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Eleventh Hour

Score: 90%
Rating: Not Rated
Publisher: Acorn Media
Region: 1
Media: DVD/2
Running Time: 283 Mins.
Genre: Mystery/Drama/TV Series
Audio: English Stereo
Subtitles: English SDH

The short lived 2006 series, Eleventh Hour, mixed mystery with hard science to create a dramatic series that was both intelligent and provocative. It's a shame that it only lasted four episodes.

Professor Ian Hood (Patrick Stewart, Star Trek: The Next Generation, American Dad!) is a special advisor to the government's Joint Sciences Committee. He is tasked with investigating various incidents, all related to one scientific field or another. While Hood isn't an expert in all fields, he is well known and has a broad knowledge base that lets him deal one-on-one with the specialists that have asked him to come help with whatever troubles they are having.

Unfortunately, Hood isn't really a people person and he tends to step on a lot of toes during his investigations. That's why he has been assigned a protection officer in Rachel Young (Ashley Jensen, Ugly Betty).

The show's first episode, "Resurrection," has Hood barging in on a local investigation when a mass grave of fetuses is discovered, each buried with a cross and, apparently, each containing the exact same DNA. It seems that this isn't the only instance of this crime and Hood has been tracking down a black market human cloning experiment.

As Hood and Young dig deeper, they not only have to track down those performing the experiments, but also the powerful people funding it, all while a young pregnant woman's life hangs in the balance.

In "Containment," work surrounding an old church leads to an apparent pox infestation. The local disease specialist, and an old colleague of Hood's, calls in the government scientist in order to help contain the area before a potential outbreak occurs. While quarantining the infected, and potentially infected, is a high priority for the group, if there is any chance of stopping the disease before it spreads, they are going to have to find the source and determine exactly what flavor of disease they are dealing with.

"Kryptos," the show's third episode, has Hood going to meet an old college friend, Richard Adams (Donald Sumpter, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Game of Thrones). Unfortunately, he finds his old friend in a bad state. Paranoid and apparently mentally ill, the climatologist insists that he has found a breakthrough that predicts and proves global warming, but the company he used to work for is after him and his work because they want to keep the discovery quiet.

When Adams disappears, Hood has to consider that maybe the man wasn't paranoid and there really was something afoot. Hood receives a bit of the man's work, but he finds that it is deeply encrypted and apparently the only one that can decipher the work is Hood himself.

The show's last episode, "Miracle," starts off with the announcement that a local spring has apparently cured a boy of cancer. Hood, with Young in tow, decides that he needs to investigate the site directly. His fear is that news of the alternative medicine will have cancer patients flocking to the spring instead of going about their normal courses of medicines. His fears prove right when there is already a small community camping out near the spring. Unfortunately, it seems that the same water that apparently cured the little boy is starting to make the other cancer patients even sicker. Teaming up with the local oncologist, the trio starts to sample and test the spring water for anything out of the ordinary, but everything seems to come up clean. Could this be an actual miracle?

As you might expect from a show called Eleventh Hour, each episode ends up being a race against time. It's either because of a life on the line, a potential outbreak, being tracked down by corporate goons, or in the case of the last episode, something very different that I don't want to spoil. Either way, the added pressure does a great job of making each episode a drama-filled race.

Between the great acting, hard-science filled mysteries, and high production value, Eleventh Hour is a show that most will find enjoyable. It can be seen as a little preachy at times as Hood has some very specific views that are expressed a lot in each episode, but it actually adds to the overall quality of the show since it gives Stewart's character a lot of dimension. It's a shame there isn't more of this series.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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