Nov 15, 2009 05:01 PM EST

Warner Bros. Eleventh Hour Television Series DVD Review

Warner Bros. Eleventh Hour Television Series DVD Review
Eleventh Hour started as a series in the UK. It ran from Jan, 2006 to February 2006. In 2007, Jerry Bruckheimer picked up the series and gave it his own touch while bringing it to US audiences. By "his own touch" I mean Eleventh Hour was shot, directed and edited just like CSI. In this case, however, the people solving the cases are a genius scientist named Dr. Jacob Hood, changed from Ian Hood and played with great aplomb by Rufus Sewell, and Dr. Hood's FBI handler Rachel Young, Marley Shelton in a star making turn - or it would have been if this show had made it longer then 18 episodes. At least it went further then the 4 episodes in the UK original. Think of it as CSI:Fringe but with real science.
It's starts off slow and rather pedantic, though the broadcast pilot, Resurrection, wasn't originally shot or written as the pilot. The dialogue and the editing feel rushed and clumsy, like they are trying to get across an entire character in one monologue. After a couple more episodes, the cast and crew start to get into the swing of things and stay at a sprinter's pace to the end. In this first episode we meet Dr. Hood's Moriarty - or as close to one as he'll get. Her name is Gepetto and she is creating human clones. Fortunately, her story is closed off in a future episode, Pinocchio, though a different actress reprises her role. At the end of the series, there are no loose ends left to be tied up. Perhaps they felt the death knell rolling towards them. That being said, the show introduces a new recurring character, Felix Lee played by Omar Benson Miller, with only 6 episodes left to play. It would have been great to see what more he would have brought to the team besides comic relief. On a side note, Omar is now on CSI:Miami. I guess if you get in good with Mr. Bruckheimer, you'll always have a place to go.
The hard part about trying to make a show that is science-based and not science fiction is the limited scope of the stories. Pulling stories out of science itself is not limited, however finding out why a large amount of posies are changing color or why the Samoan Moorhen is going extinct, though intriguing, does not make for good TV. Unfortunately, it lacks a human element for us to connect to.   Therefore, all the stories have something strange happening to the average person. It's refreshing, but that trove of stories is limited. There are only so many times you can see a person start to feel woozy and keel over. Too many of the episodes start that way. 
The reason to watch this is for the two main actors. Rufus Sewell does precious little these days and it is very unfortunate. He needs to get his own show again. He brought such accessible and flawed brilliance to the role that, had it been allowed to play out, would have joined a short list of great TV leaders. Marley Shelton did not quite hit the ground running like Sewell did but it did not take her long to get into the swing of things. Her voice felt too high and girlish to hold much authority. However, by episode 3 or 4, her character was more centered and more realized. I've been watching her grow as an actress ever since The Sandlot. This year she's been very busy, besides this show she's had three other movies come out. I've seen two of them and I hope she stays busy and gets the attention she deserves.
Mr. Bruckheimer seemed to want to push the envelope with scenes of sudden violence in this show. I have seen every episode of every CSI and though they may have some nauseating shots of people being eviscerated or ravaged by some flesh eating disease, sudden violence often gets handled with kid gloves. It either gets cut away from or drenched in so much style that the shock effect is lost. On the other hand, in Eleventh Hour, the camera doesn't blink and it makes for engaging TV. A guy jumping off a balcony drops four stories until his head hits the edge of a motor home in the parking lot below. His head bounces off that sharply and his whole body smacks into the pavement below. In other shows we would hear the crash but wouldn't see anything. So to not only see it but also have the additional squirm factor of the motor home really ratchets things up. In another example, often when you hear someone in another crime show shout, "Stop or I'll shoot" you know a foot chase is about to happen. When Rachel Young says it, you're about to get shot. There is a shocking shortage of villains that actually make it to booking. The show is very brutal and violent and it was a bold choice. 
There are absolutely no special features in the DVD set. No interviews, no commentaries, and no blooper reel - they didn't even take the time to make subtitles. This is as bear bones as you get. Heck, they couldn't even be bothered to remove the blurb at the end of every show telling us to stay tuned for scenes from our next episode. The chapter breaks are not along commercial breaks. Instead they just cut everything into neat little ten-minute segments. The stories and the show make this DVD collection good enough to get on it's own, even without all the bells and whistles, but it's frustrating and sad to see it get released with so little respect. It deserved better then this.


FlickDirect Movie Reviewer Marco Duran
Marco Duran, Reviewer
Marco wrote, directed and produced the feature film Within. He has lived in the Los Angeles area his whole life.You can follow his 140 character movie reviews on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

Favorite Films: Fight Club, The Fountain, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Oldboy, Pulp Fiction, Children of Men, City of God, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, The Shawshank Redemption, Memento
Favorite Directors: Spike Jonze, Darren Aronofsky, Charlie Kaufman, Quentin Tarantino, Martin Scorsese
Favorite Composers: Clint Mansell, James Newton Howard, John Willimas, Howard Shore
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