I am trying to remember the name of a miniseries I watched as a child from the 1990s, probably produced by the BBC. It had plots within plots and episodes reveal that some of what is taking place is literally inside the main character's brain. I think there were only about 3 episodes.

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    really not a lot to go on there... any other details come to mind? – HorusKol Sep 11 '14 at 2:31
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    literally literally literally (tiny people inside his brain) or figuratively literally (a character is imagining the plot)? – Crow T Robot Sep 11 '14 at 4:06
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    In the beginning of the series, the plot doesn't have any strong sci-fi elements, but then as the series progresses and the man ages, the focus is wrenched to a universe of people inside his mind. Not tiny shrunken people walking around his brain - more like another world existed inside his mind. And it wasn't depicted as a figment of his imagination or a dream series. – LVP Sep 11 '14 at 11:29
  • I think that's it! Thank you so much! I saw this when I was very young and it left a deep impression and I've been wondering about it for years. Much appreciated. – LVP Sep 12 '14 at 0:36

This is The Singing Detective, a 1986 BBC miniseries by Dennis Potter. It tells the story of mystery writer Philip Marlow, hospitalised with psoratic arthritis. In hospital he hallucinates an escapist 'film noir' fantasy world with a private detective, also called Philip Marlow, as well as flashbacks to his English childhood.


This could alternatively be the twin mini-series Karaoke/Cold Lazarus, also by Dennis Potter. This was a co-production between BBC and Channel 4, in 4 + 4 parts.

In Karaoke, the lines between fiction and reality become somewhat blurred for the protagonist, Daniel Feeld, a playwright. He discovers he is dying and leaves his body to cryogenic research.

In Cold Lazarus: following his death, his disembodied head is kept alive in a dystopian future, where researchers electrically stimulate it to extract various vicarious pleasures from his memory for broadcast.

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