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ABC will introduce an exciting new mystery and adventure to their viewers tomorrow night, and they'll do that while simultaneously putting ER's Anthony Edwards back on television in a starring role. How's that for a Valentine's Day gift? Aside from associations with a certain wingman in a beloved 80s fighter pilot movie that takes our breath away, there isn't much romance to be offered in Zero Hour, but those willing to overlook the lack of Valentine's theme will certainly want to check out the start of what could be a thrilling and compelling new story.
Created by Prison Break's Paul Scheuring, Zero Hour stars Anthony Edwards as Hank Gallison, publisher of Modern Skeptic Magazine and husband to clock enthusiast Laila (Jacinda Barrett). But we're already getting ahead of ourselves. The story begins in Nazi Germany in 1938. A group of clockmakers are hard at work and time is literally of the essence. There's talk of a prophesy and the end of days. There's something the Nazis are after and close to getting. Something that needs to be protected. There's more to this exciting introduction, but we'll leave that for you to see unfold at the start of the episode.
Jump to the present and we're introduced to Edwards' Hank and his clock-loving wife. Hank runs a conspiracy-focused magazine, with Addison Timlin's Rachel Lewis and Scott Michael Foster's Arron Martin on his staff. When Hank's wife is kidnapped, Hank, Rachel and Arron attempt to figure out who took her and why. Of course, the law gets involved, but the situation is much bigger than just your average kidnapping. Hank, Rachel and Arron do a bit of snooping around, which leads them to uncover a treasure map and a much larger mystery, which ties into the the pilot's introduction and a creepy man named White Vincent (Michael Nyqvist).
The pilot packs a lot into the first hour, with much of the focus on introducing the plot. That doesn't leave much time for us to get to know the characters, but there will be time for that as the series progresses. There's a very Da Vinci Code tone to this story, with riddles, clues and a much larger conspiracy, which may involve science and religion. I expect the comparison to Dan Brown's popular novel to be made a lot, and it's definitely not a criticism. This kind of mystery-adventure could lend itself beautifully to a serialized drama, if the series can find the right pacing to keep viewers interested, intrigued and on the edge of our seats with each new episode. Having only seen the first episode, it's impossible to know if the show will manage to find the right rhythm to build a suspenseful, adventurous and ultimately satisfying series just yet. But the pilot is certainly set up for a drama that does all of that. Those prepared to get invested in a show that will likely require a weekly commitment to keep up should check this one out when it premieres tomorrow night.
Zero Hour premieres Thursday, February 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET on ABC.