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Colourful but Skewed to Modern BBC Shibboleths,
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This review is from: The Hour - Series 1 [DVD] (DVD)
Watched Series 2 before Series 1 strangely, and as I review Series I I am struck by the BBC problem in depicting the 1950s. It would like it to be 1930s Marple and Poirot but cannot get the absence of TV then to fit their re-make of the 1950s. They impose what the BBC is today as if it was struggling in the form of Mr Lyons to escape from the shellac casing in 1950s rigidity. Frankly it harps on themes - gay rights, immigration, Suez, USA and The Bomb without ever addressing Hungary 1956 or Communism or instability in France or Indochina or European Defence or German Rearmament. It is a very narrow pre-occupation which blights the series with the same narrow-mindedness it tries to criticise in the 1950s itself.
The sets are good and both Maddens are excellent. I am afraid Bel Rowley has a problem with poise and gait. It is a good programme but lacks a motor and is afflicted by weakness at its core in the form of the errant Mr Lyons who is indulged like a well-connected but spoiled child who accused Madden of having "connections" but ignores his own to Lord Elms so it becomes a bot incestuous. Nowhere do they range for "News" into areas alien to their own circle of friends and London acquaintances.....but Yorkshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire were probably not within transmitter range of Lime Grove in the 1950s having only entered the United Kingdom recently.
So, a good little programme which projects 21st Century BBC Obsessions into the 1950s and manages to ignore the European Union, German Rearmament, Fourth Republic, Hungary, and never even mentioned the MI5 man living at the BBC vetting staff