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Dancing on the Edge 

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Set in the 1930s, a black Jazz band rises in fame and popularity while becoming entangled in an intricate web of intrigue, mystery & suspense with the elite of London society.
4,251 ( 1,184)




Won 1 Golden Globe. Another 4 wins & 16 nominations. See more awards »



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Series cast summary:
Chiwetel Ejiofor ...  Louis 6 episodes, 2013
Matthew Goode ...  Stanley 6 episodes, 2013
Joanna Vanderham ...  Pamela 6 episodes, 2013
Wunmi Mosaku ...  Carla 6 episodes, 2013
Paul Dixon Paul Dixon ...  Nazi Colonel 6 episodes, 2013
Janet Montgomery ...  Sarah 5 episodes, 2013
Jenna Coleman ...  Rosie 5 episodes, 2013
Anthony Head ...  Donaldson 5 episodes, 2013
Allan Corduner ...  Mr. Wax 5 episodes, 2013
Mel Smith ...  Schlesinger 5 episodes, 2013
John Goodman ...  Masterson 5 episodes, 2013
Tom Hughes ...  Julian 5 episodes, 2013
Miles Richardson ...  Harry 5 episodes, 2013
Angel Coulby ...  Jessie 6 episodes, 2013
Chris Storr Chris Storr ...  The Band - Joe the Trumpeter 5 episodes, 2013
Jay Phelps Jay Phelps ...  The Band - Trumpet 2 5 episodes, 2013
Charles Angiama Charles Angiama ...  The Band - Clarinet 5 episodes, 2013
Oroh Angiama Oroh Angiama ...  The Band - Bass 5 episodes, 2013
Miles Brett Miles Brett ...  The Band - Tenor Sax 5 episodes, 2013
Trevor Edwards Trevor Edwards ...  The Band - Trombone 5 episodes, 2013
Cosimo Keita Cosimo Keita ...  The Band - Drums 5 episodes, 2013
Steve Williamson Steve Williamson ...  The Band - Alto Sax 5 episodes, 2013
Pascaline Crêvecoeur ...  Jessie (french version) 4 episodes, 2013
Jacqueline Bisset ...  Lady Cremone 4 episodes, 2013
Jamie Crew Jamie Crew ...  Mick 4 episodes, 2013
Maggie McCarthy Maggie McCarthy ...  Mrs. Mitchell 4 episodes, 2013
Sam Hoare ...  Eric 3 episodes, 2013
Caroline Quentin ...  Deirdre 3 episodes, 2013
Gerard Horan Gerard Horan ...  Gunson 3 episodes, 2013
Jane Asher ...  Mrs. Luscombe 3 episodes, 2013
John Hopkins John Hopkins ...  Prince George 3 episodes, 2013
Rob Edwards Rob Edwards ...  Sarah's Father 3 episodes, 2013
David Dawson ...  Horton 3 episodes, 2013
Matthew David Hearn Matthew David Hearn ...  Police Officer 3 episodes, 2013
Ariyon Bakare ...  Wesley 3 episodes, 2013
Abigail Halley Abigail Halley ...  Mrs. Luscombe's Maid 3 episodes, 2013
Alexander Lovatt Alexander Lovatt ...  Boy in School Class 3 episodes, 2013
Nicola Sloane ...  Nurse Pollock 2 episodes, 2013
Calvin A. Dean ...  Young Man 2 episodes, 2013
Madeleine Smith Madeleine Smith ...  Violetta 2 episodes, 2013
Sam Troughton ...  Prince of Wales 2 episodes, 2013
Isabella Blake-Thomas ...  Emily 2 episodes, 2013
Simon Lewis Marriott ...  Waiter 2 episodes, 2013
Martine Richards ...  Strange Lady 2 episodes, 2013
Richard Teverson ...  Hardiman 2 episodes, 2013
Leo Chell Leo Chell ...  Hospital reveller / ... 2 episodes, 2013
Laura Haddock ...  Josephine / ... 2 episodes, 2013


Set in the 1930s, a black Jazz band rises in fame and popularity while becoming entangled in an intricate web of intrigue, mystery & suspense with the elite of London society.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



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Release Date:

4 February 2013 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Dans vid avgrundens rand See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Janet Montgomery (Sarah ), Angel Coulby (Jessie) and Anthony Head (Donaldson) have all appeared in the TV series 'Merlin'. They played Princess Mithian, Gwen and Uther Pendragon respectively. Another Merlin connection is Sam Troughton (Prince of Wales), who is the cousin of actor Harry Melling who played Gilli in the show. See more »


Louis Lester is shown as a Black musician leading a racially mixed band. Though Black musicians were sometimes featured as special guests with white bands in the 1930's (Coleman Hawkins with Jack Hylton and Teddy Wilson and Lionel Hampton with Benny Goodman), racially mixed bands didn't become common until the 1950's. See more »


Featured in 71st Golden Globe Awards (2014) See more »

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User Reviews

British miniseries about a black jazz group in 1930s London
18 July 2017 | by blanche-2See all my reviews

For so many people not liking this, it has a high rating here on IMDb. I enjoyed it but see its flaws.

I am not familiar with the work of Stephen Poliakoff, so I can't comment on the criticisms of him.

The series is about a black jazz band in the 1930s who is discovered by a music journalist, Stanley Mitchell (Matthew Goode). With Wesley's help, the group is booked at the upscale Imperial Hotel and even entertain Prince George (erroneously described during the program as the Prince of Wales, who was actually Edward, Prince of Wales).

The band becomes successful and is written up often by Mitchell. With two talented singers (Wunmi Mosaku and Angel Coulby), they come to the attention of a record company and radio. But tragedy strikes, and the ensuing events threaten to ruin the band.

I'm at a disadvantage here because I'm not familiar with early '30s jazz music, but the critiques say the music presented is actually from a decade later.The songs are original to the production, which were also criticized. The producers certainly could have found actual songs, but I suppose they didn't want to pay for the rights. A couple of the songs weren't very good.

It's an expensive production with some excellent actors: Goode, who I've always loved, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Louis Lester, the leader of the band, Anthony Head, John Goodman, Tom Hughes, and Jacqueline Bisset. Very formidable.

There was also criticism that the series did not really evoke the '30s. I thought it looked wonderful, particularly the hotel scenes. But I agree, there was something missing in the period feel. Fascinating to me was the statement in the series that the Brits didn't know what Americans sounded like until the advent of talking pictures, as well as the talk of the wireless. One really does get the feeling of limited communication and how far we've come.

Suspenseful, well-acted, this could have been more fascinating with some stronger writing, attention to period details, and maybe some cutting, perhaps to four episodes instead of six. The research wasn't perfect -besides the Prince of Wales ID, there was also the reference to Clark Gable. In 1933, Clark Gable was just coming onto the radar in the U.S. Ronald Colman would have been much better. The devil is in the details.

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