Professor Hood -
Rachel Young -
OTHER PARANORMAL INVESTIGATIONS
Millennium OTHER PATRICK STEWART SHOWS
Star Trek: The Next Generation
A man is chased by police at high speed and attempts to get rid of evidence out of the window. This leads the police to a series of shallow graves, each with a human foetus in it. Someone has been attempting to clone a human and is getting close. Professor Hood is a government scientist out to stop this illegal research. He is aided by his bodyguard, the redoubtable Rachel.
Let's start at the beginning - ELEVENTH HOUR is quite superb (at least this first episode is). With a story ripped from the headlines of tomorrow, the plot is a wonderful piece of writing with strong characters that allow the actors to show their mettle. Ex-captain of the Enterprise Patrick Stewart is excellent as Hood, all righteous anger, but very human with it. Ashley Jensen's bodyguard is his match, a more streetwise and down to earth woman and Watson to his Holmes (albeit with more sense about her).
The real star, though, is the writing. The plot is brilliant, using both Hood's investigation and the plight of one of the young women carrying the most viable foetus produced to create an edgy, provocative and thrilling story along with moments of humour. The moment in which Hood finally faces up to Gepetto, the mind behind the research is a sequence in which nothing goes quite as expected and is the pinnacle of quite precise plotting.
This is what science fiction is all about, holding up a mirror to the concerns and issues of the day and, though the science is that of today or tomorrow and not the far future,ELEVENTH DAY does just that.
A man working on some bodies in a crypt comes down with a deadly disease. Hood swings into ation immediately, putting all the co-workers into quarantine, but one escapes and the hunt is on, to catch him and to identify what the disease is and where it came from. The outbreak has not been contained and now it looks like Rachel might be infected as well.
Another excellent episode that mixes the science with the human story. There are scenes of action and drama and mystery in equal number. Moments, such as a sick father coming into contact with his family through a glass door, knowing that to open it is to kill them, are deeply moving and brilliantly written. This really is science fiction writing of the highest order and the actors, all of them, live up to the words with fine performances.
It is a commendation to the actors that they have established their characters so quickly that in only the second show we are shocked so deeply for both Rachel and Hood when it looks like she has become infected.
This episode is not quite as good as last week's opening show, but ELEVENTH HOUR is streets ahead of american shows the like of THRESHOLD or SURFACE in its depiction of science and humanity whilst being just as action packed.
When an old colleague of Hood's, Richard Adams, suffers a breakdown, Hood pays a visit and finds that he is worse than he might have expected. He also finds indications that Adams is onto something very serious in terms of research into global warming, research that some very powerful people may want kept very quiet. Then Adams goes missing, one of his more sympathetic colleagues ends up dead and some armed goons are on Hood's trail.
KRYPTOS is not a patch on the earlier two episodes. True, it takes its subject matter from the concerns of the day in the effects of global warming, but that is only the hook upon which to hang a thriller plot and a very conventional one at that. It's also not a very believable one either. The way in which Rachel gets the information on Adams' computer at his ex-workplace is even less believable than the speed with which the goons respond to the activation of the final research programme.
That said, the acting is top notch, far better than the plot deserves, and the interplay between Hood and Rachel remains delightful.
Not as thought-provoking, then, but still good entertainment.
Hood investigates the claims of a doctor that a young patient of hers was cured of cancer by drinking water from a local spring. Nothing shows up on the tests, but cancer patients come flocking in search of a cure. Then, they start to get even more ill, but still nothing is showing up in the water.
Stronger than Kryptos, but still a good way down from the scorching series openers, Miracle is a solid mystery drama that revolves around the continuing fine performances from Patrick Stewart and Ashley Jensen. Their relationship remains at the core of the show and when Rachel has drunk the poisoned water, the human drama is heightened.
The resolution, also, is stronger, bringing in some serious questions about the behaviour of the scientists and secret services of our own country. A little far-fetched perhaps, but thought provoking nonetheless.
We want another series and we want it now.
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