Will You Spend The Hour with Dominic West?

Dominic West as BBC News Broadcaster Hector Madden in The Hour
Dominic West as BBC News Broadcaster Hector Madden in The Hour
That’s Madden, not Mad Men! We’ve been excited about the upcoming Dramaville line-up on BBC America, and it’s finally here! Programming begins tomorrow night with The Hour, starring Dominic West of The Wire.

The 6-episode season takes place in a BBC television newsroom of 1956, and while there’s surely internecine bloodsport and romance among the ad men  journalists and staff, a genuine Cold War espionage plot unfolds to ensnare these characters as well.  Also starring are Romola Garai (remember her charming Emma?) and Ben Whishaw, with a wonderful ensemble including Anna Chancellor, Tim Pigott-Smith, Juliet Stevenson, and the always-worrisome Julian Rhind-Tutt.  (Go look him up.  See?  You know that face, and it always means trouble!)

Dramaville will be hosted by Idris Elba, already known and beloved to us as Luther.  After the first season of The Hour, the second season of Luther begins September 28th.  Then comes Whitechapel, about a modern Ripper and Kray Brothers copycat, starting October 26th.  Finally, State of Play, a miniseries about political intrigue and murder, begins airing on December 7th.

Following Dramaville every week is Law & Order: UK, and its Season 3 episodes also premiere August 17th. (See related and amusing lessons in British Justice.)

Wow! When it comes to the bad behavior and stylish productions, BBC America is throwing down the ascot.  Will you be there?


  1. Sleeping Hedgehog

    I’m fascinated that Dtate of Play and Whitechapel are just showing up on BbC America as I bought the DVDs for both almost two years ago. and Whitechapel has been in the iTunes store for at least a year now as is Luther.

    All are amazing shows!

  2. Jeff Quest

    It’s about time that BBC America tries to become something other than the joke it is. Unfortunately, this is a rather weak step forward.

    Given the large number of truly brit shows out there, why not show some?

    Constant reruns of Star Trek: TNG, The X-Files and Battlestar Galactica does not exactly scream “best of Britain.” As mentioned above, two of the “new” series that they are airing are years old. Heck, one of them has been out so long, they already made an movie out of it!

    Adding insult to injury, rather than ponying up the cash to import some of the good British shows, they just announced they will be producing their first ever scripted series, and it’s set in America!

    The only thing “thrown down” with one night of two British shows airing is my remote in disgust.

    P.S. Don’t forget to watch tonight’s BBC America movie, that British classic – Batman Forever.

  3. Clare 2e

    I get what you’re saying about these shows, except for The Hour, being older, because they originally aired in the UK– we’re always a season behind at least–and the miniseries State of Play is a few years old. But they haven’t aired here, so unless people already knew to look for them, they wouldn’t have seen them pop up on the cable guide and didn’t get the chance to see them.

    So far, reviews are good on The Hour- see [url=http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/review/hour-tv-review-224413]The Hollywood Reporter[/url]‘s take. I must demur, since it’s waiting on my DVR.

    I’m also kind of excited about the new Five Points in development, because it seems like a rich era and setting for a crime show, but what great British crime shows should we be asking for that we’re not getting? Suggestions welcomed!

  4. michael

    What British shows would I want to see on BBCA?

    Any scripted show. I would enjoy discovering the current gems of British TV for myself. I would prefer any British TV series reruns (even the bad ones) over shows all ready available here in the United States.

    How about “Blake’s 7” over “Star Trek-NG”? How about the great mysteries series from ITV in the 60s and 70s? “Danger Man”, Department S”, “The Sentimental Agent”, “Man of the World”, “Corridor People”, “The Avengers”, etc?

    What is the point of BBCA when the BBC decides to do original programing with Starz?

  5. Deborah Lacy

    I love Julian Rhind-Tutt. He was so great in Heat of the Sun. I missed the first week or so of this, but will watch now. BBCA isn’t what I hoped for recently, but then again during a recent trip to Britain all I saw available on TV were reality shows and silly, silly talk shows.

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