Zero Hour: Review: Season 1 Ep 1

ZeroHourS01E01ABC, 14 February 2013

Magazine editor Hank Galliston (Anthony Edwards) is drawn into an ancient conspiracy when his clock-seller wife is kidnapped, setting him on a cross-continent odyssey to uncover the truth…

The little-heralded Zero Hour (from Prison Break creator Paul Scheuring) proves to be a fascinating mix of Dan Brown nonsense with Indiana Jones pulp adventure and a whole lot more besides—yet, I think I really liked it.

Anthony Edwards finally throws off his persona as Brains in Thunderbirds (alright, as Dr Mark Green in E.R.—am I the only one who liked that Thunderbirds movie?), playing the befuddled conspiracy magazine editor caught up in a conspiracy of his very own. Along for the ride are two sidekicks, Faith (from Buffy) alike hackette Rachel (Addison Timlin) and scruffy Arron (Scott Michael Foster, from Californication and The River).

Any show that opens with Nazis chasing a mystical object guarded by a new set of 12 Apostles has my attention, and Zero Hour just kept on pilling up one ludicrous development after another, and yet it was thoroughly enjoyable in its awful cheesiness. It’s lunacy, yes, but good lunacy—and everyone plays it just the right side of earnestness. If this was played for laughs, or was played in a po-faced manner, it simply wouldn’t work. In this context, what otherwise might have been a rote, run-of-the-mill script is enlivened by the craziness of the series concepts.

We have 12 modern Apsotles from 1938 guarding a mysterious something that must not fall into the wrong hands, Nazi-created demon-eyed babies and a hero who may (or may not) be one of the Apsotles reborn (or cloned, or something). Despite the confusion about what’s actually going on, this is a thrilling ride, from New York to the Arctic, from 1938 Nazi Germany to a frozen Nazi submarine containing a popsicle doppleganger of our hero, it’s nuts.

All you need to know is that if this were a movie (and it sometimes felt like it could be), the lead would be Nicholas Cage on batshit crazy mode, while Max von Sydow would be the villain assassin. I’ll be back for more, in the hope that the whole thing doesn’t suddenly deflate like a punctured balloon: TV needs more fantasy craziness, not less…

Verdict: A Valentine (appropriate for the transmission date) to pulp fiction, and a good one at that!

Episode 1 ‘Strike’: 8/10

Brian J. Robb

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