Eleventh Hour
Ho Ho Hum

In Eleventh Hour, Dr. Jacob Hood—played by Rufus Sewell, probably best known for his roles in A Knight’s Tale and The Illusionist—is a science advisor to the FBI. Along with his handler, FBI Special Agent Rachel Young—played by Marley Shelton from Sin City and Grindhouse among others—they’re brought in to investigate cases that seem to defy rational explanation.

The easy comparisons here are obviously going to be to X-Files or, more recently, Fringe. The difference is that Eleventh Hour doesn’t really try to play the science fiction or supernatural card. The crimes here involve the use of environmental toxins or the machinations of a corrupt corporate researcher or the like. Nefarious yes, but ultimately explainable with the proper application of science. There is no mystery that can’t be solved, nothing that can’t be known.

Given the heavy emphasis on science, you’d think they’d at least work overtime to make that part interesting. Maybe they tried, but it just didn’t work for me. I found the episodes I viewed to be bland with very little dramatic tension. Hood just seems to figure things out, but we don’t really see the scientific method he uses. We really don’t even learn much about his scientific background.

And that’s probably my biggest complaint… lack of backstory. I had a hard time figuring out if there was any over-arching story tying the episodes together. I never learned why Hood was working with the FBI or why Agent Young was assigned to work with him. I couldn’t even figure out why they called it Eleventh Hour. This coupled with Sewell’s lack of charisma in the character of Hood and the absence of any sort of chemistry between Hood and Agent Young lead to a rather shallow and two-dimensional story. It’s hard to get interested, much less care.

Still, if you liked the series when it briefly aired before being canceled you might like the DVD set. You get all eighteen episodes and that’s it. No extras, no bonus features, not even much in the way of decent cover art. It’s a pretty bare bones affair, much like the episodes themselves.

Eleventh Hour is unrated but as it originally aired on CBS, it’s a pretty tame affair all the way around.

Courtesy of a national publicist, Michael screened a promotion set of Eleventh Hour.