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Dennis Potter (1935 – 1994)


Controversial English dramatist who is best known for several widely acclaimed television dramas which mixed fantasy and reality, the personal and the social.
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Dennis Potter
Nigel: Why the cheap jokes?
Jack: Cheap? When I was a kid, we were made to stay away from school on Empire Days so we wouldn't have to wave one of those little Union Jacks. We were the richest country in the world then, or so I'm told, and my old man bow-legged from malnutrition. Us kids nearly died laughing.
Potter quotes
The blossom is out in full now, itís plum tree, it looks like apple blossom but itís white. Itís the whitest, frothiest blossomest blossom that ever could be, and I can see it. Things are both more trivial than they ever were and more important than they ever were, and the difference between the trivial and the important doesnít seem to matter. But the now-ness of everything is absolutely wondrous.
Potter
Jack: You'll have to compromise, smile, concern yourself with your public image, measure your words as carefully as possible... and turn yourself into a dutiful party hack! [chuckles] Never mind, Nigel, never mind.




Potter Dennis quotes
Georgie Pringle: The word of the LORD came again unto me, saying, Son of man, there were two women, the daughters of one mother: And they committed whoredoms in Egypt; they committed whoredoms in their youth: there were their breasts pressed, and there they bruised the teats of their virginity.
Potter Dennis
You cannot make a pair of croak-voiced Daleks appear benevolent, even if you dress one of them in an Armani suit and call the other Marmaduke.
Dennis Potter quotes
Harry Barton: Clever sod, aren't you? I expect they think the sun shines out of you down at Oxford.
Nigel Barton. Up.
Harry Barton: What?
Nigel Barton. Up, dad. Up.
Harry Barton: Aye, and up you, too!
Nigel Barton: Everyone says 'Up at Oxford'. You come 'down' when you've finished there.
Harry Barton: Well, what's this then? Does bloody Oxford move up and down the bloody map then?
Dennis Potter
Nigel: I don't regard clever as a dirty word.
Jack: Rule one, it's never clever to appear to be clever. Long words actually hurt people, you know that? Rule two, speak slowly and clearly as though to a group of malignant kids. Rule three, keep it short. Very short. Half-truths take less time than whole ones, old mate. Oh and I see you've let your locks sprout a bit. Get 'em cut, there's a good chap. Rolling stones gather no votes.
Potter Dennis quotes
Miss Tillings: Stand up, Nigel Barton! Well, Nigel, do you know anything about this? I can't believe it was you!
Nigel Barton: No, Miss!
Miss Tillings: Then what do you know about it?
Nigel Barton: I think - I think I might have had the daffodil, Missó
Miss Tillings: You might have had it? What do you mean, boy? Speak up!
Nigel Barton: The stem was all broke and somebody gave it to me, Miss.
Miss Tillings: Who gave it to you?
Nigel Barton: Ooh, I don't like to say, Miss.
Miss Tillings: You better had, Barton, and quick about it.
Nigel Barton: Georgie Pringle, Miss.
Potter
Nigel Barton (On TV): I feel I don't belong here, that's my trouble.
Interviewer (on TV): Well, where do you belong? At home?
Harry Barton: Of course!
Nigel Barton (on TV): No, I'm afraid I don't. Now it hurts to say this, of course, but it's the truth. Back at home, in the village, in the workingmen's club, with people I went to school with, I'm so much on the defensive, you see. They suspect me of making qualitative judgments about their environment, you understand, but it's not that I wish to do so. Yet I even find my own father looking at me oddly some times, waiting to pounce on some remark, some expression in my face, watching me like a hawk. I don't feel at home in either place. I don't belong. It's a tightrope between two different worlds, and I'm walking it.
Harry Barton: You're a bloody liar, Nigel!
Potter Dennis
Jack: A potential Cabinet Minister if ever I saw one. Dishonest in a way which seems embarrassingly frank. Upright when creeping. And dignified when at his most stupid.
Dennis Potter
Philip Marlow: You're the girl in all those songs. De-dum.
Nurse Mills: What songs?
Philip Marlow: The songs, the songs, the bloody, bloody songs.
Nurse Mills: I wish I knew what you were talking about.
Philip Marlow: The songs you hear coming up the stair.
Nurse Mills: Sorry?
Philip Marlow: When you're a child, when you're supposed to be asleep. Those songs.




Dennis Potter quotes
My only regret is to die four pages too soon.
Dennis Potter
By the time I stood for Parliament I was already carrying a walking stick, and the combination of my illness and my sense of withdrawal from a belief in a kind of Britain I would have preferred to see meant that I was no longer satisfied with such a (political) role: it wasn't creative enough, it didn't satisfy me. I simply didn't fit the bill in the end. Although I was a Labour candidate I didn't even vote in that election. I was probably the only candidate who didn't vote for his party.
Potter quotes
Philip Marlow: Minute by minute we make the world. We make our own world.
Potter Dennis
As a writer you will know that one of the favourite fantasy plots of a writer is, a character's told 'you've got three months to live,' and who would you kill? I call my cancer Rupert, so I can get close to it. Because that man, Murdoch, is the one who, if I had the time (I've got too much writing to do...) I would shoot the bugger if I could. There is no one person more responsible for the pollution of what was already a fairly polluted press. And the pollution of the British press is an important part of the pollution of British political life, and it's an important part of the cynicism and misperception of our own realities that is destroying so much of our political discourse.
Potter Dennis quotes
Nigel Barton: Eh dad, why do you always walk in the middle of the road?
Harry Barton: I don't know.
Nigel Barton: What do you think the pavement's for?
Harry Barton: Dogs to poop in, by the looks of things!
Dennis Potter
Jack: (to camera) My office! (indicates mess) I'm sorry about all this, but we in the Labour Party link drabness with idealism, see. I'm a paid agent of the party, but whenever I need to know anything I have to ring up Conservative Central Office. It's a very plush place, that - carpets plucking at your bleeding ankles. You see, they link drabness with idealism, too.
Dennis Potter quotes
Jack: I once had a candidate who was deeply concerned about the moral issues raised by myxomatosis. 'Look mate,' I said, 'Rabbits, as far as I'm aware, haven't yet had the vote.' Mind you, I'm an animal lover, too, you know. I've always advocated that the party that introduced family allowances for dogs would sweep the country. And it'll come, it'll come.
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