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A Dance to the Music of Time 

Not Rated | | Drama | TV Mini-Series (1997– )
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Anthony Powell's twelve volume novel sequence "A Dance to the Music of Time" has been dramatized for television.
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2007   1997  
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Cast

Series cast summary:
Gillian Barge ...  Mrs. Erdleigh / ... 4 episodes, 1997
Nicholas Jones ...  Bob Duport / ... 4 episodes, 1997
Simon Russell Beale ...  Widmerpool 4 episodes, 1997
Robin Bailey Robin Bailey ...  Uncle Alfred 3 episodes, 1997
Jonathan Cake ...  Peter Templer 3 episodes, 1997
James Fleet ...  Moreland 3 episodes, 1997
Richard Pasco Richard Pasco ...  Sir Magnus Donners 3 episodes, 1997
James Purefoy ...  Nicholas Jenkins 3 episodes, 1997
Paul Rhys ...  Charles Stringham 3 episodes, 1997
Annabel Mullion ...  Mona 3 episodes, 1997
Claire Skinner ...  Jean 3 episodes, 1997
Adrian Scarborough ...  JG Quiggin 3 episodes, 1997
Grant Thatcher Grant Thatcher ...  Mark Members 3 episodes, 1997
Sarah Badel Sarah Badel ...  Lady Molly 2 episodes, 1997
Alan Bennett ...  Sillery 2 episodes, 1997
Emma Fielding ...  Isobel 2 episodes, 1997
Oliver Ford Davies ...  Le Bas 2 episodes, 1997
Edward Fox ...  Uncle Giles 2 episodes, 1997
Anastasia Hille ...  Matilda 2 episodes, 1997
Nigel Lindsay ...  Odo Stevens 2 episodes, 1997
Miranda Richardson ...  Pamela Flitton 2 episodes, 1997
Zoë Wanamaker ...  Audrey Maclintick 2 episodes, 1997
Michael Williams ...  Ted Jeavons 2 episodes, 1997
Geraldine Alexander ...  Susan 2 episodes, 1997
Carmen Du Sautoy ...  Miss Weedon 2 episodes, 1997
Nicholas Rowe ...  David Pennistone / ... 2 episodes, 1997
Barbara Durkin ...  Betty 2 episodes, 1997
Andrew Havill ...  Sunny Farebrother 2 episodes, 1997
Osmund Bullock Osmund Bullock ...  Erridge 2 episodes, 1997
Caroline Harker ...  Priscilla 2 episodes, 1997
Tony Osoba ...  Colonel Flores 2 episodes, 1997
Bryan Pringle ...  Smith 2 episodes, 1997
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Storyline

Anthony Powell's twelve volume novel sequence "A Dance to the Music of Time" has been dramatized for television.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

9 October 1997 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A Dance to the Music of Time See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(4 parts)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.55 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Goofs

In the final segment, when Widmerpool is kissing the feet of the disciples, the edge of his phony hairpiece is clearly visible on the back of his head. See more »

Soundtracks

Twentieth Century Blues
(uncredited)
By Noël Coward
[theme]
See more »

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User Reviews

majestic mini-series
23 June 2004 | by didi-5See all my reviews

This television adaptation, by Hugh Whitmore, of Anthony Powell's twelve-volume book condenses all the action of five decades, and over a hundred characters, into eight hours. We first meet the main characters – Nick Jenkins, our constant narrator; Kenneth Widmerpool; Charles Stringham; and Peter Templar – when they are at school together. Through the years we watch them move through their tangled lives, which end in tragedy for some, happiness for others.

Making an impact within the cast are James Purefoy as Nick Jenkins (playing him from university to the end of World War II); Jonathan Cake as Peter Templar; Claire Skinner as Jean Duport; Grant Thatcher as Mark Members; James Fleet as Hugh Moreland; Zoë Wanamaker as Audrey MacLintock; John Gielgud as St John Clarke; Miranda Richardson as Pamela Fritton; David Yelland as Jenkins' father; Edward Fox as Uncle Giles; and Michael Williams as Ted Jeavons.

But – the best performance within this series by a mile is from the wonderful Simon Russell-Beale, managing to turn the truly horrible Widmerpool into a rounded character who is totally convincing, whether as a figure of fun at school, as a pompous major in the war, as a humiliated husband, or as a free spirit dancing.

One little quibble would be – why did they suddenly change the casting for Nick Jenkins and no other main character in the final episode? J C Quiggin, Odo Stephens, Mark Members, Widmerpool and others remain the same actors made up to look older. Jean and Isabel (Mrs Jenkins) are also recast but this isn't as noticeable. So, after two and a half episodes getting used to James Purefoy as Nick we suddenly have to adapt to John Standing. He's effective, but I think this change was a mistake.

So, is this adaptation any good? It is true that sometimes you lose track of who's who (who they were related to, who they married, where they met) but there are numerous scenes of interest – not all directly witnessed by Nick. The musical soundtrack is superb and well-chosen. Having eight hours to tell the story means that things don't have to progress at a breakneck pace, and if some aspects come off better than others, nothing really fails. ‘Dance to the Music of Time' is an engrossing and superior piece of TV drama.


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