A Dance to the Music of Time
About the Show
An adaptation of Anthony Powell's 12-volume novel sequence - a sharp, comic portrait of upper-class and bohemian England, spanning almost a century, from the early 20s to modern times
Series 1 Summary
Written for the screen by Hugh Whitemore, Anthony Powell's 12-volume novel sequence is a comic portrait of upper-class and bohemian England spanning almost a century, from the early 20s to modern times.
Produced as four films of two hours each, it is a witty and trenchant commentary on the social and sexual revolution that transformed British society. Friendship, adultery, ambition and failure are set against the backdrop of London's social, political and artistic life.
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 Jenkins, who is having an adulterous affair.
Nick Jenkins and his friends have moved from twenty- to thirty-somethings. Marriages are beginning to crumble and youthful optimism is fading fast.
Nick's affair with Jean Templer is coming to an end, but all unhappiness is swept aside when he meets Isobel Tolland, who takes him into London's bohemian life. A world of heavy drinking, all-night parties and colourful eccentrics. But, across the Channel in Germany, Hitler's power is rising and war seems inevitable.
WWII has broken out and Nick Jenkins is in the army, leaving behind his wife Isobel, who is expecting their first child
Meanwhile, Kenneth Widmerpool makes the most of his connections and soon rises through the ranks to enjoy power and prestige.
This episode also sees the arrival of Pamela Flitton, a dangerously beautiful woman who can cast a spell on all the men she meets - even the normally cool-headed Widmerpool.
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 more outrageously, and gossip surrounding her bizarre sex life is raging.
A Dance to the Music of Time synopsis
An adaptation of Anthony Powell's 12-volume novel sequence - a sharp, comic portrait of upper-class and bohemian England, spanning almost a century, from the early 20s to modern timesEpisode Guide >