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Blackeyes (1989)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Part One, BBC2, tx. 29/11/1989

Blackeyes is chased around the periphery of a large room filled with mannequins as the narrator introduces the story. At a riverbank, Maurice tells his niece Jessica that he wants to use her real-life experiences as a model as the basis for a novel. The book is met by rapturous applause when he reads it to an audience, but Jessica is furious with him for the way he used her life. She wants to re-write the ending, continuing the story after Blackeyes' death-by-drowning. In a dream, Maurice imagines Blackeyes visiting him in a park while being observed by Jeff, the only man who loves her for who she really is. Blackeyes rejects Maurice's overtures and he wakes from the dream, cursing her. Looking out of his window, he is terrified when he sees his fictional character Blackeyes in the street below. In fear, he checks his novel, which includes a description of her walking down the road in the same way.

Jessica is constructing a new narrative for Blackeyes, and creates a police inspector to investigate her drowning. Inspector Blake is told by the pathologist that Blackeyes had a list of men's names written on a piece of paper secreted in her body. Blackeyes goes to a casting call, but discovers that only blondes were requested. Wearing a bikini, she is met by the director who is clearly angered by the fact that she is a brunette. The audience is made up of a number of middle-aged male executives. One of them, Jamieson, suggests that Blackeyes be tested anyway. The director tells her to react in any way she thinks appropriate to the light, music and the product she will be advertising, a bottle containing a golden liquid.

After a flashback to Maurice playing with Jessica when she was a child, Blackeyes begins to dance sensuously around the bottle. The director ridicules her by revealing that the bottle actually contains a skin lotion. While Maurice reads extracts of the book to the public, Jessica leaves in disgust. Egged on by the men in the room, Blackeyes spreads the lotion on her body and removes the top of her bikini. Jessica, observed at a distance by Jeff, takes pills from a medicine bottle, but at the last minute decides not to take an overdose. The Inspector goes to the morgue to see Blackeyes; he has fallen under her spell.