Eleventh Hour

TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Eleventh Hour TV Poster Image
Quirky detective solves implausible mysteries.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Though he's part of the FBI, Dr. Hood often seems to be working outside standard law enforcement channels; some officers are happy to cooperate, but he sometimes has a testy relationship with others. Tempers often run high in these high-stakes investigations.


Dr. Hood frequently investigates strange illnesses and other medical conditions, which often are fatal. Sometimes these are accidents, and sometimes they're murder. Some of the more violent incidents/deaths are accompanied by bloody scenes. Frequent tension and creepiness.


Not in every episode, but some touch on sexual themes -- one revolved around a killer STD, for example.


Language includes words like "damn," "hell," and "bastard."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this is a fairly standard police procedural show focused on unusual medical mysteries, which can include poison, murder, human cloning, and other misuses of medicine. There's some blood/graphic violence (though less than in other procedural shows) and language, but not too much in the way of sexual content -- in most episodes, anyway; some do touch on sexual themes -- or drinking. And, overall, the mysteries are definitely a bit creepy.

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What's the story?

What Dr. Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) lacks in social graces, he more than makes up for with his unerring ability to zero in on previously overlooked clues. In ELEVENTH HOUR (which is based on a British miniseries by the same name), Hood is a biophysicist on loan to the FBI who specializes in solving medical mysteries that have baffled others. He's quirky and eccentric, sometimes more interested in plants and animals than in people, and obviously brilliant -- or so his colleagues say repeatedly as he travels from one unsolvable crime to the next.

Is it any good?

Hood is an interesting character, the latest in a long line of oddball detective shows, including Monk, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and even the venerable Columbo. These men (and they're almost always men, as if to suggest that women are unsuitable as either geniuses or socially awkward) are fun to watch, as they see hidden connections while missing the obvious value of normal human interaction. It's easy to go too far, making them too weird to be believable (though Monk does this intentionally, to great comic effect) or just a bit unlikable, which is how Hood is portrayed. "He's not my partner," says FBI agent Rachel Young (Marley Shelton), who's assigned to accompany Hood. "He's my responsibility."

Hood and Young are only called in to work on the toughest cases, which means that each episode has them traveling to a new location and meeting a new set of guest stars. The format means that this show is all about the mystery, and little is done to develop the characters beyond the obvious pairing of an odd duck and his caretaker. And that's the show's main weakness, because the plots on Eleventh Hour have elements that are both predictable and implausible. And, in the end, that makes the show both formulaic and uninteresting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about oddball detectives. The "quirky genius" detective character -- someone who can easily decipher human behavior but struggles with basic personal interactions -- is very common on television. Why do you think so many fictional investigators are portrayed like this? Do you think this stereotype is realistic? Do true geniuses really have problems talking to people?

TV details

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