The Hour-Series 2 (2011)

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Released 6-Feb-2013

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Drama Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Behind The Scenes
Rating Rated M
Year Of Production 2011
Running Time 354
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered
Dual Disc Set
Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Harry Bradbeer
Coky Giedroyc
Jamie Payne
Studio
Distributor

Roadshow Home Entertainment
Starring Ben Wishaw
Romola Garai
Dominic West
Peter Capaldi
Anna Chancellor
Case ?
RPI ? Music Daniel Giorgetti


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.78:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English for the Hearing Impaired Smoking No
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

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Plot Synopsis

    The Hour is excellent dramatic television, another great show from the BBC. Unfortunately, the future of this show is still in doubt as the BBC has not yet decided whether to produce a third series. The show has received many award nominations and wins including nominations for 4 Golden Globes, a Primetime Emmy and BAFTAs. The first season of The Hour came out in 2011 on television in the UK and was then released on DVD & Blu-ray in 2012. This second season is currently being shown on the ABC locally and is being released on DVD only on 6 February 2013 by Roadshow Home Entertainment.

    The concept of this show is built around an investigative news show on the BBC in 1950s Britain. The three main characters are the show's producer, Bel Rowley (Romola Garai), the show's presenter, Hector Madden (Dominic West) and one of the reporters, Freddie Lyon (Ben Wishaw). The first season was set in 1956 as the show was born and covered the team's struggles to get the show going and keep it running along with their investigation of a political conspiracy. This season is set one year later in 1957 and focuses more on the lives of the people involved in the show and their investigation of the seamy underworld of vice in London's Soho area. As this series begins, the show gets a new Head of News supervising them, Randall Brown (Peter Capaldi). Initially, he seems pedantic and difficult but the team soon realise he is on their side. There is obvious history between him and another journalist for the show, Lix Storm (Anna Chancellor) which plays out over the course of the series. One of Randall's first moves is to bring Freddie back from self-imposed exile, inviting him back to co-host the show with Hector. Freddie has other surprises for the team. Hector meanwhile has become something of a national celebrity which has gone to his head somewhat, resulting in him partying in Soho nightclubs virtually every night and hitting the bottle pretty hard. This is having a significant impact on his relationship with wife Marnie (Oona Chaplin) who wants badly to have children. When Hector is wrongly accused of assaulting a show girl the team begins to investigate what seems to be corruption emanating from Hector's favourite club.

    This is a great second series of a wonderful show, taking it in new directions while staying true to the original premise. The cast and writing are absolutely top notch with great performances from the three mainstars, Garai, West & Wishaw plus excellent support from Capaldi who is a great addition and Chancellor. The writing is the same high quality as the first season providing compelling viewing over the six episodes and building on great characters with more depth. It leaves you wishing the season was longer. Production design is also a strength as there is excellent period detail on display in every scene.

    The six episodes are spread over two double layer DVDs. A box set of both seasons is also available. Unlike Season 1 a Blu-ray version is not available locally, although is in the UK.

    Highly Recommended.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is very good with no major issues.

    The feature is presented in a 1.78:1 aspect ratio which is the original aspect ratio. It is 16x9 enhanced.

    The picture was clear and sharp throughout.

    The colour was very good showing off the colourful production design.

    There was some minor grain and macro-blocking in some scenes but never anything too noticeable.

    There are English for the Hearing Impaired subtitles which are clear and easy to read.

    There is an obvious layer change during playback.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is good.

    This disc contains an English soundtrack in Dolby Digital 2.0.

    Dialogue was generally clear and easy to hear and understand although the subtitles certainly proved useful.

    The music is an important part of this show including the cool jazzy theme tune and period pop and opera. It sounds good on this transfer.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

    

Menu

    The menu included music.

Behind the Scenes (11:39) 

    Decent quality making of from Season 2 which features the writer, cast and crew discussing the story, cast, sets, costumes and the addition of Capaldi. Interesting.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This show is available in the same format in the UK and is also available on Blu-ray there.

Summary

    Top notch dramatic television from the BBC.

    The video quality is very good.

    The audio quality is good.

    One good quality extra.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Friday, February 01, 2013
Review Equipment
DVDSONY BDP-S760 Blu-ray, using HDMI output
DisplaySharp LC52LE820X Quattron 52" Full HD LED-LCD TV . Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.
Audio DecoderBuilt into amplifier. Calibrated with Ultimate DVD Platinum.
AmplificationMarantz SR5005
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Sony SAW2500M Subwoofer

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