Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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.]]>
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The acting, is, as one might expect from a BBC series, superb, not only the leading players, but also the minor characters, including Tim Piggot-Smith and Juliet Stevenson, as the secretive Lord and Lady Elms; Anna Chancellor, as an almost burnt-out foreign correspondent; Oona Chaplin, as the faithful wife of the philandering news anchor; and Julian Rhind-Tutt, as a slippery special aid to Prime Minister Anthony Eden. I was particularly moved, however, by the performance of Anton Lesser, as Clarence, the chief producer, whose very career hangs on the success or failure of "The Hour," a ground-breaking live BBC television news show, which cannot fail to rattle cages, both at the proper BBC and at the improper (as it happens) Westminster, the seat of the British Government.
One of the factors that makes the series so convincing is the attention to detail as far as the costumes and the settings are concerned. In fact, watching the series took me right back to the 'fifties, jogging my memories about wearing pencil-line calf-length wool skirts and cashmere twinsets by day, and ankle-length ballerina skirts by night. The scenario of the Suez Crisis and the Russians in Hungary similarly conjured up crystal-clear images, some delightful, others thrilling, not to say terrifying: I was in Holland, my first baby was born in April; I was listening to the BBC: Grace Kelly was marrying Prince Ranier of Monaco; the British and Russians were testing nuclear weapons; and Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan were clowning on "The Goon Show," which I found funny, but my Belgian husband found inexplicable. In Fall we went to Brussels, where, for three days, throngs of students kept pouring into the streets shouting in unison, "Hongrie! Liberté!" (Hungary! Freedom!), even as the Soviet tanks were closing in on Budapest; and in Winter it was so cold that all the canals in Amsterdam froze solid, and no coal was to be had due to aftereffects of the Suez Canal crisis. Although I didn't realise it at the time, 1956 was an amazing year, and "The Hour" replicates its social and political tensions with what seems to my memory to be striking accuracy.
Since the British Broadcasting Corporation played such an important part in my life in 1956, I was especially interested in a drama set at the heart of the BBC, and the making of a live television news program; for me, the espionage and politics were icing on the cake!
I do not think, however, that one has to be of vintage years to enjoy this political thriller, which is so well written and beautifully acted that its riveting plot and absorbing drama will leave you hoping for a second season; and, if such hopes are not realised, "The Hour", with its complex twists and turns and attention to detail, is so enthralling that you might want to enjoy it a second time. And, perhaps, even a third.
WARNING: Do not be tempted watch the Behind the Scenes feature on Disc One, until after you have watched the entire series. It gives away the ending!
⌚ The Hour was my introduction to the sultry and talented Romola Garai, who almost instantly enchanted me. The 3rd standout actor in the series is Ben Whishaw as the intellect of the team, but I would be remiss if I didn't also mention the striking Burn Gorman (a face you don't forget, and one that you've probably seen elsewhere), who is among the best of recurring characters.
⌚ As for the plot: Fantastic! It has a little bit of something for everyone, without coming across as stretched too thin. That said, it runs afoul of formulaic television, so some viewers may be slightly frustrated with the lack of what they are accustomed to in programming. I can't think of any drawbacks at the moment, which is unusual when I assess a TV serial. My only regret is that I accidently purchased the DVD rather than the Blu-ray; the picture quality makes me yearn for the Blu-ray version (spend the extra five bucks!)