Now is The Hour

I was really looking forward to The Hour, a six part series on the BBC that followed some 1950s Beeb journalists setting up a news programme called, funnily enough, The Hour. It was compared to Mad Men from the outset, but it wasn’t much like that crazy advertising world.

In fact, the only real similarity was the bad hair and the constant chain-smoking.

After the first episode, I wasn’t sure I was going to keep watching. I couldn’t really reconcile the spy plot with the TV studio storyline, and I really wanted it to focus on one or the other. However, I gave it another episode, and then I was hooked… which was unfortunate because I found it quite slow-going.

It’s not so much the pacing of the piece, which I have seen complaints about. I don’t mind enjoying the great dialogue and looking at the beautiful direction, it makes a change from frenetic non-stop action. I think my problem lay with some of the characters, who I found pretty disappointing. Bel, in particular, was not at all what I’d hoped she would be.

Perhaps I expected too much, having something of a girl-crush on Romola Garai, but the ridiculously obvious affair with Hector, the barely touched upon relationship with her mother, and a seemingly lack of control at work, there wasn’t much to like and support. I must say, though, like this post, I very much adored Lix.

On the flip side, Freddie was pretty spectacular, a flawed but earnest guy, with great dialogue, a clear cause for the truth, and plenty of cuteness to help him along the way.

As the episodes continued, the spy plot began to merge with the action inside the BBC, and that was good. I would have liked to see more about how the programme was made, and the difficulties of putting it together. In some episodes, there were only glimpses of the set, and yet the final episode culminated in all hopes and dreams being based around this one hour programme.

The twist at the very end was worth waiting for, and for once, I wasn’t disappointed in the way a series came to a close. So, with a good finish, a fabulous Freddie, and some beautiful set design, I’ll give The Hour a tentative thumbs up, although I think there could be improvements if a second series was commissioned.

6 thoughts on “Now is The Hour

  1. I quite liked it…..it is nice to have a series that isn’t “crash bang in your face” all the time. Not sure that a second series would work though….with no Suez crisis? (Bear in mind I havent yet watched the last episode…….)

  2. I did enjoy it and I do agree with some of the points on here. I thought pretty much all of the characters were brilliant, even Bel, although perhaps the relationships she has isn’t as well done. I didn’t like the affair with Hector, and there could have been so much more with her mother. Something I also think about Freddie and his dad.

    Hopefully there will be a second series. Final 30 minutes were spectacular and I was disappointed when I found I was wrong with my suspect, but thats just a personal moan…

  3. I was disappointed when I found I was wrong with my suspect, but thats just a personal moan…

    Hehe, I didn’t even realise I was meant to have a suspect until they suddenly revealed it 🙂

  4. Not sure that a second series would work though….with no Suez crisis?

    There’s lots of scope for development on the character side of things, but, without spoiling anything, it’d probably be tricky to get the story right.

  5. I too was completely hooked on The Hour. Loved the setting and the idea of it, loved Freddie to pieces, and i agree with your points about Bel. The twist at the end was brilliant too! Much love from me about this series.

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