“Dr. Hood is a high priority asset. He’s a brilliant biophysicist, but he spends most of his time in his head. About a year ago some radical group had his car bombed. You want to see him blush? Ask him where the shrapnel is. You see, he’s got this annoying habit of telling the truth, and the truth hurts a lot of people’s pocketbooks. And no, I’m not free for dinner.”
The Eleventh Hour is based on a British series of the same title that stared Star Trek’s Patrick Stewart as Dr. Hood and lasted only 4 episodes. So, someone in America decided that if we took a far less charismatic actor and redid the same show in the States, it might be a hit. Someone was wrong. The first problem was the timing. The American version of the series came on at the same time as J.J. Abrams entered the scene with Fringe. Compared side by side, The Eleventh Hour didn’t stand a chance. Fringe offered us far more compelling characters and a bit of science fiction fancy to allow ourselves to escape in the adventure. The cases of this series, while also at the edge of science, are far more down to earth and not nearly as interesting. The show also suffers from an impossibly awkward pace. Dr. Hood will stop at times and begin to deliver a college lecture using some items at hand to illustrate his point. We already get this with Numb3rs, and most minds can’t afford to be numbed twice in one week.
Rufus Sewell is as dry as you can get as Dr. Jacob Hunt. Listening to him lecture is about as interesting as watching grass grow. He’s absolutely horrible in this role. The character displays no nuance or charm that makes us want to watch him work. Marley Shelton plays his FBI handler Rachel Young. She starts out no better, but at least her character does kind of grow on you after a while. Together they investigate crimes for the FBI of a scientific nature. Cases include cloning, diseases, chemical exposure, super soldiers, and designer drugs. During the last couple of episodes the filmmakers attempted to spark some chemistry by adding a sidekick in the way of Omar Benson Miller as an eager fresh agent named Felix Lee. He was actually a pretty good addition and did spice the show up considerably. He was the best actor in the bunch. It was all a little too little, too late.
While this is not a Warner Archive Collection title, the same rules apply. It is an on demand title. That means DVD-R discs and bare bones package and material. Still, it’s the only way you were ever going to get this series, so you should probably be happy with what you got. Fans of this show are obviously used to settling. The show had marvelous potential, but it never once made it happen. “We have the bullet but not the trigger.”