With a life measured out in cigar-cutters and cocaine wraps, Sigmund Freud was clearly a genius. Here was a man who looked around the world at the start of the 20th century, saw brutal empires, millions being sucked into soulless factories, impending world war, and said: “I know what causes the problems - we want to have sex with our mothers.”
Mark Steel reveals the absurdity and complexity of that genius as he travels from Vienna to London in Freud’s wake. Our Sigmund, played by Martin Hyder, steps out of the darkness like Harry Lime, snorts cocaine like Al Pacino in Scarface, and treats his friends like Richard Ashcroft in the video for Bittersweet Symphony.
In the course of the journey, Mark is given a 'shoeing' in a London pub, eats a raw onion, walks with the strippers in downtown Vienna, and finds himself inside the dreamworld of David Lynch. Surely the rudest, funniest lecture BBC TV has ever seen, this is the secret world of Sigmund Freud.
Featuring Martin Hyder as Sigmund Freud and Linda Smith as Martha Freud.
First broadcast: Tuesday 7 Oct 2003 on BBC Four