Blu-Ray Review “The Hour: Series 1”

Created by: Abi Morgan
Starring, Dominic West, Romola Garai and Ben Whishaw
Original channel: BBC Two
No. of episodes: 6
Run Time: 360 minutes

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

I have not heard of this show until it showed up on my door to review. The only program I watch on BBC is “Doctor Who” but boy, I am glad I had the chance to review this series. The only problem I had with this series is that it is only a six part series like most shows on BBC. I would have loved to see more of this show but don’t worry it is confirmed for a second series. The combination of music, acting and fast dialogue makes this show very interesting. Not only that but it is also funny, it is romantic and it is can expect that and more within “The Hour” (pun intended).

The series is a period drama set in 1956, it generally follows three people Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw), Hector Madden (Dominic West) and Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) as they set out to start a news program called “The Hour”. Hector is the face of the show, Bel is the producer and Freddie is the heart and its driving force. Freddie is trying to investigate the mystery behind the death of his friend, which delves a lot deeper into government conspiracies that he expects.  The trio are also involved in this love triangle is starts subtle and then explodes as the series goes on.  They push the limits with their news as they are under constant watch from the government since they are in times of war.  How far will they go to report the news and who/what will get in their way?

The cast is so phenomonal lead by Ben Whishaw, which is just stunning to watch on the screen and captures you with every word spoken.  Dominic West is such an amazing actor and really shines in this role.  I had the pleasure of meeting him in over 10 years ago before he hit it big with “The Wire” and he is just such a lovely person. Romola Garai is also fantastic playing the strong woman, yet in dire need of love, producer.  She is just so emotionally charged in this series and especially with the events from the finale, I can’t wait to see where her character goes.

Also a must to note is the music, it is so fantastic. It has a noir feel and helps with pacing each episode so well. The picture is fantastic and the sound is superb on Blu-ray. I wish I could say the same for the extras though since they are in SD not HD and there are only two features. The first is a behind the scenes, which runs about 10 minutes and takes a look into the making the series for i.e. it’s production design and cinematography. I did really enjoy the extra “Creating The Hour”, which runs about 20 minutes, which is also a behind the scenes making-of feature. It focuses a lot of the concept of the show and its characters.

Official Site:

Set behind the scenes of the BBC newsroom, just as an investigative news program is launched, the drama plots the personal lives, professional interplay and jealous ambition between aspiring but renegade journalist Freddie Lyon (Whishaw), the beautiful ambitious young producer Bel Rowley (Garai) with whom he is in love, and his handsome rival Hector Madden (West), the face and lead anchorman of this rising television news team. The Hour plays out as a riveting thriller set against the backdrop of the Cold War.

Viewers witness the decade on the threshold of change – from the ruthless sexual politics behind the polite social façade of the ‘50s to the revelations that redefined the world for a new generation. Over the six episodes, the interplay and intense ambitions between the rising news team plays out against the backdrop of a mysterious murder and Freddie’s controversial and dangerous investigation.

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