Episode 1

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The Hour, Series 1 Episode 1 of 6

Duration: 1 hour

1956. At Alexandra Palace reporters and best friends Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon are finishing another long day working on the BBC newsreels. Fed up with constantly overlooking the issues of the day in favour of royal engagements and sporting triumphs both yearn for bigger, bolder stories and a freedom to dictate their own agenda. But on this particular occasion both are hopeful. Clarence Fendley is assembling a team for new weekly current affairs programme The Hour at Lime Grove and there's a sense that Bel and Freddie may just be about to get the break they need...

Freddie finds himself reporting from a young debutante's engagement party and realises she is a childhood friend. There he is drawn into a murky world of subterfuge, intimidation and political scheming. It is a story which will lead him from a suspicious murder and a coded message, into the private dealings of the ruling elite and ultimately to a conspiracy which has the potential to shatter the society around him.

Freddie needs freedom to pursue his story and it seems that freedom will only be realised by joining the team of The Hour. Clarence has assembled a talented team around him. New front man Hector Madden brings a charismatic edge. Entitled and self-assured, Hector's immediate spark with Bel triggers friction between he and Freddie and the tempestuous love-triangle which emerges drives their ambition and fuels the aspirations of The Hour.

The team of The Hour seek the bigger stories and with the looming crisis in Suez they soon find themselves at the heart of a fierce political struggle between the government and the BBC which will dominate their decisions and test their resolve.

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    Lady Elms, Ruth Elms and Lord Elms

    Picture credit: Nick Wall

  • Freddie Lyon

    Freddie Lyon

    Picture credit: Dean Rogers


Freddie Lyon
Ben Whishaw
Bel Rowley
Romola Garai
Hector Madden
Dominic West
Clarence Fendley
Anton Lesser
Lix Storm
Anna Chancellor
Angus McCain
Julian Rhind-Tutt
Isaac Wengrow
Joshua McGuire
Sissy Cooper
Lisa Greenwood
Lady Elms
Juliet Stevenson
Lord Elms
Tim Pigott-Smith
Thomas Kish
Burn Gorman
Douglas Owen
John Bowe
Marnie Madden
Oona Chaplin
Malcolm Lyon
Robert Demeger
Wallace Sherwin
Ken Bones
Professor Beckett
Nicholas Woodeson
Adam Le Ray
Andrew Scott
Ruth Elms
Vanessa Kirby
Peter Darrall
Jamie Parker
George Hemmings
Jason Watkins
Floor Manager Ron
Paul Chahidi
Abi Morgan
Coky Giedroyc
Ruth Kenley-Letts


TV Blog: I wrote the musical score for The Hour

Bel - The Hour

"A big theme is an inability to confront emotional truths, and the score reflects this."

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