The Hour (aka Mad Men’s British Cousin)

The Hour is a new show by the BBC set in the late 1950s. It is very reminiscent of Mad Men in style and context. Rather than a behind the scenes look into an ad agency in bustling NYC; we have a behind the scenes look into a news program at the BBC in bustling London.

Like Mad Men it has great acting and dialogue. Lovely wardrobes, setting and props.

Romola Garai as Bel Rowley a news producer is like a grown up Peggy Olsen. She is actually a boss and gets to tell people what to do. Still fighting the occasionally sexist attitude put still does good work and is rewarded for it.

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Ben Whishaw as Freddie Lyon a young news producer and Bel’s best friend (who

may also be secretly in love with her).

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Dominic West as Hector Madden the dashing news presenter and married man (who may also end up in love with Bel).

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Burn Gorman as Thomas Kish the spy and bad guy … oh did I not mention the twist is that there are spies, murder and intrigue?

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Sort of film noir vibe to the themes and lighting. Also a lot of history thrown into the series as they deal with news stories.

The show came out in the UK in 2011 and is now on its second season. In the USA it is now airing on BBC America episodes from season 1. So far I’ve seen two of them and it seems pretty interesting. The pilot seemed a bit forced to me somehow. Hard to explain maybe not enough intro to characters and too much action? It has a murder, a suicide, an engagement, a new job for one and a firing for another character. However, the second episode was great. A lot more character development I think.

And like Mad Men we have lots of smoking, drinking, elevator shots, brooches,  horn rimmed glasses, winged eyeliner and period fashion. Thought I’d do a series of posts on the fashion and period details of each episode.

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A cheetah print coat on one of the minor characters Ruthie. (Similar to leopard print but no dot inside). You rarely see it now as cheetahs are endangered.

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Bel in a lovely blue dress. An extra in a cardigan with some lovely curls.

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Bel sporting a nice brooch and an old TV camera next to her.

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Ruthie in a gorgeous debutante white ball gown.

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Some extras in finery. Evening gloves were a standard item for every lady.

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Another view of the ball gown.

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Ruthie in classic 1950s makeup: red lipstick, pale blue eyeshadow and winged black eyeliner.

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Bell in a lovely two-piece red suit with a different brooch and a trench coat with plaid lining.

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