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The Eleventh Hour (2002)

Season 1 Episode 1

Mad As Hatters

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Aired Unknown Nov 26, 2002 on CTV
6.4
out of 10
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Mad As Hatters
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Dennis knows he's on to a story when he learns that residents of The Latitude Lofts, a building owned and occupied by an artists' co-operative, are afflicted by fibromyalgia. But his probing is met with resistance - from the co-op members who have already sunk their savings into the building; and from his new senior producer, Kennedy Marsh, who considers the premise as dated as the "yuppie flu". Kennedy's criticism further incites Dennis, who is already upset that he was passed over for the senior position in favour of this young upstart - a "virtual VJ" - from a popular tabloid show. There's a mess of personal and professional tension when a young boss, Kennedy Marsh, is brought in to jazz up the show, do snappier stories and attract a younger audience. She used to produce a tabloid-TV program and everybody is suspicious and resentful of her. The thing is, Kennedy Marsh is a tall, blond drink of water and there is quiet, almost-sexual tension between her and the dead-serious Dennis. Kennedy Marsh clashes with Dennis Langley. He doesn't hate her because she's young and beautiful; he hates her because he sees her as a tabloid princess. Dennis starts to investigate an apparent case of a contaminated building making many of its residents seriously ill. It looks like an obvious, easy-to-understand story. But some of bosses think it's not sexy enough and others think it goes too far in attacking a powerful corporation. Another producer tells Dennis, "You're so cute when you're naive." Only one co-op resident, Christina Mehta, has even been willing to talk to him. But then Dennis learns that the building was once owned by Latitude Light and Electric Company. According to Dr. Ruby Albright, mercury is used in the manufacture of fluorescent light. The highly toxic liquid metal can spark a variety of symptoms - all of which the residents of Latitude display in spades - including dementia which is apparent in an elderly resident, Mrs. Burke. Follow-up urine testing on the residents confirms high mercury levels, and the Board of Health is called in to investigate. As news cameras roll, officials lift a floorboard to reveal gleaming pools of lustrous silver liquid. Health officials order an immediate evacuation of the building. Homeless, and facing an expensive lawsuit that she and the other residents will surely never win, Christina Mehta seeks refuge in a women's shelter, while her young son is admitted to hospital with suspected mercury poisoning. Dennis feels helpless; admittedly, all he can do is put the story on television. Futility turns to hope when Dennis inadvertently learns that it was Latitude Light and Electric - not the co-op members - who handled the initial building renovations. Apparently Latitude ordered an architect not to pull up the floorboards. It would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up the mercury, so the company faked a certificate saying the building was clean - then they off-loaded it to "a bunch of flaky artists" implying that someone at City Council was paid off. Determined to prove the claims, Dennis and reporter, Megan Redner, interview Latitude's CEO, Don Jarvis. When Megan moves in for the kill, Jarvis falls apart on camera. Christina finally relents to an interview, in which she calls Latitude "evil", but rather than cry as Dennis had hoped, she appears calm and composed. They don't really have a shot that he's looking for. Then the news team is scooped by an Internet piece suggesting that they plan to report that Latitude bribed city councilors and falsified records and Megan is served with an emergency injunction barring the broadcast of the piece. Latitude must have seen the leaked Internet piece. Dennis rails against the notion that a privately-owned company can dictate the content of the news, and figures any judge that would grant an injunction to stop the broadcast must be some crony of Jarvis'. It dawns on Dennis that a court order is a public document. With this, Senior Producer Kennedy Marsh, sees an opportunity for "good television". She decides to support his appeal to go ahead with the piece as planned. That night, in front of millions of viewers, Megan not only discloses that they were served with the injunction, but reads the entire document aloud - including all the portions of the news story that the injunction ordered them to excise. It's a powerful story and, through all the twists and turns of getting it to air, Dennis and Kennedy finally manage to reach a tentative truce.moreless

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SUBMIT REVIEW
    John Neville

    John Neville

    Deaton Hill (2002 - 2003)

    Jeff Seymour

    Jeff Seymour

    Kamal Azizi (2002 - 2005)

    Peter MacNeill

    Peter MacNeill

    Warren Donohue (2002 - 2003)

    Tanya Reid

    Tanya Reid

    Kennedy Marsh (2002 - 2005)

    Waneta Storms

    Waneta Storms

    Isobel Lambert (2002 - 2005)

    Sonja Smits

    Sonja Smits

    Megan Redner (2002 - 2005)

    Sylvia Lennick

    Sylvia Lennick

    Mrs. Burke

    Guest Star

    Robin Ward

    Robin Ward

    Don Jarvis

    Guest Star

    Maggie Huculak

    Maggie Huculak

    Dr. Ruby Albright

    Guest Star

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