Herald Sun - Switched On - - Front Page -

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

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