DIANNE BUTLER OUT OF THE BOX
IT’S 1956 so, like, even children smoke cigarettes. This had better not be the sum total of Mad Men’s legacy. Cigarettes and brooches. The Hour has both. Not very good brooches though, since post-war Britain, I think we all know, was a grey place that had no petrol and was only resuscitated by The Beatles.
This is a boring show. At the start. Stay with it beyond the first few minutes though and your reward will be someone decent getting stabbed in the throat against a nice tiled backdrop after a slow chase through a packed train.
A lovely society girl had tried to phone the dead man earlier, just as he was leaving his office, and just as she was about to have her engagement to somebody suitable announced. She gets nosebleeds, and suddenly has one as she’s dancing with her fiance in front of everyone. Is she highly strung or into drugs? Both, probably, and with good reason.
It emerges she’s friends with Freddie Lyon, one of the journalists who’s there to cover her big news. She’ll be contacting him later, in quite the flap, and making one of those ‘‘ they’ll kill me if they know I’ve been talking to you’’ statements. Freddie’s the star here, even though you may have thought it was Hector Madden, because he’s shinier and played by Dominic West (Jimmy Mcnulty from The Wire), this time with something closer to his real accent. Freddie works in newsreels, alongside Bel Rowley, where they report on the Queen Mother’s new hat, instead of an up-and-comer named John F. Kennedy. So how wonderful that he and Bel should be pulled from this quicksand and carried to the dry ground of an important new BBC show, built around Hector as anchor, Bel as producer and Freddie as our man on the scene. The Hour ABC1, 8.30pm
Retro: Bel, Hector and Marnie