New script: The Hour

Thursday 4 August 2011, 12:30

Fiona BBC writersroom Fiona BBC writersroom

We've just added the script for Episode 1 of new BBC Two drama, The Hour to our script archive.

The cast of BBC Two drama, The Hour.

Written and created by Bafta award-winning Abi Morgan (White Girl, Sex Traffic, Brick Lane, Murder) the six-part series takes viewers behind the scenes of the launch of a topical news programme in London 1956. It explores a decade on the threshold of change - from the ruthless sexual politics behind the polite social façade of the Fifties to the revelations that redefined the world for a new generation.

Download the script for The Hour - Episode 1 by Abi Morgan.

Watch a clip from the episode below. The full episode is also still available to view on BBC iPlayer.

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    Comment number 1.

    I see that Abi Morgan's dialogue for "The Hour" has been criticised for lacking period accuracy. What do you all think about this?

    Is this something that could/should have been fixed with more script development, perhaps with access to history experts as is done for many other shows (Horrible Histories uses one), or is it just unimportant?

    NB if you want to read a searing critique of period inaccuracy in a BBC drama, Sean Gabb's critique of the revived Upstairs Downstairs is nothing if not heartfelt:

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Having read both articles, I think I broadly side with Morgan on this issue in that I think it is detrimental to the quality of the work only if it jars. Not that even this is universally valid as anachronism can be done overtly to good effect. I can hardly remember the last version of a Shakespeare play I saw that didn’t have someone with a machine gun in it. If contemporary lexis allows the viewer to identify more directly with the character then I think that should be more important than historical accuracy.

    As for the broader question about socio-political bias, in particular in the case or Upstairs Downstairs, I think there is more of a case to answer. It’s not the lack of accuracy that worries me so much as a sort of 'Disney-fication' of social issues.

    Speaking of tokenism, I think the Writersroom has a case to answer here. In recent posts we have had mention of the quality of female characters (in laughing stock?) and a comment on the number of female entrants to the Hackgate (I entered neither of these contests, so it's not sour grapes). I consider the question of the quality of female characters to be an entirely valid issue well raised, but the number of female writers in Hackgate is the worst kind of tokenism.
    What I want to see is a genuinely alternative feminine viewpoint. Looking forward to The Iron Lady, I think this is a prime example that it’s not the number of women in the room that counts; it’s the quality of the women.

    Oh, and I should say I think Abi Morgan is one of the quality women.


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