rhino_neil: (2013)
[personal profile] rhino_neil
Public Eye ran for 7 series from 1965 to 1975 and features Alfred Burke as Frank Marker, an enquiry agent.

As is common with TV shows of this vintage its survival is spotty, only 5 or so from series 1-3 and then complete.

It's a series with no flashy edges and shows the life of a contemporary enquiry agent in towns and cities of this era and all the downbeat grime this no doubt involves.

The first three series were made by ABC and set in London & Birmingham. I've yet to watch any of these as I decided to join the show at its first complete year, series 4 made by Thames.

It is 7 episodes featuring Marker on his release from prison following his arrest for handling stolen jewels (He was set up by a dodgy solicitor in the now missing season 3 finale).

The series is incredibly focussed on following Marker's return to society following 2 years away. He's in his 50s, separated and for much of his life a loner. He's now lost his career and in a boarding house in Brighton on parole. Now not knowing the character before he went away you are presented with a man a little lost and ill at ease with the world, untrusted and untrusting. The writing is intense and honest as is the playing. Forget the era and the black and white TV, this is a compelling portrait of man finding he still has a role to play, and maybe finding someone to trust.

On retrospect I wish I had watched some of the earlier episodes to get some contrast for Marker before and after his prison stint, however the series is still a joy, and glimpses of Brighton on location in 1969 are fun and easily recognisable, although the pier is somewhat more in one piece!

With one writer, Roger Marshall and Burke's great performance you get the sense of a man finding himself again. A classic of british TV.
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