A behind-the-scenes drama and espionage thriller in Cold War-era England that centers on a journalist, a producer, and an anchorman for an investigative news programme.

Creator:

Abi Morgan
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3,124 ( 38)

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2   1  
2013   2012   2011  
Nominated for 4 Golden Globes. Another 4 wins & 40 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Romola Garai ...  Bel Rowley 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Ben Whishaw ...  Freddie Lyon 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Dominic West ...  Hector Madden 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Anna Chancellor ...  Lix Storm 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Joshua McGuire ...  Isaac Wengrow 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Lisa Greenwood ...  Sissy Cooper 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Oona Chaplin ...  Marnie Madden 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Julian Rhind-Tutt ...  Angus McCain 12 episodes, 2011-2012
Paul Chahidi ...  Ron 8 episodes, 2011-2012
Anton Lesser ...  Clarence Fendley 6 episodes, 2011
Peter Capaldi ...  Randall Brown 6 episodes, 2012
Vincent Riotta ...  Raphael Cilenti 6 episodes, 2012
Peter Sullivan ...  Commander Laurence Stern 6 episodes, 2012
Hannah Tointon ...  Kiki Delaine 6 episodes, 2012
Tom Burke ...  Bill Kendall 6 episodes, 2012
Tomiwa Edun ...  Sey Ola 5 episodes, 2011-2012
Robert Demeger Robert Demeger ...  Malcolm Lyon 5 episodes, 2011
Morgan Watkins ...  Norman Pike 5 episodes, 2012
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Storyline

A behind-the-scenes drama and espionage thriller in Cold War-era England that centers on a journalist, a producer, and an anchorman for an investigative news programme.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

TV-14 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Bel and Freddie often call eachother Monetpenny and James, in reference to iconic characters from the James Bond franchise. Ben Whishaw later joined that franchise as Q in Skyfall (2012). See more »

Connections

Featured in Breakfast: Episode dated 19 July 2011 (2011) See more »

User Reviews

Behind the Machinations of BBC: A Debut Series form the Brits
18 August 2011 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Behind the Machinations of BBC: A Debut Series from the Brits, August 18, 2011 By Grady Harp (Los Angeles, CA United States) - See all my reviews (TOP 10 REVIEWER) (VINE VOICE) (REAL NAME) This review is from: Hour (DVD) Summer seems to be test time for new series for the television audience and so far the shows that are coming out of Britain look the most promising. First we had the abbreviated 3 episode appetizer ZEN which in its short run got progressively more interesting and promising and now come THE HOUR from BBC America. The series just debuted in what appeared to be prolonged trailer for the long series that hopefully will continue: the title refers to a television news broadcast that is created before our eyes, the final scenes being a toast to this new venture acting as an overture to what is to come.

Overtures to operas usually introduce themes that will appear in the opera that follows once the curtain opens and that is how THE HOUR comes across. This is a time piece set in the 1950s when Cold War-era England was awash in the news of the Suez crisis, one of Britain's sharpest intimations of loss, with a more intimate look at sex, ambition and espionage in the workplace along with the world wide speculation of JFK as a vice presidential candidate in the US. It's a time of unsettling change, except at the BBC, where even driven reporters are assigned to do feel-good newsreels about débutante balls and royal visits. The series opener, written by Bafta Award-winning Abi Morgan, takes us behind the scenes of the launch of a topical news program in London 1956, and introduces a highly competitive, sharp-witted and passionate love triangle at the heart of the series through the lives of enigmatic producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) and her rivals, journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Wishaw) and anchorman Hector Madden (Dominic West): we will begin to see the decade on the threshold of change - from the ruthless sexual politics behind the polite social façade of the Fifties to the revelations that redefined the world for a new generation. Aside from the behind the scenes views and devious workings of the BBC we also see the beginning of a crime element in which the victim is touted as being part of a robbery while the ever-suspicious and career climbing Freddie sees it as a murder to be investigated. There are 1950s reminders of Debutante Balls, the universal cigarette smoking habits, the 'gentlemen only clubs' where women are not allowed (secondary citizens, you know!), and all the clothes and hats that reek of the 50s.

The cast is rich in fine British actors (Juliet Stevenson and Tim Pigott-Smith appear briefly in roles that will likely be expanded, Anna Chancellor is the acid tongued foreign correspondent, Burn Gorman is the suspicious, hatted man, etc), but if were only Ben Wishaw and Romola Garai and Domenic West every week the show would sail. There is a lot of style and sophistication and just the right amount of British intrigue and humor that almost sure that this series will fly.

Grady Harp


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2011 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Hour See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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