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The Hour - Series 1 [DVD]

Romola Garai , Dominic West    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
Price: £7.80 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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The Hour - Series 1 [DVD] + The Hour - Series 2 [DVD] + Secret State [DVD] [2012]
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Product details

  • Actors: Romola Garai, Dominic West, Ben Whishaw
  • Writers: Abi Morgan
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: 2 Entertain Video
  • DVD Release Date: 29 Aug 2011
  • Run Time: 344 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056G0GSY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 13,493 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Brand new, thrilling six-part series drama about a 1950s newsroom penned by Bafta-winning writer Abi Morgan, whose previous credits include Brick Lane, White Girl and Sex Traffic.

The Hour takes us behind the scenes of a broadcast news room in London during the mid '50s, with a highly competitive, sharp witted and passionate love triangle at its heart. We follow the lives of three characters who are tasked to set up a new weekly investigative news show called The Hour.


A six part series that was billed, in the run up to its transmission, as Britain having a go at doing its own spin on Mad Men, The Hour is actually a show with an identity of its own, and quite different from the hit American drama. It certainly has some similarities, but as it turns out, tonally it’s really quite different.

The Hour’s main attraction, as it turns out, is its cast. Putting The Wire star Dominic West at the heart of the drama proves to be a masterstroke, and he’s ably supported by a high calibre company of acting talent, including Juliet Stevenson, Anna Chancellor and Ben Whishaw. It’s West who drives the drama forward, though, with a trademark skilled central performance. It helps that he’s at the heart of much that happens with the show, too.

What drew the initial Mad Men comparisons was the setting for The Hour. This is a show surrounding a BBC news programme being made in 1956, which happens to be the time of the Suez Crisis. Behind the scenes of the show, there’s sexual politics, ambitions, and pressures from all directions. And that, mixed with a strong attention to period detail, helps make The Hour an engaging drama.

It has a few problems, starting a little too slowly for many peoples’ tastes. Certainly, its first episode isn’t its best by any measure. But it’s very much worth sticking with The Hour. It’s ambitious, high class drama. And while it’s a fair distance from Mad Men, it’s still television that’s certainly not to be sniffed at. --Jon Foster

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Evocative Political Thriller! 14 Dec 2011
"The Hour" certainly represents the best in Television, British or otherwise. A first-rate thriller that combines politics and espionage, "The Hour" kept me on the edge of my seat for every episode (which, happily, last longer than sixty minutes). Furthermore, the series is outstanding not only in its acting, costumes, and settings, but also in its writing. The characters are surprisingly well-developed, far more than I've come to expect in this genre of television drama, in which characters tend to be stereotypical, if not conventional.

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 BBC and at Westminster.

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 wool skirts and cashmere twinsets by day, and buoyant ballerina skirts by night.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pretty engaging overall! 17 Aug 2011
By bee90s
I haven't seen Mad Men, so I can't (and I'm glad I can't) compare.

I've watched all but one episode (yet to air) and have found them all thoroughly enjoyable. The casting, despite some comments below, is spot on - as is the acting. Dominic West is very good as the wealthy privileged newsreader Hector, as is Ben Whishaw as the determined but slightly eccentric reporter Freddie. The background characters - Lix, the powerful dedicated foreign affairs reported, and Isaac, the slightly geeky but keen assistant to Freddie - all complement the main characters well. Julian Rhind-Tutt is excellent as Angus McCain, Eden's slippery Press Advisor. I certainly can't fault any of the acting.

As with many dramas, a range of sub-plots are interwoven: as Freddie looking to uncover a secret MI6 plot, Bel and Hector commence an affair, with the Suez crisis as a backdrop. The series touches on a lot of themes, including the position of women in the workplace, homosexuality in the 1950s, the role of the media (and in particular the BBC) and its relationship with politicians.

All in all, a good drama - I hope it continues.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not everyone agrees with me but .. 15 Oct 2011
By Sally G
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The people I usually agree with about the merits of books, films, TV etc mainly didn't rate "The Hour" very highly.
I loved it - of course it's not realistic or authentic to the period - far too glamorous - but if one accepts it as quality entertainment beautifully dressed (in all senses of the word) then it works very well. I thought it was very well cast and acted and I love that particular period. So what can I say? For me it worked very well and I'm sure I'll watch it again. I hope there will be a second series.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT MINI-SERIES 19 Sep 2011
By sabu
This show is NOT another version of Mad Men. It's 6 part dramatic series is a totally different and engrossing experience. Great acting and writing combine to make it a winner
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant drama! 11 Oct 2011
THE HOUR is a brilliant drama from the BBC, with sumptuous production design, intriguing characters, a good but not totally convincing or enveloping plot. Ben Whishaw is a true stsr here! And all the actors shine! This is as good as US's AMC dramas MAD MEN or BREAKING BAD, and thats saying a ton! Especially because this has to cram all in two DVDs.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hour Has Come 30 Oct 2011
By nickyb
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Great Fifties drama with a tremendous cast. Attention to detail was extraordinary. Suez Crisis as the backdrop to journalist/political/spy drama was well though out. The series starts slowly but builds to an interesting climax. Surely there must be another series in the making.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hour 14 Jan 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed the series but I'm not
sure it's everyones cup of tea,therefor I'd
be unsure of recommending it to someone
younger.It takes place in a time I remember.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Hour 12 Aug 2011
This series has suffered as a result of confused comparisons with MAD MEN, a situation not helped by the BBC's own publicity department. THE HOUR, is in fact a complex story of conspiracy in high places, where events are viewed via the prism of a busy news room and against the wider back drop of the 1956 Suez crisis.

However there does seem to be a real muddle going on. The BBC's promotional blurb describes the series as having: "a passionate love triangle at its heart." The romantic drama of the "love triangle" is developed and focused upon to the extent that the conspiracy mystery aspects of the show hardly seem necessary. It's as if two separate scripts have been combined in effort to increase popular appeal.

Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw) is a very bright but troublesome reporter. Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) is Freddie's producer and friend. She falls for the upper-class Hector Madden (Dominic West), a well meaning but not very bright presenter; the triangle is complete! Probably the most believable character is Lix (Anna Chancellor), she also works on the news team and is very reminiscent of the extraordinary women that occasionally popped up in the TV world during that era; an authoritative spinster with the gift of inspiring others, and of course dedicated to her career to the exclusion of all else. It's a shame that Lix is not the boss as it would have helped credibility. Instead Bel has to shout at Freddie: "I'm your producer." He doesn't always seem convinced!

The pace is slow and methodical and not for those with a short attention span. It takes a ridiculously long time for the clever TV news folk to realise that their phones are bugged. Also an MI6 officer spends ages planted in the office before making an effort to do some spying.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 25 days ago by Jason Bidmead
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Drama about Early BBC Days
Ben Whishaw is excellent in his Debut starring role in this excellent drama about the BBC in the cold war. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jason Rue
5.0 out of 5 stars Engrossing and entertaining
Such a shame that the BBC couldn't stick with this and cancelled after just two series; the context and characters deserved development over a longer period, Mad Men-style. Read more
Published 8 months ago by K. Mead
5.0 out of 5 stars exciting DVD
exciting and intriguing, brilliantly acted and totally absorbing for older adults or young twenties generation, event hough its about 'making the news' and sub-plots from many... Read more
Published 9 months ago by p and m cooper
2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get past second episode
I really enjoyed the first episode and I was excited for the rest of the series. However, upon trying to watch the second episode at two different times I could not stay awake;... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars fantastic
wow fantastic acting by all the cast. well written drama can't wait to get to the end of this frilling series.
Published 13 months ago by M. E. BEARNE
5.0 out of 5 stars The Hour - you must watch this
Absolutely loved this from beginning to end - stylish, well paced, great atmosphere and cast are great. If you like great drama, put this on your wish list.
Published 14 months ago by Simon Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars A great show that shouldn't have been cancelled
A great show that shouldn't have been cancelled.... I caught the second series first, so was pleased to be able to get the first. Didn't spoil my enjoyment, Brilliant!
Published 14 months ago by Kenny Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars The hour
Best ever. Finally something worthwhile watching. Intelligent, great actors . Not one dislikable.BBC should continue. Shame if they really stop.
Published 15 months ago by brigitte frey
5.0 out of 5 stars c/w series 2
As introductions go this makes you think
Why the hell did I buy this CRAP.
Stick with it,and you will be rewarded,but only if you bides you buy series 2. Read more
Published 15 months ago by flibity
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