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The Hour - Series 1 [DVD]

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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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: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0056G0GSY
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,943 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

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.

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
"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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Format: DVD
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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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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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Hour is not the british answer to Madmen as many superficial said. It is an elegant, classic and classy reflection about media and power, with a perfect balance between style, irony and intrigue.
And it has the merit of launching a young and fresh cast who are totally believable and appropriate.
The Hour is an excellent BBC production, as usual
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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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This drama may have its faults and in the hands of less skilled actors it could have failed but I loved it.

The faults first. The writers hadn't really decided whether it was mainly about spies, a love-triangle, the gender politics of the late 1950s, the Cold War, the birth of a new style of television news or the BBC. The various plot threads were followed seemingly independently of each other for a lot of the drama. However, they did come together in the end.

What made it compelling for me throughout was the high quality acting. I can't think of a weak point in it, so many excellent performances - Dominic West, Anna Chancellor, Ben Wishaw, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Anton Lesser, Tim Pigott-Smith, Juliet Stevenson. Even the lesser characters were very well-served.

If I have missed Romola Garai off that list that's not because of her acting ability but because the character of Bel Rowley was the least successfully written. I think she does well with the part she was given and she lights up the screen. The problem was that character didn't quite work, which was unfortunate because it was a pivotal role. Bel was appointed as the producer of a new flagship news programme but she never seemed to have the gravitas or authority to carry it off - the reason for this is explained part-way through but still it jars.

I very rarely come across a tv programme that I feel I cannot miss and even more rarely one I re-watch again very soon afterwards just to savour it but this is one. The acting is great to watch and it looks beautiful.

I would say - don't expect it to be like Mad Men (a misguided piece of publicity) or to be a documentary about the 1950s (which may mean you start looking for anachronisms that will only distract). It's well worth giving it a chance in its own right.
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