Eleventh Hour - Series Premiere!

Got a chance to check out Eleventh Hour, which is going to air Thursdays on CBS after CSI. Unfortunately, that's the same time as ABC's Life on Mars (the next review), so TV watchers have quite a decision on their hands.

Eleventh Hour 1.1 - "Resurrection"

Eleventh Hour seems a lot like X-Files. Or maybe it seems a lot like Fringe, itself somewhat modeled on X-Files. (I'm not saying that Eleventh Hour copied Fringe, as they both came out at the same time, but since Fringe dropped three weeks early, it's already fresh in my mind.)

Actually, it's pretty common for competing networks to introduce similarly-themed shows at the same time. Think "Surface" vs. "Invasion" vs. "Threshold of three years ago (all trying to catch the LOST wave). A few years before that was Medical Investigation, which I thought looked to be a real winner, until the similarly-themed House M.D. showed up a few weeks later. I seem to recall E.R. and Chicago Hope dropping at the same time, and if I'm not mistaken so did The Sopranos and Futurama. (Two more identical shows you will not find.)

My point is that just because a show reminds you of something previous, and just because a show reminds you of something else current (which, due to the baseball schedule, happened to drop early), does not mean imitation or copycat.

You follow?

That said, I go back to what I said earlier. Eleventh Hour feels a lot like X-Files, and even more like Fringe. That's no one's fault, but there you go.

Here's the deal: uber-creepy Rufus Sewell is Dr. Jacob Hood, a brilliant something-or-other, who helps out the FBI when Science goes too far. Marley Shelton is FBI agent Rachel Young, along for the ride to "protect" Dr. Hood, because he often is distracted by all the genius thoughts he has, and can't quite be trusted.

Sounds kind of familiar huh?

(Seriously: re-reading what I wrote above, it can't be coincidence, since it happens all the time. I guess the networks hear about an idea at another network, and then rush to copy each other? And if so, did CBS copy FOX, or the other way around?)

While Eleventh Hour sounds like Fringe, it comes across quite a bit different. Rufus Sewell plays Hood with a very strange affect. I have always found Sewell disturbing, and it's even more so here. But (so far) he's not a sinister guy like the dude from Fringe. And the FBI agent....well, she's been naked in some movies, so that gives me hope she might get naked here.

Okay, maybe not, but it does give me the perfect excuse to run this BARELY safe for work picture:

As you can see, I have a lot more "field work" to do before deciding whether Eleventh Hour is better than Fringe. But there is no reason both can't be watched.

Sadly, Eleventh Hour is in a killer time slot, but I'm willing to give it another episode (catching up on CBS.com) to see what they're made off. After all, Fringe is going to be off the air for a few weeks for baseball, and I have to watch Science run amok somewhere!

[By the way, you can watch the first episode at CBS.com and see for yourself.]