A Dance to the Music of Time

Watch A Dance to the Music of Time

  • Not Rated
  • 1997
  • 1 Season
  • 7.5  (518)

A Dance to the Music of Time is a 12-part television series that originally aired on Channel 4 in 1997. Based on the novel series of the same name by Anthony Powell, the show follows the lives and relationships of a group of British upper-class characters from the 1920s to the 1950s.

Set against the backdrop of significant historical events, such as World War II and the death of King George VI, A Dance to the Music of Time takes a deep dive into the nuanced interpersonal dynamics between its characters. The story is told through the eyes of the protagonist, Nicholas Jenkins (played by James Purefoy), who serves as both a participant and observer of the events unfolding around him.

The show features an ensemble cast of both established and up-and-coming British actors. Notable performances include James Fleet as the affable yet bumbling Sunny Farebrother, Claire Skinner as the elusive Jean Duport, and James D'Arcy as the charming and enigmatic Charles Stringham. Other standout performances include Jonathan Cake as the charismatic war hero Mickie Heron, Miranda Richardson as the cunning and opportunistic Mrs. Erdleigh, and John Standing as the steadfast and reliable Erridge.

In addition to its talented cast, the show boasts impressive production design and attention to detail when it comes to period accuracy. The costumes, hairstyles, and sets all recreate the look and feel of the various decades covered by the story. The soundtrack also includes popular music from the time periods, adding to the overall immersive experience.

One of the defining traits of A Dance to the Music of Time is its complex, multi-layered narrative. The story weaves together multiple plotlines and numerous characters, each offering their perspectives on the events that shape their lives. The show moves at a leisurely pace, taking its time to develop each character and explore their motivations and relationships with one another.

Another distinctive aspect of the show is its use of literary techniques in its storytelling. The episodic structure of the series mimics the structure of the novels, with each episode corresponding to a specific volume of the book series. This approach allows the show to delve deeply into the characters and their relationships over an extended period.

Overall, A Dance to the Music of Time is a masterful adaptation of a beloved literary classic. Its stellar cast, intricate narrative, and attention to detail make it a must-watch for fans of period dramas and character-driven storytelling. The show is a testament to the enduring power of Powell's writing, which continues to captivate and enchant audiences years after its initial publication.

A Dance to the Music of Time
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Episode 4
4. Episode 4
October 26, 1997
Ten years after the end of WWII, Quiggin starts a literary magazine. Pamela leaves MP Widmerpool for X Trapnel but eventually returns.
4. Post-War
October 30, 1997
A decade has passed. Nick and his wife Isobel have moved to the country. Widmerpool has become a Labour MP and is dabbling in Eastern European politics. His wife Pamela is behaving even…
The War
3. The War
October 23, 1997
WWII has broken out and Nick Jenkins is in the army, leaving behind his wife Isobel, who is expecting their first child
Episode 2
2. Episode 2
October 15, 1997
Jenkins reconnects with Stringham and Widmerpool and meets Quiggan. Widmerpool is articled to a solicitor but intends to go into business and politics as well.
The Thirties
2. The Thirties
October 16, 1997
Nick Jenkins and his friends have moved from twenty- to thirty-somethings. Marriages are beginning to crumble and youthful optimism is fading fast.
The Twenties
1. The Twenties
October 9, 1997
The first film looks at the life of Kenneth Widmerpool, a tubby, much-teased boy at school who is to grow into a determined influence on his friends. Among these friends is Nicholas…
  • Premiere Date
    October 9, 1997
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (518)