The Hour (BBC TV series)

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The Hour (2011-2012) is a BBC drama series centred on a new current-affairs show being launched by the BBC in June 1956, at the time of the Hungarian Revolution and Suez Crisis.

Season 1


Pilot [1.1]

Bel: A new programme, a new era. And they want me as producer.
Freddie: They're humouring you. They don't want a woman. A woman is difficult, hysterical. And you can never really find one who will ever stay. A couple more years, you'll probably want a baby.
Bel: Oh, don't speak!
Freddie: And even if they don't say that to your face, that's what they're thinking. Anything else is just your vanity making you believe...
Bel: What? That I can do it? That I can actually do this? Watch me.

Bel: You know some nice girl needs to rescue you.
Freddie: Who? There's only ever been you. And you're not even that nice.

Lix : [to Freddie] When I was in France, there were these men I'd... Hmm, I'd loosely call them journalists, but they were never at the front. They never stuck their head above the parapet. They were terrified of being shot. Yet they wrote some of the best battle reportage that I've ever read. Filched most of it from us, and what they didn't know, they'd make up. But you're not one of them. And you'll never truly know, will you, Freddie? Unless you stick your neck out and get yourself a little bit muddy. Come on, jump. I dare you.

Freddie: After I gave you that lamp, we ate at that terrible Chinese. It's an Anglepoise because you press your face too close to the page when you read and there's never enough light. And you won't wear glasses because you say your nose is too small and with glasses you'd look like a mole which you don't. Wouldn’t. They'd suit you. You'd look just as fairly beautiful as you are. It's yellow because you said no one wants a yellow lamp. So I thought if I got it for you in yellow then no one would steal it from your desk. I do give these things quite a lot of consideration, you see. The devil is in the detail.

Hector: Looking forward to working with you.
Freddie: Well, at least that makes one of us.

Episode 2 [1.2]

[Isaac is in an astronaut suit.]
Isaac: Mr Lyon, I can't breathe.
Freddie: I'll let the American space programme know.

Lix: Whisky is God's way of telling us that he loves us and he wants us to be happy.

Bel: You know that a monthly subscription to Marvel's All-True Crime doesn't make you a real detective?
Freddie: Doesn't it?

Freddie: Is there anything you can't do, Hector?
Hector: Um... Not really.

Hector: How do you do it? How do you know exactly the right question to ask?
Freddie: Because I'm not afraid of the answers.

Episode 3 [1.3]

Freddie: Isaac. Just the man. Tomorrow, I want you in.
Isaac: It's Saturday.
Freddie: Your commitment has been duly noted.

Hector: My first girlfriend was a debutante. I wrote her pages of godawful poetry during the war.
Bel: Line?
Hector: Happily forgotten.
Bel: I don't think I've ever been sent love poetry.
Freddie: Yes, you have.

[The men are coming back from a hunt.]
Bel: How many did you miss?
Freddie: As many as I could. Don't like shooting things.
Bel: Well, how do you think they killed that beef you had for lunch?
Freddie: With boredom?

Freddie: Why would you marry someone you didn't love?
Bel: Are you asking? Because you were lonely. Because you had to.
Freddie: Because you were in trouble.
Bel: Pregnant?
Freddie: Is that... That is what "trouble" means?
Bel: Poor, innocent boy.

[Mr Kish attacks Freddie.]
Freddie: I don't want to die in the bloody office!

Episode 4 [1.4]

Bel: What's the point of the Secret Service if they're not actually secret?

Freddie: [To Mrs Kish.] I'm not here to hurt you. I'm from the BBC.

Bel: Five years from now, I'll be doing what I do now a bit better. I won't live in Clapham. I'll have an exquisite apartment.
Freddie: In Lucerne. It's supposed to be very beautiful.
Bel: Too many cuckoo clocks.
Freddie: We'd never buy a cuckoo clock.
Bel: Oh, good. You'll be there.
Freddie: Of course.
Bel: The commute would be a bit tricky.
Freddie: I'll buy a sea plane.
Bel: Oh, naturally.
Freddie: Land in Tooting Bec Lido each morning. Up on the Northern Line, cross onto the Central and...
Bel: What will we do with the children?
Freddie: Gilbert and Maud? Glove compartment.
Bel: Thank God for that. And we'd be happy.
Freddie: Ecstatic. We won't want to be anywhere else. With anyone else.

Episode 5 [1.5]

Freddie: Why did Ruth come to me?
Bel: Because you're tenacious. Because you care more about the truth than you do about your own safety. Because if I was scared for my life, I would run to you. And trust that you would know the answer.

Marnie: [to Bel] At least you're not his secretary. You see, I knew you were an intelligent woman. I knew that I wouldn't have to say much. Normally, it's with one of those silly little girls. I'm just glad that with a clever women like you, you do fully understand. He just can't control himself. I think it's the creative in him. Picasso has a heap of lovers. Not that I'm putting Hector on a par with an artiste like that, but there is always someone. And normally I have to unpick their little fingers from his arm. But it is such a relief to finally meet a proper woman. I do like you very much. You're such fun. He's always just on loan. And he always comes back.

Lix: [describing some of her photographs.]That one was taken just outside of Madrid. They were one of the last to surrender in '39. She was running away from her house, leaving everything. A row of men are being executed just behind that door. Amongst them, her husband. She... She didn't look back. And I was irritated because I had my camera in my hand and I couldn't find another film. They were being shot one by one and all I could think was, "I've got no bloody film." I'm still proud I got it.

Episode 6 [1.6]

Bel: [to Clarence] Is it not our duty as journalists to present balanced news frankly, fearlessly and reasonably?

Freddie: Do you think I'm a weak person, Hector?
Hector: What?
Freddie: I've never been to war, I've never fought for anything.
Hector: You fight every day, Freddie. Weak's not the word I'd use.

Freddie: Ladies and gentlemen. If we cannot debate that which troubles our society, and more importantly troubles our government, then we cannot, in all honestly, calls ourselves a democracy. If we cannot question our leaders as they embark on what has been called an illegal military action, an action publicly opposed by the United States government...
Douglas Owen: Shut it down, now.
Freddie: ...and the countries of the United Nations Security Council...
Douglas Owen: I want it off, now!
Freddie: If we cannot reasonably and intelligently query our politicians...
Douglas Owen: Shut down The Hour.
Freddie: ...about the rightness of an action that appears at heart to be deceitful...
Douglas Owen: Do it now.
Freddie: ...then we are not a free...
Douglas Owen: [to Bel] You're fired.
Bel: Right. I expected nothing less.

Bel: Ambition over integrity, Hector. Well done.
Hector: Freddie needed a chance.
Bel: Liar.

Clarence: I don't know why they don't suspect us more, us journalists. We're thrust into world events, life-changing events. And they expect us not to be changed. Well, it changed me. It changed my view of the world.

Freddie: Do you trust me?
Bel: More than anyone else.
Freddie: Not good enough. Missed the mark again.
Bel: I hate you. I hate you.
Freddie: I hate you too.

Season 2


Episode 1 [2.1]

Randall Brown: Uncovered are snapping at your heels?
Bel: And despite ITV's attempts to colonise many aspects of the show, The Hour is still exemplary in its field.
Randall Brown: Imitation is the highest form of flattery.
Bel: Exactly.
Randall Brown: Except it's better.
Bel: I'm sorry?
Randall Brown: Uncovered is better.

Randall Brown: The last time I watched this programme, and admittedly that was some time ago, then, then one could feel the tingle, hear the tick. Let me hear your tick, Miss Rowley.

Hector: Sorry. Am I boring you?
Marnie: Yes, you are. You are boring me. I'm bored.

Randall Brown: [to Hector] You're an alcoholic. That was the first sentence my head of news ever said to me. The second, "Congratulations, you're in good company."

Lix: [to Bel] You know, really, darling, you are not getting any younger. Surprise me. Buy a bottle of wine, drink yourself silly and dance all night with some inappropriate man like you used to. It's much better than staying in with a good book. Me? I'm old. I've made my mistakes. But you, too pretty. Don't let it go to waste. Run away for too long and they stop loving you back.

Episode 2 [2.2]

Lix: [to Bel, about the accusations against Hector] Heroes or villains, we're all somewhere in between. The good do bad things and the bad are sometimes kind to their mothers.

[Camille is in the bath after having been covered in soot by a fascist neighbour.]
Camille: I hate this country.
Freddie: Don't hate this country. I live in this country. And you love me.

Bill Kendall: Mr Madden's the best out there.
Randall Brown: You'll ruin his career. You'll give him six months on Uncovered, then he'll be earmarked for light entertainment. He'll be in a sparkly suit, spinning a cardboard roulette wheel on a quiz show by next Christmas.
Bill Kendall: I can assure you I want Mr Madden for more than his croupier skills.
Randall Brown: He is highly corruptible. I'm sure he'll take whatever is offered. He's also very self-destructive. Brilliant people often are. Too much money is bad for him. That's why I'd rather you didn't.
Bill Kendall: And if I do? Your producer has already said she'll hunt me down.
Randall Brown: That's covered, then. Good luck.

Freddie: Where have you been?
Bel: Buying pornography. And you?
Freddie: Picking up fascists.

Randall Brown: There might be better days to test run this as an idea. Sundays are good.
Freddie: We don't work Sundays.
Randall Brown: You're getting my drift.

Episode 3 [2.3]

Freddie: How did you get hold of this?
Bel: Feminine guile. Five bob and a pint.

Bel: [to Freddie] Do you calculate in advance how to make me look a fool or does inspiration strike you in the moment?

Mr Cilenti: Mr Lyon, this is a nice club. You're very welcome here but I ask all my clientele, please, leave your work elsewhere...
Freddie: Sorry, but my work is everywhere but elsewhere.
Mr Cilenti: This is neither the time nor the place. Good night for now, Mr Lyon. But do become a frequent visitor. I encourage you to make yourself at home. Though a word of advice to you and your friends at The Hour. You know, drink my champagne, eat my oysters. But don't think for a moment you won't pay.

Isaac: Who's that? An actor?
Bel: Peter Grey, co-founder of the League For Homosexual Law Reform.
Isaac: A homosexual?
Lix: Yes, Mr Wengrow. Remarkable. Looks just like you or I.
Isaac: On the programme?
Lix: Mr Wengrow, if we're making a programme about birds, who would we contact?
Isaac: The Royal Society for the Protection of...
Lix: Birds. Exactly. But we would not go on to assume that the spokesman they sent us was themselves feathered with a beak.

Randall Brown: What's going on?
Bel: Um, Mr Madden is presenting Wolfenden.
Randall Brown: I specifically said I want...
Bel: Mr Lyon is insistent. You are overruled. Which is my privilege as producer from time to time, is it not?
Randall Brown: Why is Mr Lyon throwing him a lifeline?
Bel: I don't know. But let's give him the benefit of the doubt, shall we?
Randall Brown: Overruled I am.

Episode 4 [2.4]

Freddie: [to Hector] I used to think that getting under your skin was a form of sport, now I look on it as a moral duty.

Freddie: Isaac, I presume when you go home tonight your mother will be waiting?
Isaac: Yes.
Freddie: I'd like you to thank her for me, for having the foresight to deliver a son.

Lix: I saw a musical.
Randall Brown: A musical?
Lix: Why not? I was in the West End and I do sometimes. I thought...
Randall Brown: I hate musicals.
Lix: Yes, that's what I thought.

Episode 5 [2.5]

Bill Kendall: Does Miss Rowley know you are here?
Hector: Only if you told her.
Bill Kendall: I did not.
Hector: She's obviously not sleeping with the right people.

Randall Brown: [to Bel] No man is sane who doesn't know how to be insane on the proper occasions. Madness is a prerequisite for any good journalist.

Bel: [about Freddie] God, he's so frustrating! He really is! Well, don't smile. Why are you laughing?
Hector: Because for someone so brutally honest with everyone else, you display such blatant deceit when it comes to yourself.
Bel: Freddie's...
Hector: Back. I hear his wife is still away. Well, you always did have a penchant for the married man.

Freddie: I wrote you two letters. One from San Diego, one from New York. - And I said...
Bel: Freddie.
Freddie: ... just get on a plane. Just get on a plane and come. And I said... And you, you didn't write back. And I told myself, of course, it's because you love news more. That doing this would always be more important than any man. So I will see you tonight at El Paradis. Because this is what we do.

Bel: I just... I can't do this. I can't be this.
Bill Kendall: Yes, you can. There's more to life than chasing history.
Bel: No, there isn't. The truth is something you don't have to lie about.

Episode 6 [2.6]

Freddie: You are not impossible. Impossible is just what hasn't been done. It's not impossible when it's possible.
Bel: We need to talk. We haven't...
Freddie: Haven't what?
Bel: We haven't... About us.
Freddie: No, we don't, we need to stop talking, we talk too much. Instead, we have to do something.
[He kisses her.]
Freddie: I am tired of it not being possible, it is possible. You are possible. You are possible with me.

[Hector is sterile. Marnie doesn't know.]
Marnie: Hector, um... I think, well, I'm sure I'm...
Hector: You're sure you're what?
Marnie: I'm... three weeks gone. Hector...
[Hector is silent and shocked for a while.]
Hector: Well, isn't that wonderful? Isn't that what you always wanted?
Marnie: Yes.
Hector: Well, then, aren't you clever, Marnie? You got what you wanted.

Freddie: You got a fascist as your first recruit! That's impressive.
Norman Pike: You do like to rile.
Freddie: I confess I do.

Lix: We're in trouble.
Randall Brown: That's the problem with trouble. It always starts out as such fun.

Bel: [voiceover, reading a letter] Dear Freddie, So I got your letter. San Francisco? Amazing. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to write back. "There are life's natural heroes and then there's you." Your words. You always believed somewhere deep in you that there is a coward. I wish I had told you that that's not true. Because you leapt, while I stayed, feet first, into the unknown. Why should I have expected anything less than fearlessness from you?
[Cut to Freddie bleeding.]
Freddie: Money...
Bel: But I am not as brave as you. I want to write and say I'll be there, I'll get on a plane, I'll come right now. I really do, but I can't. Not because I don't love you. I love you, Freddie Lyon.
Freddie: Money...
Bel: But because you won't even get this letter.
Freddie: Money...
Bel: Because I won't ever send it. I'm the coward, Freddie, not you. So instead, I'm sending this prayer out there.
Freddie: Moneypenny...
Bel: Just hoping that somehow you'll know to come home. Just please come home, now, soon. And maybe your courage will make me brave, too. Just come home and I will leap, too.
Freddie: Moneypenny...


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