As it turns out, getting Hector involved was not Cilenti’s idea, it was the spurned Kiki’s attempt at revenge. The situation leads the muckraking journalist and his cohorts to investigate the El Paradis, which was the last thing Cilenti wanted. With the discovery of the photographs, and just how deeply the organized crime boss has compromised the government, the story become a very dangerous prospect.
The scandal is the main focus of the six-episode season, but it is not the only one. An eccentric older producer by the name of Randall Brown (Peter Capaldi) joins The Hour this year, and relentlessly pushes the team forward. We learn that he was once involved with the female assistant Lix Strong (Anna Chancellor), who appears to be around his age. Their attempts to find the child they gave up during World War II draw them together, and illuminate their seemingly repressed personalities in fascinating ways.
There is also the ongoing mutual attraction between Freddie and Bel, which is tested when he returns from abroad with a wife, Camille (Oona Chaplin). While these romantic subplots may sound extraneous, they actually move the story forward in surprising ways. On a side note, Oona Chaplin is The Little Tramp’s (Charlie Chaplin) granddaughter.
Although the Profumo scandal would not break in Britain until the early ’60s, The Hour 2 sets the stage for it. The bonus feature of the set is a 12-minute “Behind the Scenes” segment, which features interviews with the cast and crew.
I find it disappointing that The Hour was initially compared to Mad Men, because it was very misleading. I believe that any Mad Men fan would love this show. The program deals with frightening issues, such as the influence of organized crime on nuclear weapons policies. The subjects explored are provocative, as is the fictional backstage look at television in the late ‘50s.
The Hour is one of the best British dramas I have seen in a long time, and I hoping that there will be a third season. For now we have The Hour 2, and the six-part series is highly recommended.