is determined to plough his own furrow, refusing to make the "friends" that the "experts" such as his well-meaning probation officer feel he needs. He encounters the familiar stories of misery, corruption and vindictiveness which he handles skilfully but wearily.
There are some recurring characters that help the continuity and contrast. Mr. Hull, the probation officer (John Grieve) tries to help Marker but often has his hands tied by the official rules. Helen Mortimer (Pauline Delany), Marker's landlady, is the only person with whom he develops a warm but not especially close relationship. There are hints that it could have developed further - certainly on her part - but it remains firmly platonic. In two episodes Stanley Meadows plays Rylands, a dodgy private detective with whom Marker is uneasily placed.
All these parts are really well-played but especially impressive are Alfred Burke, Pauline Delany and John Grieve, who inspire great affection in their portrayals. The writing though is the key. Roger Marshall, the co-creator of the show, penned all the stories with superb results, maintaing great continuity. Direction is uniformly excellent, best demonstrated in the brilliantly stark and bleak titles. Robert Earley's evocative theme is also perfectly reworked. This was a series that was made with real care - nothing was out-of-place.
All the episdeos are of high quality but most notable are "My Life's My Own", featuring a very fine performance by Stephanie Beacham, "The Comedian's Graveyard" (with Tessa Wyatt and Joe Melia as a seedy comic), and the final "A Fixed Address" which is in colour.
The DVD set also includes various extras, including a very arly episode (actually not so effective due to Marker's limited role), rare stills but best of all great interviews with Marshall and Alfred Burke who talk with great insight. I have been delighted with this purchase and there are many more people who will appreciate it - hopefully you're one of them.
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54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful release., 17 July 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
Network are really setting the standards for DVD releases and the Public Eye DVD, which has been eagerly anticipated, does not disappoint.
Public Eye is a TV series about a down at heel Private Investigator called Frank Marker which ran from the mid sixties to the mid seventies. It was not glamorous it was not flashy it was not full of action. It was gritty, earthy and, dare I say, realistic. As Callan was an anti-hero in the series of the same name then so was Marker here. Marker was a Private Eye with scruples but would twist the knife if he had to. Very much a lone wolf he had friends and contacts but still ploughed his own furrow.
The series here is the 4th which is based in Brighton after his release from Jail. The episodes are all excellent quality not only in terms of picture but also in content.
The third disc contains an episode from the first series, a clip from a missing episode and several lovely extras pulled together by the wonderful people from Kaleidoscope. So take a bow Messrs Perry, Coward and Petford. The DVD release is worth buying for the extras alone.
The booklet contains an excellent article by Adrian Petford on the enigma of Public Eye as well as plenty of other information and there is a short story from Roger Marshall which is well worth reading.
A quintessentially British TV series. If you like British TV and British TV drama you will like the plot driven stories on offer here.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 60's survivor, 1 Feb 2007
By 
P. Chesterman "60's survivor" (South London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the very few TV series which deals with the down to earth problems we all face in life seen through the eyes of a down at heel private eye. At the very outset of the first series it was clear that Marker had more or less 'seen it all' however by the time this series starts he has to recover from a spell in prison. In 1969 Brighton had seen better days and reflects Marker's personality and situation. The gaunt spare figure of marker and the minimalist jazz-based signature tune perfectly fit the lone private eye constantly looking into, but never being part of, mainstream life.

If you never see another 1960's series see this one. It is unique.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 17 Oct 2011
This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
I had never heard of this show until I listen to crime writer, Sam Millar praising the hell out of it on the radio saying he based his Karl Kane PI on Frank Marker. The show is a delight. Gritty and realistic. Hard to believe it was made in the sixties! A true gem of sparse and to-the-point scenes. Terrific writing. The acting is outstanding, and frighteningly real. Makes modern-day shows look embarrassingly like cardboard and irrelevant. A classic.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ....WHAT A BREATH OF FRESH AIR..., 27 July 2011
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N. D. TIDIMAN "scott parker" (london uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
They really dont make them like this anymore.Ok,NO tv is made like this anymore,but I mean the quality,the class,the acting,the.....Allright,there is good stuff today,but this takes us back to another era.As you know eager readers,Alfred Burke plays Frank Marker Private Enquiry Agent,jailed in the last series for a crime he didnt commit. The series opener sees Frank preparing for release after doing 12 months,and heading for Brighton,where he finds himself staying in the guesthouse of Mrs Mortimer,whom he finds friendship in,and a oh-so-nearly-romance(I would have!). The seven episodes see Frank in various jobs,including working for someone elses Detective Agency,before finally going it alone by the end.This is pure gold,great acting from the sublime Alfred Burke,and some great support from the guest cast,and regulars.Do yourself a favour and get this now,you WILL NOT regret it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pinter meets Raymond Chandler, 19 Jun 2011
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
Pinter meets Raymond Chandler? Well, not quite but the compelling aspect of this series was the spare approach to dialogue and the grinding reality of the plots. No special effects, no guns or car chases, just plots and dialogue straight from the 'kitchen sink' era of British drama. That's not to say this is dreary or commonplace. It is hard not to be drawn completely into each plot with its inevitable twists and turns as Marker tries to make sense of the world on his terms. It is a sad fact that no one wants or makes such simple yet highly watchable series any longer.

The main background to this series is that Frank Marker, interned for an honest mistake for 12 months of a two year sentence is released early on parole and chooses to reestablish his life in Brighton. Full marks to Alfred Burke for carefully transforming his character from released jail-bird to optimistic enquiry agent in 7 episodes. Quite a remarkable feat of acting. He is ably supported throughout, in one instance by a very young Terence Rigby (completing the allusion to Pinter) and an equally young and very pretty Deborah Grant. Well worth watching just to see these two performers in an early appearance.

I was at first disappointed to find that this series was only 7 episodes but it is worth pointing out that the third disk contains a number of treats. Firstly, interviews with both Alfred Burke and Roger Marshall (the writer and originator of the series). Also included is a complete episode from the now lost previous series. There is also a small short on how the series was restored). Finally there is a wonderful booklet with an introduction and appreciation, and a short story by Roger Marshall which reprises Marker's relationship with Mrs Mortimer. I've bought a number of classic series on DVD and I can honestly say none has come with this vital background information which is essential to understanding the importance of the drama.

All in all a very satisfying product, well thought out, beautifully presented and much more importantly fantastic entertainment. I already have my order in for the next series and will no doubt complete the whole collection over time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loner Marker, 23 April 2011
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J. R. Fowler (Greater London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
Private eye Frank Marker returns to his profession after being in Ford open prison. Sounds dull, but in the hands of one of our greatest TV screen writers - Roger Marshall, and played by Alfred Burke with intelligence and subtlety - this is riveting television. And it has lost none of its power over the years. Even the black & white seems a fitting backdrop to the struggles of an honest man in a hard world. Everything is top notch - from major and minor casting to the script, to the cutting... I am a published author and can spot a screenplay gem a mile away. If you want to enjoy television at its best then buy Public Eye and luxuriate in its brilliance.

John Fowler
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A voyage of delightful rediscovery, 2 April 2011
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A. Clews - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
Having only hazy memories of this show from my youth (my grandma used to watch it but it was too 'grown up' for me), my growing taste for detective drama recently prompted me to look this one up. How glad I am to have done so. I now have all the Public Eye box sets and I love them all. What a terrible shame that almost all the episodes before the 1969 series are lost, otherwise this box set would have been even more of a treasure. Great to see some well-known actors in either their youth or their heyday. Brighton was at that time my home town and so it was great fun to see the place as it was in 1969, and location references in the script are accurate. Alfred Burke gives a masterful performance as Frank Marker. What wonderful writing too. They just don't write 'em like this anymore. Cannot recommend this highly enough!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh, such a pity... in fact, it's a crime!... (call in Marker!), 16 Dec 2011
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
that series 1 to 3 are no-longer available.
I remember watching them with half an eye in my teens but, at that age, I didn't appreciate how good they were. (If I remember, I think, maybe... girls and sport got in the way!).

I have purchased all four box sets (48 episodes, I believe) and am slowly going through and savouring them! What a joy to see the fashions of the time... the lack of traffic on the roads, etc.,
I accidently jumped ahead to "Ward of Court", I think, and was tickled to hear that the person to be traced had "two 2 parking fines" unpaid. 2! They were the days! (My last one for being 19 minutes over cost me 95!). Also, in the same episode Marker is being bribed and was asked... "would a fiver, help... a tenner, perhaps?" It's laughable now, but, then I suppose a fiver was real money!

I am getting great joy from watching Public Eye and so recommend it 100% to those of "a certain age". Maybe, it's not for the younger generation but, for me, it's so refreshing to watch the gentle, mundane, "bread and butter" plod of a very ordinary private detective of the time - instead of today's complicated, wise-cracking shoot-'em-ups... with car chases.

The 1969 box-set comes with an excellent booklet listing all the episodes, etc.,

If only the missing 40 episodes (Series 1 to 3) could be discovered... (sigh).
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfred Burke., 2 July 2010
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This review is from: Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] (DVD)
Hard to imagine when there was a great period of television drama/writing that wasn't so glossy, patronizing and mind numbing as it mainly is today.Alfred Burke's performance as the loner Frank Marker must be one of the most underrated and least talked about tour de force acting roles that graced our tv screens in the 1960's and early 70's.Thank goodness someone at least had the good sense to release them on dvd and best of all, no advert interuptions.I'm in heaven !
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Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD]
Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD] by Alfred Burke (DVD - 2004)
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