Monday, September 02, 2013
Thoughts on Season 1 of The Hour
The Hour is a series about a fictional weekly news magazine station on the BBC in the 1956, the historical setting for the series specifically is during the Suez Crisis.
The show, written by Abi Morgan, is dense in the sense that it moves quickly and the 6 hour series creates a number of characters, intrigue, and mystery.
The mystery primarily comes in with a murder of a professor early on in the first episode that triggers one of the reporters (Ben Whishaw as Freddie Lyons) getting a tip from a friend and socialite (Vanessa Kirby as Ruth Elms). It is this primary subplot of government conspiracy that for me really captured my interest.
There are other interesting aspects to this show outside of the government conspiracy, there is the additional web of familial and work relationships, there is the well-done portrayal of 1956 British news production, and like all good TV a unique love-triangle between it's principle cast members, Ben Whishaw, Dominic West, and Romola Garai.
In many ways, I think Romola Garai is one of the more complex and interesting female characters I've seen in a recurring TV show this past year. I would actually compare her unique complexity to that of the award winning performances we've seen in Claire Danes' Homeland character. Romola Garai was nominated for some awards for her season performance as Bel Rowley, namely the Golden Globe, but lost to Kate Winslet's Mildred Pierce performance.
In addition to the three primary cast members (Garai, Whishaw and West), the supporting cast is fantastic in terms of being interesting characters who are well performed. Personal favorites from season 1 include Anna Chancellor as Lix Storm, Anton Lesser as Clarence Fendley, and Andrew Scott as Adam Le Rey.
I look forward to enjoying Season 2 shortly, but am already disappointed that there is not a third. In February 2013 the BBC announced it would cancel the show, although upset supporters have been petitioning the BBC in a variety of ways (small protest, change.org petitions, and twitter hashtag campaigns) to "Save The Hour" (#SaveTheHour). Personally, I agree, and would love this award winning show to return for a third season.