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4.7 out of 5 stars46
4.7 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 16 December 2012
With Series 2, The Hour really gets into its stride and provides the viewer with a highly intelligent and thoroughly enjoyable drama. The acting is uniformly superb throughout - with Dominic West, Peter Capaldi and Oona Chaplin deserving to be mentioned in despatches. Anyone who has seen The Wire knows that West can act but his performance here was a revelation, going from dissolution to determination in a totally believable narrative arc as Hector Madden, the star of The Hour. Capaldi's performance as the boss with journalistic integrity, OCD and a secret past provides an equally compelling performance. And Oona Chaplin proves her genetic inheritance and acting `chops' in her portrayal of Hector's long suffering wife who carves a career for herself by trading her pinny in the kitchen for a pinny in the tv studio. She completely blew me away.

The Hour is not only an absorbing and thoroughly entertaining drama, it's an important one too, touching on many crucial issues that were of national interest in the late 1950s and that still resound down the years in the 21st century. This is convincing stuff and very highly recommended.
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on 8 April 2013
The Hour Series 1 and 2 were excellent with talented Actors and a great script. It is a real pity that the BBC have dropped a third series. I have many friends who are disappointed with the BBC.
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on 13 March 2013
Series 1 of The Hour was riveting! The interweaving of political news and sentiment in the early 1950s with the lives of journalists, presenters, editors and producers in the early days of TV brought out the personal intrigues and agenda that influence how news is made and represented. Series 2 followed this pattern, focussing on more local (London) issues of police involvement with crime and entertainment. The personal stories of the main characters moved on in response to the challenges of the plot. The programme is not just about a good story, it is finely executed. Perfect casting! Each actor filling his or her part as fingers in a glove. The final episode made it clear that a third series was to follow. I am sad to see that such a worthwhile show of high calibre has been axed by the BBC!
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on 3 May 2013
A triumphant return for the Hour team,following Series One's focus on "Reds under the bed" with corruption in all it's forms.The money that the BBC invested is all up there on screen in lavish HD,it's therefore a shame that hardly anyone watched it.Intelligent drama is so rare these days that when they turn up it comes as a surprise-and a pleasant one at that.Of course The Hour couldn't please everybody,coming up against unfair comparisons with "Mad-Men"and it's fate was sealed from that moment.Critics killed it off before the drama had a chance to prove itself with a third series,but i will miss it.
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on 15 July 2014
BBC Drama at its very best! Brilliantly cast with superb actors - not a weak person in it and a script which is so sharp it could make your eyes water. I found the second series even greater than the first, as the plot was more intense, more moving and had stunning climax. I am furious with the BBC for not giving us a third series. "Mad Men" has been much compared with this but that is a sprawling mass of American egotism, flaunting its retro style with less real substance or gripping story line, compared to this finely-tuned masterpiece.

It has the best selection of actors for any TV drama I have yet seen. They had to be good to hold the force of the never-flagging script by Abi Morgan and sell the very idea of a behind the scenes story. Here we have all the people who make up the weekly news programme for 1957's TV, "The Hour" and drive it forward each week with the most important issues facing the nation. Peter Capaldi (Local Hero, The Thick of It) as the boss and Anna Chancellor (Four Weddings and a Funeral) as the international political researcher, both on top form and movingly linked in the story (no spoilers!). Romola Garai (Emma, Glorious 39) as the Producer and Ben Whishaw (Richard II) as her researcher, dominate the main story with great chemistry and energy, talking too much to acknowledge their growing love. Dominic West (The Wire, The Devil's Whore, The Awakening) as the main presenter and Oona Chaplin (The Crimson Field) as his wife are very endearing as the beautiful, perfect couple who engage in an entertaining career competition and tug-of-love but will their marriage survive it? A personal favourite of mine, Peter Sullivan (The Borgias, Conspiracy), appears as the brilliant ex-army officer, now a senior policeman, who finds police corruption has dragged him down and lost him his integrity. He commands a complex role with subtlety and conviction and the beautiful Hannah Tointon (The Children, The Body, Call the Midwife) plays the night club hostess who proves his nemesis. Julian Rhind-Tutt (The Wipers Times) adds a light touch as he perfectly portrays a cunning director who constantly changes sides and skirts the pitfalls of being gay in the 1950s and survives in a political minefield.

This is such a professional series. I am glad to have it on DVD but it would have easily won more awards for the BBC if it had gone on to a third series. Perhaps there is time yet?
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on 22 January 2013
This is unusal for a recently commissioned BBC series. It is not strictly speaking costume drama, yet evokes the late 1950's very well. Neither is it violant and surprise surprise one of the protangonists is a strong woman. There are so few interesting parts for women in TV drama ie where the woman is not a dowager or a tart that this series stands out. All of the characters are well drawn, none are perfect and all develope, and have developed as both series have unfolded. I can't recommend "The Hour" enough, and only hope that the BBC contiues with it.
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on 23 April 2013
This is a well-thought out and well-acted series (both #1&2) and the backdrop scenery, clothes , activties, songs are all perfect. Great stuff
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on 28 June 2013
As someone who was ten in 1953 when the Queen was crowned, I remember the tiny monochrome TVs of that era and the single BBC TV channel. It also brings to mind the test cards and old TV cameras as well as the huge outside broadcast vans and entourage required to make an outside broadcast. Although bordering on a "soapy'" the Hour captures the feelings and memories of the 50s, with the added sinister underworld of cold war politics and the pressures on the media to comply with the predominant political ideology (which still exists to some extent). At that time WW II was still fresh in the minds of many and The Hour also reflects the threat of another world war with an accompanying nuclear fallout that many people had feared. It captures the government's use of the Suez crisis as a political tool. It is indeed sad that only two series were made before it was canned. I am sure that many people, particularly of my age, who are sick of American style of movies, with poor acting and weak plots, really appreciated The Hour. Please think again BBC about reincarnating a new series of the Hour.
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on 21 February 2013
I certainly wasn't disappointed with this second series, and actually enjoyed it even more than the first. The style and the plot are both equally enjoyable. The characters retain their particular attributes without becoming in any way predictable. I hope there's a third series...
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on 18 March 2013
Superb cast, great story, wonderful period setting and so much more. Season 1 was excellent, season 2 was so much more. Was totally hooked from start to finish. I am certain season 3 would have been amazing but that will never be, yet another first rate BBC production axed.
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