When I first saw the pilot for Zero Hour last summer, I loved it. The combination of mystery, thrills, historical facts, fiction and conspiracy theories really excited me. It was a pilot episode so the possibilities were endless.
At the end of that pilot episode, Anthony Edward's character, Hank, comes across his doppelganger dead in a plane from World War II in a frozen wasteland in full Nazi dress before the credits roll. Really, how wrong could things go after that? I was left breathless. Sure, I'm a geek. I like history and the idea that we can relive it through ridiculous plot lines and the lives of the people thrust into the middle of them. Sue me.
Red flags were raised pretty quickly upon watching the second episode of Zero Hour. The biggest was the tedious reminder that Hank's wife was kidnapped. Yeah, we got that right away due to his constant screaming "my wife!" at, to and in front of various people and for varying reasons. At no point did voicing the fact make it any more relevant to viewers. Viewers were given nothing to go on before she was missing, so buying their love was a stretch.
Finding out Hank was a reincarnation or relative or someone during WWII, who also happened to be a Nazi (with a tremendously horrible German accent) didn't add to the intrigue, but instead made it more comical. If he had been a nasty Nazi, at least it would have been believable. I could have bought Hank somehow fighting against himself decades after the fact, but that wasn't the case.
Otherwise - the Nazi ties, the Einstein and Catholic tidbits - could have made for an interesting puzzle for everyone to solve. Just seeing Einstein film footage on television was kind of cool. Incorporating it into a television show was fun. Too bad we didn't have some footage of the Apostles to fill in the gaps....
Anyway, the missing link was characterization. The characters were weak. Not just weak but completely blank. Without background or reference of any kind to engage us or make us give a flying shit that they were even struggling with life and death situations, we couldn't care if Hank found his wife, and that was his motivating factor Without a deep and integral connection, any series is dead in the water.
So, Zero Hour will be replaced with episodes of reality series like Wife Swap and some other crap I've never watched. I can guarantee those losers do anything they can to tug at your heart strings and drag you into their pathetic lives.
That's the clincher. No matter how disgusting it might be or how low a reality show might go, if they drag you down with them at least they have you on the hook. Zero Hour tossed the hook in the water without any bait.
If viewers don't care what happens to the characters, they won't tune in no matter how interesting and compelling the story surrounding them might be.
PS - I've seen the fourth episode and the story, while not the characters, would have taken a deliciously exciting turn at that point. Damned shame the people weren't better written into it to make y'all want to watch!