Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' Watch: Jesse Eisenberg And Kristen Stewart Go On In The Run In Red Band Trailer For 'American Ultra' The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival The Top 10 Films Of The 2015 Cannes Film Festival 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions 5 Innovative Ways The Michael Fassbender/Marion Cotillard 'Macbeth' Differs From Previous Versions New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters New ‘Ant-Man’ Photos; Movie May Include More Marvel Cinematic Universe Characters Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Over 30 New 'Jurassic World' Photos, Plus 2 New Clips & Lots Of New TV Spots Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Matt Damon Goes Interstellar Again In New Pics From Ridley Scott's 'The Martian' Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ Cannes Awards Winners: Jacques Audiard's 'Dheepan' Wins Palme d’Or; Rooney Mara Ties For Best Actress With ‘Carol’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ First Look: Matt Damon As An Astronaut In Ridley Scott’s ‘The Martian’ Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Cannes Review: Justin Kurzel's 'Macbeth' Starring Michael Fassbender & Marion Cotillard Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Watch: Incredible Vintage Footage Of Audience Reactions To 'The Exorcist' In 1973 Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Here's The Character Backstory For Doof aka Guitar Flamethrower Dude In 'Mad Max: Fury Road' The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever The 10 Most Controversial Cannes Films Ever More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement More NSFW Posters For Gaspar Noe's 3D 'Love' Plus The Official Director's Statement Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image Cannes: Watch A Three Way Makeout In The First Clip From Gaspar Noe’s 3D ‘Love’ Plus New NSFW Image New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' New NSFW, Extremely Graphic, Adults-Only Poster For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Films Of 2015 We've Already Seen The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season 10 Movies Booed At Cannes 10 Movies Booed At Cannes All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More All The Songs In 'Pitch Perfect' Including La Roux, David Guetta, Azealia Banks, Nicki Minaj & More

The Small Screen: Chiwetel Ejiofor & Matthew Goode To Star In 1930s Jazz World Drama 'Dancing to the Edge'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist November 23, 2011 at 9:20AM

His name might be pretty much unfamiliar to all but the most fervent Anglophiles, but Stephen Poliakoff is something of a legend among British writers. He started his career as a playwright in the 1970s, before moving into television, which has hosted the bulk of his work, followed by feature films like "Hidden City" and "Close Your Eyes," with Alan Rickman and Clive Owen. Poliakoff's consistently idiosyncratic, often oblique dramas have become a brand in to themselves, making him one of the few writers who can continually bring in huge audiences for serious, adult television when it airs on the BBC.
0
Stephen Poliakoff Matthew Goode Chiwetel Ejiofor

His name might be pretty much unfamiliar to all but the most fervent Anglophiles, but Stephen Poliakoff is something of a legend among British writers. He started his career as a playwright in the 1970s, before moving into television, which has hosted the bulk of his work, followed by feature films like "Hidden City" and "Close Your Eyes," with Alan Rickman and Clive Owen. Poliakoff's consistently idiosyncratic, often oblique dramas have become a brand in to themselves, making him one of the few writers who can continually bring in huge audiences for serious, adult television when it airs on the BBC.

Recent years have seen him directing the bulk of his work, and teaming with some of the biggest names around, including Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in "Gideon's Daughter." But his last project, a rare big-screen venture, the World War II thriller "Glorious 39," with Romola Garai, Eddie Redmayne, Christopher Lee, David Tennant, among many others, was a serious misstep, a tedious, turgid picture that managed the seemingly impossible and got a bad performance out of Bill Nighy. Poliakoff's last effort was penning a short film for the World Wildlife Fund starring Nighy, Gemma Arterton and Christian McKay (watch it below), but he's going back to TV for his next, and if the casting is anything to go by, it's already a big step up from "Glorious 39."

Screen Daily announce that shooting will soon get underway for "Dancing on the Edge," a drama series intended for BBC Two to be written and co-directed by Poliakoff, which will be lead by the particularly exciting pairing of Chiwetel Ejiofor and Matthew Goode. The plot involves a black jazz group, named the Louis Lester Band, who entertain London's high society in the early 1930s, before becoming caught up in a mysterious death. The project is being co-produced by Ruby Films ("Jane Eyre"), for whom Poliakoff is also writing a feature script (according to Baz Bamigboye a few months back).

Phillippa Lowthorpe ("Five Daughters") is co-directing, and the supporting cast includes Jacqueline Bisset ("Bullitt"), Janet Montgomery ("Black Swan") Joanna Vanderham ("The Runaway"), Tom Hughes ("Cemetery Junction"), Angel Coulby ("Merlin"), Wunmi Mosaku ("Moses Jones"), Mel Smith ("The Princess Bride"), Anthony Head ("Buffy the Vampire Slayer"), Caroline Quentin ("Jonathan Creek") and Jane Asher ("Death at a Funeral").

Anyone who's been paying attention knows that we think Ejiofor is one of the most exciting actors out there at present, and, while Goode gets a bad rap from his "Watchmen" performance, he's capable of great work too, not least in Scott Frank's "The Lookout," so it's a hugely enticing pairing, especially considering how in-demand both actors are in Hollywood. Goode has just wrapped Park Chan-Wook's "Stoker" with Nicole Kidman, while Ejiofor will follow this up with the lead in Steve McQueen's "Twelve Years A Slave" with Brad Pitt and Michael Fassbender. A 16-week shoot will get underway, and the end-prouduct will be a full TV series (we imagine at least six parts), a first for Poliakoff. No word on where it might air in the US, but BBC America or PBS are, as ever, good bets. 

This article is related to: BBC, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Matthew Goode, Stephen Poliakoff, Television


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates