Mad Men UK: Exclusive preview of the BBC"s 6m ride to 1956 with Dominic West

Mad Men UK: Exclusive preview of the BBC"s 6m ride to 1956 with Dominic West

1:45 AM on 5th June 2011

The BBC is hoping The Hour can attract the same sort of devoted following as Mad Men

The BBC is hoping The Hour can attract the same sort of devoted following as Mad Men

An assistant adjusts the seam of Romola Garai

An assistant adjusts the seam of Romola Garai”s skirt as Dominic West looks on. The period detail in the office scene is painstakingly accurate, from the authentic phone, cigarette case, ashtray and typewriter on the desk to the press cuttings and BBC floor plans on the wall, and newsreel cans on the shelves

West and Ben Whishaw on the set of fictional BBC TV programme The Hour

West and Ben Whishaw on the set of fictional BBC TV programme The Hour

Julian Rhind-Tutt as Government representative Angus McCainWhishaw as ambitious reporter Freddie Lyon, complete with Brylcreem and broad-shouldered suit

Julian Rhind-Tutt (left) as Government representative Angus McCain. Whishaw (right) as ambitious reporter Freddie Lyon, complete with Brylcreem and broad-shouldered suit

Rhind-Tutt jokes with West on set

Rhind-Tutt jokes with West on set

The Hour has been compared to the critically-acclaimed U.S. show Mad Men which is about Don Draper and his glamorous friends in the American advertising industry

The Hour has been compared to the critically-acclaimed U.S. show Mad Men which is about Don Draper and his glamorous friends in the American advertising industry

Dominic West in make-up for his role as Hector Madden

West in make-up for his role as Hector Madden. He says: “I”m playing my dad, really. The older I get, the more I realise I”m him. He had greased-back hair, always wore a tie and jacket and was very much of the Fifties. He couldn”t quite handle The Wire because of the bad language, but he would have loved this. Maybe that”s why the Fifties are in vogue again – because everyone our age is realising we are our parents”

The production team

The production team”s ideas board to capture the period, with images of Gary Cooper and fabric samples

A noticeboard from The Hour

A noticeboard from The Hour”s set featuring the Queen and news items

The devil is in the detail: A desk with a Fifties Adler typewriter and lamp and contemporary magazines

The devil is in the detail: A desk with a Fifties Adler typewriter and lamp and contemporary magazines

Production sketches

Production sketches

Ben Whishaw with Fifties cutting-room equipment, complete with notebook and pencil

Whishaw with Fifties cutting-room equipment, complete with notebook and pencil. Says Eve Stewart: “The most daunting thing was getting the right technology. We wanted to show a BBC studio of 1956 in full working order, so you”ve got to make sure the lights are right, the grids are right, the cameras are right; then in the gallery all the monitors have to work and the buttons look correct”

An authentic telex machine and stub-filled ashtray

An authentic telex machine and stub-filled ashtray. Says production designer Eve Stewart: “The hardest thing to find was a working telex machine. We spent weeks ringing around, to Reuters news agency, enthusiasts, anyone. We found one, but X-Men wanted it as well, and they had heaps of cash so they got it. When at last we found another, in a friend of a friend”s garage, I thought, “Well, it won”t work.” But we plugged it in and it did, like a godly intervention”