DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

GARY EDGERTON

ROGER CATLIN

KIM AKASS

GERALD JORDAN

TOM BRINKMOELLER

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
February 15, 2014  | By David Bianculli
 
When I started honoring TV’s best DVD releases in 2012 by giving them a TV Worth Watching Seal of Approval, the very first program so chosen was Dennis Potter’s The Singing Detective, a masterpiece of a miniseries, combining drama, comedy and period music in dizzyingly creative and involving ways. Well, here’s another program that fits that same description, and deserves a Seal of its own. British TV writer Potter’s six-part Pennies from Heaven was presented in Great Britain in 1978, almost a decade before Singing Detective, and is almost as much of a masterpiece. (In the U.S., Pennies was shown on PBS’s Masterpiece Theatre in 1980 – an honor never accorded Singing Detective.) Set in the Depression era, but in rural England and in London, Pennies stars Bob Hoskins as a sheet-music salesman with big romantic dreams – dreams which are fed by the love songs he sells, but which seldom translate into real life. You’ll know in the opening minute that you’re in for something wholly new, strange and daring – and it never falters from that point on.  Piers Haggard directs, Gemma Craven and Cheryl Campbell co-star, and Kenneth Colley is unforgettably haunting as The Accordion Man. (Amazingly, as I write this, Amazon is selling the three-disc Pennies set for $11.30, one of the best deals, and steals, or fans of quality TV.) – DB
 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
 Website (optional)
 
TUEIA
Type in the verification word shown on the image.