Airdate: The Hour

ABC1 is set to screen a BBC drama about the establishment a new current affairs TV show in 1956.

If 2011 has been the year of the period drama we’re not done yet, with ABC1 set to screen a 6 part BBC drama The Hour.

The series, which aired in the UK in July, dramatises the behind the scenes machinations of establishing a new current affairs TV show in 1956, with the backdrop of the Suez Canal Crisis.

The cast includes Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Dominic West (The Wire). Think Mad Men meets Spooks….

A lavish thriller set at the BBC in 1950s Britain, from the BAFTA Award-winning writer Abi Morgan and starring an internationally acclaimed cast.

June, 1956. At Alexandra Palace, reporters and best friends Bel Rowley and Freddie Lyon reach the end of another long day working on the BBC newsreels. Both yearn for bigger stories and they may be about to get the break they need – on a new weekly current affairs program, The Hour.

Reporting from the engagement party of a young debutante, Freddie recognises his childhood friend, Ruth. He finds himself drawn into a murky world of subterfuge, intimidation and political scheming. It’s a story that will lead him from a suspicious murder and a coded message, into the private dealings of the ruling elite and a conspiracy with the potential to shatter the society around him.

At The Hour, Freddie obtains the freedom he needs to pursue the story. But it’s not all smooth sailing. Anchorman Hector Madden is entitled and self assured; his immediate spark with Bel creates friction with Freddie. Also on the newly-formed team is seasoned war reporter Lix Storm, mild-mannered assistant Isaac Wengrow and young but resourceful secretary Sissy Cooper.

With the looming crisis in Suez, the team of The Hour 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.

Episodes 1 and 2 will air as a special movie-length compilation.

8:30pm Monday November 21 on ABC1

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