Crusading Against Crimes of Science

Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Eleventh Hour": Thursdays at 10 p.m. on CBS

Basic story: Jacob Hood (Rufus Sewell) is a brilliant scientist who works with FBI agent Rachel Young (Marley Shelton) to crack cases, often stepping in to save the day at the last moment. Hood's passion is tracking down those who use science for evil instead of good. Young's mission is to keep the ingenious investigator in one piece. The drama, based on a four-hour British miniseries that starred Patrick Stewart, delves into topical and science-based mysteries each week.

What it faces: The new "Life on Mars" on ABC and the final season of "ER" on NBC.

What you'll love: TV god Jerry Bruckheimer of "CSI" fame is behind this series, and it shows. The production is slick; the storylines are paced and told well; and the talent is top-notch. Sewell brings a nice touch of eccentricity and wry humor to his braniac role.

What you won't: The first two episodes deal with botched human cloning attempts and 11-year-olds mysteriously dying. Both feel a wee bit gratuitous at times. And occasional scientific facts are peppered into discussions -- meant to enlighten, but coming across like odd snips from science texts.

Bottom line: Those who tune in for "CSI" at 9 will likely enjoy spending an hour with "Eleventh Hour."

-- Debra Leithauser

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