Are You Team 'Dancing On The Edge,' or 'Team Downton Abbey?'
The BBC executives who commissioned new drama Dancing on the Edge - presumably as a direct response to ITV's hugely successful Downton Abbey - will have felt pretty good about themselves, following its premiere on Monday evening (January 4, 2013) The drama follows a black jazz band in London in the early 1930s - a time of remarkable social change.
The first episode saw music journalist Stanley Mitchell (played by Matthew Goode) befriending The Louis Lester Band - whom he helps rise from basement jazz clubs to the illustrious Imperial Hotels. The band meets early hostility from audiences whom have never seen black musicians before, though a couple of young aristocrats fall in love with the new sound and invites them to play a swanky garden party. Early reviews were full of praise for Stephen Poliakoff's drama, with Sam Wollaston of The Guardian writing, "There are marvellous performances, plus fascinating characters whose motives aren't yet clear. It's beautiful to look at and artfully crafted." Tom Sutcliffe of The Independent said, "Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew Goode are excellent as Louis and Stanley, and it looks and sounds gorgeous. Possibly just a little too gorgeous in fact."
The second episode of Dancing On The Edge airs on Monday (February 11, 2013). It runs for five episodes in total.