THE HOUR First Season Blu-ray Review

the hour blu-ray

This week the BBC UK released its six part period piece drama series, THE HOUR, on Blu-ray. This two disc Blu-ray features all six parts of the series as well as some limited bonus features.

The Hour premiered in 2011 and focuses on the making of a current affairs show launched by the BBC in 1956. It is slightly pre Mad Men in time, but has the same old school vibe. The journalists on The Hour use pen and paper and manual typewriters instead of computers. There are very few women in charge and those that are had to fight their way to the top. The costuming is reminiscent of Mad Men as well, but The Hour has somewhat of a darker feel given its topic and time, during the Suez Crisis.

The Hour stars Dominic West (Hector), Ben Whishaw (Freddie), Romola Garai (Bel), Burn Gorman (Kish), Anton Lesser (Clarence), Anna Chancellor (Lix), Julian Rhind-Tutt (Angus), Lisa Greenwood (Sissy) and Oona Chaplin (Marine). Dominic West is at his finest and the rest of the cast is outstanding as well. However, it is the design of The Hour, whether it is the set or the costuming, that is the real star here. The runner up is the story line complete with the historical context and unraveling mysteries. The Hour is a show on to its own.

Aside from the 6 parts of the series, the Blu-ray offers a mere two bonus features. They are:

Behind the Scenes – A look at everything about the show, but especially the design including the sets and costuming. It shows just how much detail goes into everything on the set, from newspaper articles to photos, to brooches on a woman’s dress. There is a discussion about how the director manages to get the 50s film look. The most fascinating part to me was the information about how they dress each character and where the inspiration for each one comes from. Some are obvious. Others, not so much. This feature is about 10 minutes long.

Casting The Hour – This 20 minute feature goes behind the scenes in a different way. I was expecting talk about how they cast specific actors for each character. However, instead it went behind the actors to talk about the characters, how they came up with them, how they fit in, what place in The Hour they each have. This feature was full of information and definitely a good one for the die hard fans.

In the end, I would have to say I would not purchase the Blu-ray. Having seen all of the episodes, there is not much more to it. Although it was nice to view the episodes in 1080i Blu-ray glory, the bonus features were not Blu-ray specific. The bonus features, while interesting, were not enough for me to want to keep or watch the Blu-ray again. Unless you are a true, die hard fan that is already waiting for season 2 of The Hour, or you feel that you have to see the series in Blu-ray, you should pass on this one.

The Hour is now available to purchase on Blu-ray.