Public Eye - The Complete 1969 Series [DVD]
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Complete first series of the gritty, downbeat private eye television drama. Alfred Burke plays Frank Marker, a former investigator recently released from prison after being convicted of a crime he didn't commit. After relocating to Brighton Marker takes a job in a building firm, but his old skills are soon called on as he uncovers evidence of petty theft. Initially resisting attempts by a local agency to recruit him, Marker finds himself tracking down a missing girl before reluctantly setting up once more as a private investigator. Includes all seven episodes: 'Welcome to Brighton?'; 'Divide and Conquer'; 'Paid in Full'; 'My Life's My Own'; 'Case for the Defence'; 'The Comedian's Graveyard' and 'A Fixed Address'.
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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.
I was explaining to my work colleagues that a TV program episode was made in our street in Hove in 1969!
The inside of the house next door to us was used for the filming a scene in part of the episode, and I remember it well (as a nine year old kid at the time), as they used our house to power the cables for the lights and cameras etc, and my Nan got £10 for her trouble (which at that time was probably a fair bit more than a weeks wages!).
This series was set in Brighton, and I was greatly interested in the street shots and it all reminded me on how these areas looks at the time.
It brought back some memories!
The episode filmed in our street offered a good view of the houses etc as I remembered them.
You have to remember that in those days home video recorders didn't exist, so we only got to watch the episode once a few months later!
However I remember that this program was very popular at the time, and on watching this DVD it confirmed to me that the acting and production were extremely good and I really enjoyed it.
It was a bit of a shock though when all of a sudden the episodes changed from black and white to colour ones (just goes to show what happened to TV in the sixties!).
All in all a good buy, both for the nostalgia and entertainment.
I might just buy the other series now.
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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A really fine series, so different from the stereotyped, all action detective series.Read more
yet always holding the attention.