The Hour 2 Seasons 2011

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Available on Prime
Season 1
Available on Prime
(950) IMDb 7.8/10

1. Episode 1 TV-14 CC

June 1956. BBC reporters and soul-mates Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon spot their opportunity to be a part of a brand new current affairs TV show at Lime Grove Studios. But as Freddie's interview looms, a chance meeting with an old friend finds him pursuing a new story and thrusts him deep into the middle of a dark and dangerous conspiracy.

Starring:
Ben Whishaw, Joshua McGuire
Runtime:
1 hour, 0 minutes
Original air date:
August 17, 2011

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Season 1

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Maureen F. on May 4, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
This show is smart, compelling, the characters well developed, plot lines intricate and ultimately resolved. It is also subversive, and I mean that as a compliment. Though set in the 1950s, the primary concerns are with whether we (Britain as well as the U.S.) can any longer call ourselves democracies, whether those of power pull the strings to such degrees that transparency is impossible. What I particularly like about the show is that although the male leads are prominent, female characters, both major and minor, drive the show as well; they are complex and determine their own fates. Someone smart has written and directed this work. Compared to "Mad Men"? The latter is a male fantasy that NEVER, despite occasional attempts, either approaches the gravitas of this series or does justice to its material.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 25, 2011
Episode 2 of The Hour from BBC just became available and the second installment proves that the clues established in the development of the characters were well paced and the seeds for future development solidly written. Freddie (Ben Wishaw) continues to attempt to convince Bel (Romola Garai) that Hector (Dominic West) is unable to function as the Commentator as the major new news show develops. It doesn't help that Freddie boondoggles Hector's on screen presence by off camera interjections and even supplying Hector with wrong data for his interviews. But Bel manages to keep the show rolling, helped immensely by the sudden Suez Canal crisis - an opportunity to bring in an Egyptian dignitary for Hector to interview in what proves to be an exciting interchange of British Imperialism and Egyptian resistance! Hector now utilizes some of Freddie's advice as to deportment and the show begins to vibrate. Behind the scenes Freddie still is investigating the questionable circumstances death of Sophie, finds a clue in the Evening Standard's crossword puzzles, and Bel continues to be enamored with the married Hector. More suggestions of complexities are planted and there are continuing lingerings of the camera on the bizarre character Kish (Burn Gorman). Good writing, excellent acting, and restored nostalgia for the period continue to make this series wroth watching. Grady Harp, August 11
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By L. Hand on August 16, 2011
This show is great. Is it a little silly and by-the-book with dialogue & character types? Sure. Is it an absolute blast from start to finish? YES. Charming, entertaining, compelling, and beautifully shot, the BBC has really hit it out of the park with this one. The cast is great: Dominic West is superb, Juliet Stevenson, and Julian Rhind-Tutt are the real scene-stealers but that's not to say the two "leads" Ben Whishaw & Romola Garai are just spinning their wheels. Everyone does a great job here, and it's just so pretty you've gotta keep watching.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By LP on May 3, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
The Hour Season 1, Season 2

The Hour is the sort of program that gives one hope. Excellent production across the board … writing, acting, cinematography, sound. All just first rate. A television program that manages to be entertaining without insulting the viewer's intelligence.
Often riveting and ultimately -- thought provoking.

Post-war/cold war England is fertile ground for drama and the series mines the fallout from the painful WWII experience as well as the fear of fallout from the looming nuclear era. Characters are richly drawn, finely shaded -- three-dimensional people one can actually care about: "bad guys" with complicated pasts -- "good guys" with flaws -- but none feel gratuitous or contrived.

In Season 1 we see the creation and launch of the BBC's weekly news program, "The Hour" and the struggle to keep it afloat amidst political and personal crises. We take such news programming for granted now, but in the 1950s, this was groundbreaking stuff and the launch is complicated by power struggles, personality conflicts, character weakness, political fears and -- that essential in a cold war drama -- a mole!

Season II focuses a bit more on some of the key issues facing Britain -- nuclear armament on the global scale and crime/corruption/morality/immigration closer to home. We are drawn into the news program's efforts to address these issues and the impact on the team and those close (not necessarily by choice) to them.

The cast are all very strong and so it is difficult to single any one out, though it must be said that Ben Wishaw makes the passionate -- one could say driven -- Freddie , oh so watchable.
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