25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
No, not really but "Eleventh Hour" is what he worked on between shooting "Mysterious Island" and "X-Men: The Last Stand". The first two episodes deserve 4 stars while the last two 2 and 3 stars respectively. Overall this was a show with promise that was cut short because it didn't attract enough viewers in the U.K.
"Eleventh Hour" created by writer Stephen Gallagher and produced for ITV combines elements of "Doctor Who" (Gallagher was a former write on "Doctor Who" during the ealry 80's), the old BBC show "Doomwatch" and "The X-Files" to create a compelling series that probably would have had more to offer if it had gone before four ninety minutes segments. While the show could be a tad derivative the strong performances by the cast and fine imaginative direction (particulary for the first two episodes)made the show watchable and worthwhile. The second pair of episodes "Kryptos" and "Miracle" had promise but had some major script problems that if solved would have made (the latter particularly)fascinating and fun TV.
Patrick Stewart plays Professor Ian Hood a controversial scientist sent in to investigate any weird crimes. He's protected by a bodyguard Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen). It seems that Hood's crusading approach to science has made him many enemies in different industries and, as a result, there are folks who'd love to take the good doctor out with a bullet vs. out for a cup of tea.
The writing for the first eight episodes (they are two part episodes)varied from extremely good to spotty but on the whole the show exhibited a lot of promise. Interestingly writer Gallagher and the uncredited Simon Stephenson drop you right into the lap of our main characters without a lot of background or exposition. It makes the first episode challenging but fascinating as you try and figure out the characters as you also solve the mystery at the heart of the film. The first episode is a bit derivate borrowing from films like 2004's "Godsend" but on the whole Gallagher does a solid job of making the story interesting enough despite the fact that the premise itself isn't all that original.
In the first episode of the series "Ressurection" Hood and Young are called in when a fetal graveyard is discovered. What Hood discovers about their DNA and their link causes him to suspect that someone is trying to clone humans in the U.K. The duo must uncover who is behind this and why before there are any adult victims.
The second episode started off with a premise worthy of "The X-Files". While demolishing a old church and relocating bodies buried on the site one of the workers contracts a mysterious and deadly virus. Hood and Young must uncover what is at work and whether there's a chance it will spread to the community.
**End of spoilers**
The last two episodes had promise but the writing was a bit spotty. Of the last two "Miracle" was the most fascinating with a great premise but denouncement at the conclusion that undermined the entire episode.
The DVD comes with text interviews with Patrick Stewart and actress Ashley Jensen as well as a filmography for the cast. The show comes without subtitles however which would have been useful for some of the thicker accents for us U.S. viewers. The shows looks quite good in its DVD transfer and fans of Stewart or "The X-Files" might enjoy the show.
The show will be airing on BBC America starting the week of 12/3/06. Stewart is marvelous and the supporting cast quite good as well. I'd give the show 3 1/2 stars. If the show had continued I quite imagine like "The X-Files" and other shows of that type the writing would have improved over the course of the series as the characters and situations were developed.
This is entertaining enough for a rental if nothing else although Stewart is often better than the material he's working with.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Patrick Stewart (Prof Ian Hood) serves as a Government Science Advisor whose job is to investigate anything unusual--not just crimes, but from the episodes, I'm gathering anything that could have an impact on public health and welfare. From what I gather, the show was a mid-season replacement and was only four episodes into the run before cancellation.
As another reviewer said, 11th Hour is an interesting showcase for Stewart. Prof Hood investigates everything from illegal cloning to miracle cures in those four episodes. I suspect if the network hadn't cut the run as quickly, the show might have stood a chance of succeeding. While the fourth episode was not the most compelling, the cast did seem to catch their stride at that point.
Downside is the film is awfully dark and the quality is not what it should be. Still the four episodes are worth watching and owning if you are a Stewart fan.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on May 17, 2007
This short series proves to be a fascinating experience. The quality surpases the current popluar US series CSI type thriller. The hero, Dr Ian Hood (Patrick Stewart), a special scientific adviser to the British Government, troubshoots evidence of pollution, cloning, pandemics desease and even a possible miracle 'water cure'. A clever juxtapositioning of his Scottish 'minder' (special branch detective) Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen) creates the perfect 'odd couple' defending citizens against evil doers. The script is Sci-fi style - written by Stephen Gallagher (Doctor Who), and each episode provides a thriller, that intrigues and facinates and holds the viewer's attention to the last minute. Great viewing!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Creator Stephen Gallagher pulled the plug on this smart science-based crime drama because producers inserted too much sci-fi material. That's a shame, because this ended one of the most promising ideas in recent scripted TV. And it torpedoed Patrick Stewart's chance to play a role pretty much diametrically opposed to the slick, well-scrubbed Captain Picard.
Stewart plays scientist Ian Hood (whose specialization is never given), advisor to Britain's Home Office, who cracks scientific crimes, aided by police handler Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen). In four nearly feature-length episodes, intricate cases demonstrating humanity's potential to abuse science are scrutinized by Hood, a rough-hewn man who defines "damaged goods."
Many stories compress the scientific method for narrative expedience, but on balance, it's nice to see science treated as something other than an enemy. And the stories have a careful, pensive pace and dry wit that was largely written out of the American remake. This show has a certain wisdom that is lacking from too many episodic dramas in recent years.
The design of the series is pleasing. Visuals are lensed in muted hues that are restful after the cartoony colors of recent shows shot to HD video. And the soundscape is subtle, with cues hidden here and there that only reveal themselves to careful listening, creating a fairly quiet but texturally dense world for the characters to move through.
It's far from perfect, of course. Where there are problems, they stem mainly from the writers. The episodes written by Stephen Gallagher are the best, but episode four could be reduced by a third without harming the story one bit. And episode three feels like a sermon, moving through tedious scenes, to a wholly predictable conclusion.
But as a whole, this series reminds me of television's neglected intellectual capacity. This is TV for a thinking audience, with characters who act rather than react, and situations that challenge viewers to keep abreast. Pity it had to move across the big pond to be given the chance to stretch its legs and develop to its utmost capacity.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on October 2, 2011
All in all, not bad. Patrick Stewart is, as always, enjoyable. And the 1st, 2nd, and 4th episodes are reasonably entertaining. A bit slow paced for my tastes, but still worth watching.
The 3rd episode (1st of the two on the 2nd DVD) is another matter entirely. It is boring. It is predictable. (Which is not entirely a bad thing - you can predict the ending and save yourself the bother of watching it!) But the worst of it is that it's so politically heavy-handed, one wants to run screaming from the room. To attempt to inject this much fear and hysteria into the threat of global warming, the writers must have been drinking Al Gore's magic Kool-Aid!* It's an entire hour (although, goodness knows, it seemed longer than that!) of "Ohmygod, the world is going to end!" interspersed with sneak peeks at the big bad capitalist conspiracy to suppress this shocking news!
Save yourself the bother, skip episode 3 and just treat the entire thing as a THREE-episode series. You won't be disappointed!
* For more on magic water, please see episode 4.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 11, 2007
The question can be asked - what will Patrick Stewart do now that will equal the recognition he got as a Star Trek captain? The answer: this classically trained actor has a large scope of projects from which to choose. This failed series didn't get a chance to succeed. Past the first two episodes, the writers didn't even try to do their job. I'll never know what happened, but it's a loss to those of us who want to see credible actors in a competent, entertaining series. I am happy to have got the 4 episodes that exist and hope some entity will someday revive it, if Stewart will give it another try.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 28, 2008
Once again, BBC-TV has ditched a series idea and CBS has picked it up, via Jerry Bruckheimer.
It would appear that Bruckheimer - the genius behind ALL the CSI shows - has grabbed someone else's "failed" idea and run with it.
Eleventh Hour is now a "Hit new series" on CBS, Thursday nights behind CSI Las Vegas. It has the same main character - Dr. Ian Hood; the same major premise - government-contract scientist-troubleshooter, only this time, he's an American working for the FBI - and the same female tough chick backup, although I haven't caught her name.
I don't know the characters in this series, but if Bruckheimer has done his homework as well as he usually does, they are at least superficially well-thought-out, with plenty of room to be fleshed out by the actors themselves. Just look at what the various CSI, Cold Case, and Without a Trace actors have done with their parts, and you can see how much leeway Bruckheimer gives his actors to fill in the corners. And with Patrick Stewart as an example, the lead in the American version has BIG shoes to fill.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2009
With a great cast of actors and a polished production style, I was really looking forward to enjoying this show. Thus, I was very disappointed to see how weak the science was as written in the various episodes. The 2nd episode dealing with an outbreak of small pox was an interesting idea, but the writers played fast and loose with some of the scientific aspects of the story (e.g., observing viruses using a low-power light microscope was rather laughable). Episode 3 told the story of a how a research institute entirely focused on environmental research that was funded by an oil company was murdering it's scientists for trying to publish results that showed evidence of global warming. The process of doing science as portrayed throughout this episode was utterly unrealistic and ridiculous. The writers seemed obviously intent on making a rather heavy-handed political statement...that's fine but they could have done it in a way that was true to the way science is actually practiced. It wouldn't have been that difficult to do and a lot more entertaining.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 11, 2007
I watched the second part of this on BBC America and liked it so much that I had to have the first. Haven't had a chance to watch it yet, but know I'll love it.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2013
The DVD is useless to me without subtitles in English. I would love to have this series but can't buy this one.