Leopardrama's Jez Swimer and Fremantle Media's Nick Malmholt review the latest TV shows.

Jez Swimer is development producer at Leopardrama

Eleventh Hour is the US remake of the ITV series. Rufus Sewell, who I generally love, plays Dr Jacob Hood, special science adviser to the FBI. Hood solves tricky science mysteries with his sexy gun-toting partner who stops at nothing to keep Hood out of trouble - even storming a hotel bar wearing only her negligée for cover. Such commitment.

I was intrigued at the start of the series, but it didn't deliver on the promise. The jeopardy wanes and both episodes felt too plot-heavy. Rufus Sewell seemed slightly dejected throughout - the eleventh isn't his finest hour.

I had a much better time with Skellig - Sky 1's adaptation of David Almond's book. It's a lovely story about a boy who sees something nasty in the tool shed - a sickly, snail-eating, sort of man-creature-angel-thing, played superbly by Tim Roth.

The boy's friendship and care transform the creature, who works a little miraculous salvation of his own. It's a magical story that brings together a great cast, including Kelly Macdonald, John Simm and the fantastic Bill Milner (Son of Rambow).

Skellig has a religious resonance that didn't feel overwrought to me, plus it's high definition and I like the way it looks on screen. A fab Easter treat - what more can I say?

In The Narnia Code, Dr Michael Ward solves the tricky literary mystery of CS Lewis' books. The lively first half was helped along with dramatic reconstructions, interviews with amazed literary critics and teasing reminders that the Lewis scholar is about to let us in on the big secret.

The code is clever and if I was a Narnia nut I'd have been thrilled to suddenly understand why Aslan dies and rises, Father Christmas appears and there are so many dragons in the stories. But once the lion is out of the wardrobe, the documentary loses focus and looks into how Ward's book was published, why the discovery took so long, and the old science-versus-religion chestnut, and it all begins to feel a bit ... academic.


Nick Malmholt is head of creative development, worldwide drama at Fremantle Media

I wrote this review on Good Friday. Usually on that holiest of days, all I do is wolf down hot buttered buns. But this year I found myself contemplating the meaning of life - or lack thereof. How did that happen? I watched some TV, that's how. They were three very different programmes, but each in their own way grappled with weighty stuff. Does God exist? Is science the only path to truth? Are British formats taking over the world?

First up came Eleventh Hour, an American drama series about a slightly loopy professor and his gorgeous, gun-toting FBI sidekick. They travel the country, solving creepy mysteries and confronting moral crises. Faith clashes with science as lead actor Rufus Sewell solemnly declares that gravity was once just a theory. Adapted from a British original, Eleventh Hour is all good, cliché-ridden fun and delivered the gloss and gusto that you would expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production.

Equally glossy is the strange, dream-like Skellig. A troubled young boy befriends an old tramp hiding in the shadows of the garden shed. The tramp is played with bite and venom by movie star Tim Roth. Stylish flashes of the supernatural - mushrooms springing into life, spiders spinning giant coffins of silk - mix with sweetly nuanced family drama.

My first thought as I watched The Narnia Code was that someone was pulling my leg. Surely this is a mockumentary spoofing The Da Vinci Code?

A devoted CS Lewis scholar has uncovered a layer of cosmological meaning in the Narnia novels. Each book, it turns out, represented a different planet, and this was CS Lewis' affirmation of an ancient understanding of the universe that is rich with beauty and meaning. But then The Narnia Code bites off more than it can convincingly chew. Reaching out beyond the books, it embraces a controversial synthesis of religion and science. The result is a faint whiff of the smug and irrational. Not really what you want in a documentary.

Eleventh Hour
Production companies Jerry Bruckheimer Television, Granada America, Warner Bros Television
Producer Jerry Bruckheimer
Distributor Warner Bros Television
Broadcast Wednesdays, 9pm, Living

Skellig
Production company Feel Films
Producer Nick Hirschkorn
Director Annabel Jankel
Executive producer Nick Hirschkorn
Post The Mill
Broadcast Easter Sunday, 12 April, 7pm, Sky 1

The Narnia Code
Production company 1A Productions
Producer Norman Stone
Executive producer Michael Wakelin
Director Norman Stone
Post M8 Media
Broadcast Thursday 16 April, 10.35pm, BBC1