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The Hour [Blu-ray]

44 customer reviews

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(Sep 27, 2011)
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Editorial Reviews

Hour, The (2011/BBC)(Blu-ray)

Romola Garai, Dominic West and Ben Whishaw star in The Hour, a thrilling six-part drama set in 1950s London when the BBC is about to launch an entirely new way of presenting the news. The dynamic Bel (Garai) is chosen to produce the new program, to be called "The Hour," with handsome and well connected Hector (West) set to become the anchor, much to the annoyance of Freddie (Whishaw), a brilliant and outspoken journalist, whose passion continually lands him in trouble. Over the six episodes, the interplay of intense ambitions between our rising news team play out against the backdrop of a mysterious murder and Freddie's controversial and dangerous investigation.


Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Various
  • Directors: Various
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: September 27, 2011
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005ELEMV8
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,891 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Dr Mike C on September 9, 2011
Format: DVD
The Hour is currently being shown on BBC America, and the important thing I wanted to let people know about is that if you are not very happy with what you have seen on BBC America, don't blame it on the drama. In the UK, the length of each episode (without commercials) is 60 minutes. On BBC America, the episode WITH COMMERCIALS is squeezed into a 60-minute time slot. If you feel that you are missing something (approximately 10 minutes?) while watching it on BBC America, YOU ARE, and the drama suffers accordingly. The good news is that this DVD contains the full episodes.

I enjoyed watching this mystery (the full episodes). The drama unfolds well, and the cast is excellent. I can't say enough about the cast. I would watch any show with only one of the following actors: Ramola Garai, Anna Chancellor, Jamie Parker (Scripps from The History Boys), Juliet Stevenson, Tim Pigott-Smith, or Julian Rhind-Tutt. Lucky for me that they all are in this series. There are many other recognizable and talented actors (aka Masterpiece alumni): Dominic West, john Bowe, Andrew Scott and Nicholas Woodeson. While I was not familiar with the Ben Whishaw's work, I will now add him to my list of must view actors.

My engagement in the drama grew throughout the six hours. By the end, I had to know how it was going to turn out. My only criticism is that it leaves a lot of loose ends on what happens to the people involved in the drama. Presumably, this allows more freedom for the second series, which has been approved by the BBC, but it bothered me. Still, I gave it five stars. I did like the mystery and its solution.

I guess I can't blame BBC America for thinking that it can cut 10 minutes or so out of each hour.
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Format: Blu-ray
With its methodical pacing and intricate narrative, BBC's "The Hour" has the general allure of a good book unfolding. While its six episode arc is, to say the least, what one might consider on a slow burn--there is enough of a payoff for viewers patient enough to appreciate the show's numerous charms. So much hyperbole and advertising have insisted we view "The Hour" as some sort of cousin to "Mad Men," but the two shows have little in common aside from being period piece dramas bolstered by an easy social atmosphere of drinking and smoking. It seems to me that a better comparison would be the more contemporary news drama "State of Play," but with a considerably less frenetic appeal. Ultimately, I don't think that the program is for everyone--but I quite liked this mix of government espionage with workplace intrigue.

The series kicks off in 1956 with the launch of a different breed of television news programming. The Hour is to be a uniquely formatted news magazine show that tackles the real issues of the day in a more substantial way. The principle cast include Romola Garai as the producer, Ben Whishaw as the reporter and Dominic West as the anchor. The first episode deals primarily with character introduction and getting everyone at place on The Hour. But amidst all the workplace shenanigans, an old friend of Whishaw meets with an untimely death--and this will have unforeseen repercussions as the narrative advances. After the new show struggles upon its inception, the intrepid crew goes after a high profile story and find themselves embroiled in conspiracies and government intrigue. As the Suez Crisis ramps up, further complications ensue and The Hour and its principles are thrust into the middle of an international scandal.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 18, 2011
Format: DVD
Summer seems to be test time for new series for the television audience and so far the shows that are coming out of Britain look the most promising. First we had the abbreviated 3 episode appetizer ZEN which in its short run got progressively more interesting and promising and now come THE HOUR from BBC America. The series just debuted in what appeared to be prolonged trailer for the long series that hopefully will continue: the title refers to a television news broadcast that is created before our eyes, the final scenes being a toast to this new venture acting as an overture to what is to come.

Overtures to operas usually introduce themes that will appear in the opera that follows once the curtain opens and that is how THE HOUR comes across. This is a time piece set in the 1950s when Cold War-era England was awash in the news of the Suez crisis, one of Britain's sharpest intimations of loss, with a more intimate look at sex, ambition and espionage in the workplace along with the world wide speculation of JFK as a vice presidential candidate in the US. It's a time of unsettling change, except at the BBC, where even driven reporters are assigned to do feel-good newsreels about debutante balls and royal visits.
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The Hour [Blu-ray]
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