A soldier is killed on the Western Front in WWI. Cut to the golden age of the music hall era. Thus we are set on Colin Firth's voyage of discovery, where he meets true love, true lust, madnes, brutality, laughter and his own identity. Along the way there is the vanished world of live magic (to the amazement of an uncynical audience), bawdy comic stage acts, fabulous song and dance numbers (very faithful to the period)and beautiful women.
Colin Firth gives the first of many very assured performances of a decent, naive, handsome young man out to experience the world from a provincial backwater to the gypsy life of the music halls of Britain.
If you like handsomely mounted drama productions, with multi-faceted stories, an excellent sense of the period and outstanding performances, then buy this.
Of special note is the stunning Carmen De Sautoy. She portrays the kind of woman (beautiful, daring, assured, very intelligent and mysterious) that no man could resist. John Castle is, as always, a scene stealer - quite riveting. Sir Laurence Olivier gave his last TV performance in this - a nod towards Archie Rice's "Entertainer". Beattie Edney (whatever happened to her?) is excellent as Firth's true love - she has a gift for dancing. Can she really sing as well as she seems to?
There are no extras except a photobook. It is so unjust that this series is not available for retail in Britain - the country where it came from. Strange, as it's only been shown once on TV - and I'm certain it's never been on Cable or digital.
It's outstanding entertainment - far more so than the far more lauded and well known Brideshead Revisited