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The Hour writer wants to revive the show for a third series set in the 1960s

Could Ben Whishaw, Romola Garai and Dominic West return? Writer Abi Morgan says she’d be up for bringing back the period series that was axed in 2013

Published: Wednesday, 18th April 2018 at 5:12 pm

When BBC2 controller Janice Hadlow cancelled the BBC period drama The Hour after just two series in 2013, there was disbelief among fans.


The show, written by Abi Morgan and starring Dominic West, Ben Whishaw and Romola Garai, attracted a loyal fan base – and went on to win an Emmy for writing in a mini-series after it was axed.

But Morgan has revealed that she would still love to bring the show back – and said it would be possible to use the deep pockets of a streaming giant like Netflix or Amazon to fund the project and revive the drama which was set in a BBC newsroom during the 1956 Suez Crisis.

“I really like that idea,” Morgan said about writing a third series set in 1960s London. She admitted that she was still sore about the show getting decommissioned five years later.

“When The Hour got cancelled on second series I was like ‘OK, yeah I take it I get it I understand’,” Morgan told a Broadcasting Press Guild Lunch.

“But actually the energy it takes to build a show and more than that the responsibility and the relationships you form with those actors. And what was heart-breaking in particular with that show specifically was we had Ben Whishaw and Dominic West all wanting to come back. And they were willing to stay beyond a third series. A good show can really hold and build talent.

“It branded the BBC and in America we got Golden Globe nominations and won an Emmy and it was the one show when I go the States people say ‘I watched The Hour’."

The Hour's Executive producer Jane Featherstone said that she would also be keen to revive the show.

“We could find them in 60s London,” said the executive who admitted that she still felt so wounded about the decision to axe The Hour that she “had a weep about that about six months ago”.

She said of the decision to axe it: “I was like what the f***?... [Then BBC2 controller] Janice Hadlow didn’t like it. It was simple as that.”

In the drama Whishaw played investigative reporter and presenter Freddie Lyons with West playing his co-presenter Hector Madden. Garai played Bel Rowley, the editor of The Hour.

The drama also starred Anna Chancellor as a hard-bitten foreign editor and Oona Chaplin as a cheated-on spouse.

Featherstone and Morgan have been reunited on upcoming BBC1 drama the Split. Starring Nicola Walker, it centres on a high-end family law firm specialising in divorce and family litigation.


The Split begins airing on BBC1 on Tuesday April 24 at 9pm


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