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Category:    Home > Reviews > Mystery > Crime > Eleventh Hour (Acorn/Britain)

Eleventh Hour (Acorn/Britain)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: C-     Episodes: B-



Patrick Stewart is no dummy and except for a few minor missteps, picks and chooses his projects carefully.  When we received the TV series Eleventh Hour from Acorn, I had never heard of it and wondered if it was an older show I had missed.  Instead, it is a surprisingly smart and graphic series from British TV he squeezed in between X-Men sequels that casts him as Ian Hood, a scientist working for the government on unusually dangerous cases.  He even has a bodyguard assistant in Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen, holding her own well) who has a good head on her shoulders.


Yes, it is a police procedural, but it is better than most that British and U.S. TV have been producing since the 1980s and is also one of the better imitators of the X-Files/Millennium style without supernatural elements.  Too bad it has the same tired look, which its greatest flaw.  This set has four telefilm-length shows that are all nicely written and has Stewart in his best role in years.  If only the revival of Night Stalker had a hundredth of this show’s intelligence and energy.  The four shows are:


1)     Resurrection

2)     Containment

3)     Kryptos

4)     Miracle



They even sound like X-Files/Millennium titles, but the show forges enough of its own identity that it can be worth suffering through the bad shooting style.  The four shows respectively are dark thrillers involving cloning, a deadly disease, global warming (of all things) and a cancer cure that might be in a certain water source.  It is very interesting, up there of late with the more successful U.S. series Numbers.  I have a feeling this could become a talked-about title, so you might want to look into it.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image is the big disappointment of the set, with each episode featuring that tired, dark, cheesy, color-gutted look that has ruined thousands of films, TV shows and even Music Videos.  Video Black is a problem, detail is an issue and it makes a good show not as good.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo has no major surrounds, but is well recorded.  Extras are few and all text, including cast filmographies and interview excerpts (all on DVD 1) with Stewart and Jensen.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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