Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
One That Will Last
on 25 September 2016
What is the point of writing a review like this? It is either to hope that the readers can share one’s enjoyment of a piece or that they can be warned off from wasting their time. Before penning this I read all the 1-star reviews, to see why others had enjoyed “Dancing on the Edge” so much less than I.
The 1-star reviews rang with criticisms of the “banal” script, “poor” acting, “weak” story and so on. To what would they give a 5-star rating? They probably did not like “Wolf Hall” either. Not one hostile review however stated that visuals were poor – that be difficult if not downright perverse – every frame is a visual treat.
It is generally reckoned that this a golden age for television drama, which is far outstripping most products of the film industry. “Dancing on the Edge”, I believe, is among the finest products of this televisual golden age, one that will be watched with pleasure in a hundred years’ time. The script - while admittedly not concerning a trouble police detective tracking down a serial killer - is sufficiently different and interesting. The elegiac pace allows time for characters to develop and reveal the multiple facets of their personalities. The heroes are not entirely heroic and the villains not entirely villainous – they are just human beings reacting to circumstance against the social mores of their time.
It is therefore a work to be enjoyed at leisure, savouring the superb acting, wonderful visuals and intriguing story.
Like all period dramas this one is overlaid with modern overtones. If one views a British film drama made in the early 1930s against this there are many inconsistencies, but these are inevitable in order to make the drama acceptable to modern audiences. Not even the royal family speak today with the strangulated vowels of upper-class speech of this period. The stilted dialogue would seem laughable today. The racial prejudices of the time have greatly diminished. Virtually everybody smoked and so on. Some of these characteristics, like racial prejudice, need emphasising in this drama in order to place the story against the background of its time.
Footnote for pedants: spotting anachronisms in period dramas can be interesting for those of a certain bent, of whom I am one. A couple that come to mind are: in a drama set in 1932/3 a Talbot Ten tourer of the late 1930s puts in an appearance and there is a supposed boat train to Dover being hauled by an LMS Stanier mogul in British Railways livery.