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  • Writer's pictureSteve

The Devil's Hour (Amazon Prime)

If you could go back in time and kill Hitler, but you were the only who knew why you had done it, would you be prepared to pay for your crime?

Streaming on Amazon Prime curiously, rather than lording it on the Beeb where you would be expecting to find it and coming from the immensley talented and prolific Hartswood Films (Inside Man, Sherlock, Dracula), we are rather unceremoniously dropped into the life and times of Lucy and her son Isaac. Isaac is uncommunicative and something of a mystery to both Lucy, his estranged father and all of his teachers.

The series opens with a rather confusing conversation with Gideon (Peter Capaldi) in a police interrogation room. Odd things are happening to Lucy too, waking at the same time, 3.33am, every night, recollecting re-occurring dreams, but they don't feel like dreams, more like unearthed memories that have yet to happen. Not sure you would be able to tell the difference if the events in question hadn't happened yet, but you know, she's got a feeling.

The series takes all of its six hour-long episodes to get the story across to us, with most of the common-sense and straggling plot devices tidied up neatly by the closure, whether you choose to believe it or not, as it is quite the tale, though maybe not as dark as you might originally imagine. Let's not for a moment imagine there is six hours of relevancy here, however. A chunky, two hour feature would have been ample to get this across, with the rest of this unnecessary padding (the fly-tipping fridge graveyard, for example, we get it as it's mentioned in the final episode, but relevance?)

The is cast as well as you might imagine from Hartswood, who are arguably one of the best companies in the UK producing high quality, A-list drama, so we should expect nothing less. There is an air of indulgence hanging over this, in regard to Capaldi especially. Still, if you need to provide someone menacing , dangerous and ball-tinglingly believable, then you can't really go too far wrong with him, given his professional history. But this may have benefitted from a really, REALLY scary and unhinged unknown. Think of Claes Bang's practical experience, without the true notoriety before Dracula, for example.

All in all, a very accomplished production, well written and well performed by everyone. Pay attention or this will leave you helplessly scrabbling. Anything else would be a surprise, really.


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