Friday, 11 September 2009

Forgotten Book - The View from Daniel Pike


My entry for Patti Abbott’s series of Forgotten Books this time around is a collection of stories derived from a long ago television series that I never saw. My paperback edition of The View from Daniel Pike names both Edward Boyd and Bill Knox as authors on the cover, but the title page suggests that Bill wrote the book, based on scripts by Boyd. This chimes in with what I was told by Bill’s widow, whom I got to know after I completed Bill’s own final book, The Lazarus Widow.

I was recommended to try the book years ago by the editor of CADS, Geoff Bradley, who knows a decent crime story when he sees one. Daniel Pike was created in the early 70s by Boyd. He was a tough Glaswegian private eye, brought to life by Roddy McMillan. In all, 13 episodes were screened, although only five were adapted by Bill for the book.

Pike has what is described as ‘a bitter, almost resentful humanity’ which ‘sets him apart from the vicious world in which he earns his living.’ The first story, ‘Good Morning, Yesterday!’ is a special favourite of mine, but the others are certainly readable – Bill did his usual very professional job of crafting the stories from the scripts. All in all, this book is a good example of ‘Tartan Noir’, written long before that term was coined.

I’d like to see the tv series one day, to see if it has stood the test of time. However, I haven’t been able to trace a DVD version. Did anyone out there see any of it, all those years ago?

8 comments:

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

If the series was early-70s, I was a baby. :) It does sound interesting, though. I bet that Googling the series would bring up a lot of results, though.

Elizabeth
Mystery Writing is Murder

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks, Martin. New to me in the US, of course.

bish8 said...

I have a copy of this on my shelf as Bill Knoxs is a favorite of mine. It's been years since I read it. Thanks for the reminder. It's time for a re-read...

Martin Edwards said...

Good to hear from a Bill Knox fan. Congrats on your blog, by the way - I have added it to my blogroll.

jimbairn said...

Glad to see someone else remebers THE VIEW FROM DANIEL PIKE, a favourite seventies series which produced one of my favourite ever episode titles : "Philomena and the Tattie-howkers" FYI, the character was originally called "Britt" and was introduced in of of those BBC anthology series, called MENACE, before the series. This was well before video recorders and I've long wanted to see it again, The tapes are probably mouldering in a BBC Scotland attic somewhere or have been taped over for episodes of Strictly Falling Over

Martin Edwards said...

Many thanks,jimbairn, that's both interesting and a strong recommendation, which makes me want to watch the series even more, as and when the chance arises. I don't remember MENACE - did anything else of note come out of it?

jimbairn said...

Oohh, now you're asking... :)

I remember it was one of those series that the BBC used to show at 9pm on Monday nights - all self-contained one hour plays on the theme of "Menace", obviously.

But that's all I remember, sorry.

Mind you, I've had this idea for years for a Daniel Pike revival...

Anonymous said...

Hi Martin,
What a great series this was. Roddy McMillan was just made for that role.
I remember one episode Pike was standing in a hallway .Above him was and Im sure it was Fulton McKay and he had a curling stone and dropped it .Pike moved away just in time before the stone hit him and crashed through the floor.Gripping stuff.