Dennis Christopher George Potter: 17 May 1935–7 June 1994
When Potter discussed his work at the National Film Theatre immediately after the first showing of Rain on the Roof, a member of the audience questioned him about the conclusion of the play:
QUESTIONER: I felt that the husband’s death came rather abruptly . . . lf I’d been the producer of that play . . . my inclination would have been to say to you, ‘This text is incomplete, there ought to be more work on it, I ought to know more about this character, the husband.’ What would have been your reaction as a writer if I’d presented it back to you and asked you to do more work on it?
POTTER: I think I would have told you to fuck off.
— Dennis Potter: A Biography by Humphrey Carpenter; pg. 388
What’s that you say?
Who is Dennis Potter?
In the pantheon of immortal television dramatists, there are only three:
And of these three, Potter is the greatest. Serling and Chayefsky would have bowed down to his accomplishments.
No, don’t take my word for it.
Experience Dennis Potter for yourself through the incredible generosity of YouTube:
BBC Close Up – Dennis Potter 1
BBC Close Up – Dennis Potter 2
BBC Close Up – Dennis Potter 3
BBC Close Up – Dennis Potter 4
BBC Close Up, featuring the life/works of Dennis Potter
Dennis Potter Interviewed by Alan Yentob
Interviews of this standard are rare these days. Alan Yentob is a class act, allowing Potter to speak (which many didnt) and it makes for fantastic viewing.
Dennis Potter on the experience of watching television
Taken from BBC Four’s ‘Arena: Potter on TV,’ 2005.
An old episode of Points of View in which Potter’s recently broadcast The Singing Detective receives comments from viewers. I dont actually like the format of the program, and watching it, seeing how dated it is(was maybe?) does make me squirm in my seat a little. Anyway, enjoy.
And now, prepare to have your brain totally seared. This is the complete original UK broadcast of Dennis Potter’s legendary play, Brimstone and Treacle. You will have never seen anything like this in your entire life, nor will you ever see its like again (at least not on TV!).
Credits from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter One).
Which One? from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Two).
Mr Tom Bates from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Three).
Far Far Away from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Four).
Eyes Like… from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Five).
Old Black Magic from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Six).
Morning from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Seven).
Horn & Tail from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Eight).
Cinnamon And Spice from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Nine)
Prayers from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Ten).
Dinner from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Eleven).
England Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Twelve).
Accepting Evil from Brimstone and Treacle (Chapter Thirteen)
Previous mentions of Dennis Potter in this blog:
The Greatest TV. Ever.