Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Patrick Stewart, Ashley Jensen
Directors: Roger Gartland, Terry McDonough
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Mystery & Suspense
Patrick Stewart (X-Men, Star Trek: The Next Generation) brings his commanding screen presence to the role of Ian Hood, special scientific troubleshooter for the British government. A brilliant professor with a taste for da... more »
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What Patrick Stewart did on his summer vacation
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 10/15/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"No, not really but "Eleventh Hour" is what he worked on between shooting "Mysterious Island" and "X-Men: The Last Stand". The first two episodes deserve 4 stars while the last two 2 and 3 stars respectively. Overall this was a show with promise that was cut short because it didn't attract enough viewers in the U.K.
"Eleventh Hour" created by writer Stephen Gallagher and produced for ITV combines elements of "Doctor Who" (Gallagher was a former write on "Doctor Who" during the ealry 80's), the old BBC show "Doomwatch" and "The X-Files" to create a compelling series that probably would have had more to offer if it had gone before four ninety minutes segments. While the show could be a tad derivative the strong performances by the cast and fine imaginative direction (particulary for the first two episodes)made the show watchable and worthwhile. The second pair of episodes "Kryptos" and "Miracle" had promise but had some major script problems that if solved would have made (the latter particularly)fascinating and fun TV.
Patrick Stewart plays Professor Ian Hood a controversial scientist sent in to investigate any weird crimes. He's protected by a bodyguard Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen). It seems that Hood's crusading approach to science has made him many enemies in different industries and, as a result, there are folks who'd love to take the good doctor out with a bullet vs. out for a cup of tea.
The writing for the first eight episodes (they are two part episodes)varied from extremely good to spotty but on the whole the show exhibited a lot of promise. Interestingly writer Gallagher and the uncredited Simon Stephenson drop you right into the lap of our main characters without a lot of background or exposition. It makes the first episode challenging but fascinating as you try and figure out the characters as you also solve the mystery at the heart of the film. The first episode is a bit derivate borrowing from films like 2004's "Godsend" but on the whole Gallagher does a solid job of making the story interesting enough despite the fact that the premise itself isn't all that original.
In the first episode of the series "Ressurection" Hood and Young are called in when a fetal graveyard is discovered. What Hood discovers about their DNA and their link causes him to suspect that someone is trying to clone humans in the U.K. The duo must uncover who is behind this and why before there are any adult victims.
The second episode started off with a premise worthy of "The X-Files". While demolishing a old church and relocating bodies buried on the site one of the workers contracts a mysterious and deadly virus. Hood and Young must uncover what is at work and whether there's a chance it will spread to the community.
**End of spoilers**
The last two episodes had promise but the writing was a bit spotty. Of the last two "Miracle" was the most fascinating with a great premise but denouncement at the conclusion that undermined the entire episode.
The DVD comes with text interviews with Patrick Stewart and actress Ashley Jensen as well as a filmography for the cast. The show comes without subtitles however which would have been useful for some of the thicker accents for us U.S. viewers. The shows looks quite good in its DVD transfer and fans of Stewart or "The X-Files" might enjoy the show.
The show will be airing on BBC America starting the week of 12/3/06. Stewart is marvelous and the supporting cast quite good as well. I'd give the show 3 1/2 stars. If the show had continued I quite imagine like "The X-Files" and other shows of that type the writing would have improved over the course of the series as the characters and situations were developed.
This is entertaining enough for a rental if nothing else although Stewart is often better than the material he's working with."
A Professor in need!
Wendy Laing | Roxburgh Park, Victoria Australia | 05/18/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This short series proves to be a fascinating experience. The quality surpases the current popluar US series CSI type thriller. The hero, Dr Ian Hood (Patrick Stewart), a special scientific adviser to the British Government, troubshoots evidence of pollution, cloning, pandemics desease and even a possible miracle 'water cure'. A clever juxtapositioning of his Scottish 'minder' (special branch detective) Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen) creates the perfect 'odd couple' defending citizens against evil doers. The script is Sci-fi style - written by Stephen Gallagher (Doctor Who), and each episode provides a thriller, that intrigues and facinates and holds the viewer's attention to the last minute. Great viewing!"
Four episodes of a fascinating concept show
R. Kyle | USA | 12/05/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Patrick Stewart (Prof Ian Hood) serves as a Government Science Advisor whose job is to investigate anything unusual--not just crimes, but from the episodes, I'm gathering anything that could have an impact on public health and welfare. From what I gather, the show was a mid-season replacement and was only four episodes into the run before cancellation.
As another reviewer said, 11th Hour is an interesting showcase for Stewart. Prof Hood investigates everything from illegal cloning to miracle cures in those four episodes. I suspect if the network hadn't cut the run as quickly, the show might have stood a chance of succeeding. While the fourth episode was not the most compelling, the cast did seem to catch their stride at that point.
Downside is the film is awfully dark and the quality is not what it should be. Still the four episodes are worth watching and owning if you are a Stewart fan."
Smart, Dry Science Drama
Kevin L. Nenstiel | Kearney, Nebraska | 02/17/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Creator Stephen Gallagher pulled the plug on this smart science-based crime drama because producers inserted too much sci-fi material. That's a shame, because this ended one of the most promising ideas in recent scripted TV. And it torpedoed Patrick Stewart's chance to play a role pretty much diametrically opposed to the slick, well-scrubbed Captain Picard.
Stewart plays scientist Ian Hood (whose specialization is never given), advisor to Britain's Home Office, who cracks scientific crimes, aided by police handler Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen). In four nearly feature-length episodes, intricate cases demonstrating humanity's potential to abuse science are scrutinized by Hood, a rough-hewn man who defines "damaged goods."
Many stories compress the scientific method for narrative expedience, but on balance, it's nice to see science treated as something other than an enemy. And the stories have a careful, pensive pace and dry wit that was largely written out of the American remake. This show has a certain wisdom that is lacking from too many episodic dramas in recent years.
The design of the series is pleasing. Visuals are lensed in muted hues that are restful after the cartoony colors of recent shows shot to HD video. And the soundscape is subtle, with cues hidden here and there that only reveal themselves to careful listening, creating a fairly quiet but texturally dense world for the characters to move through.
It's far from perfect, of course. Where there are problems, they stem mainly from the writers. The episodes written by Stephen Gallagher are the best, but episode four could be reduced by a third without harming the story one bit. And episode three feels like a sermon, moving through tedious scenes, to a wholly predictable conclusion.
But as a whole, this series reminds me of television's neglected intellectual capacity. This is TV for a thinking audience, with characters who act rather than react, and situations that challenge viewers to keep abreast. Pity it had to move across the big pond to be given the chance to stretch its legs and develop to its utmost capacity."