'Zero Hour' at TCA: Explaining the epic journey for truth, Nazis and clocks

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Is the truth hidden in a clock? Was there anything the Nazis didn't get their evil hands into? Can Anthony Edwards reach the end of his quest? When the producers and cast of ABC's midseason show, "Zero Hour," came to the TCA press tour to try to explain their "Da Vinci Code"-esque story.

The story of "Zero Hour" revolves around antique clocks that hide some of the greatest secrets of mankind. Anthony Edwards stars as Hank Galliston, a hardcore skeptic until his wife, Laila ( Jacinda Barrett), gets kidnapped. This puts Hank on a 13-episode quest to find both the truth and his wife.


Not exactly "The Da Vinci Code"

The obvious comparison for a show like "Zero Hour" is "The Da Vinci Code." After all, there are mysteries that roam the world and a sinister tie-in to religious figures. The producers, however, were quick to point out that they're trying to tell a very different story.

For one thing, "Zero Hour" promises to be a lot more complicated that "The Da Vinci Code." When explaining why he took the part, Edwards explained, "This was going to really challenge and excite people because they're not laying it out simply." Audiences will have to watch carefully if they want to catch all of the details.

Another difference in the new show is that the main character of Hank is something of an everyman. "He has no really marketable skill set," executive producer Zack Estrin said. "This is what would happen if anyone like you or I was pulled into this."


Around the world

Because this is a worldwide search for the truth, the setting of "Zero Hour" changes regularly.

Or does it? While the producers mentioned shooting an Arctic scene "on Lake Winnipeg, which was melting underneath us," most of the scenery -- however exotic -- is actually in New York City. The main production shoots there, but they have been able to recreate other places without the travel expenses. "We were shooting Paraguay in Long Island," Edwards shared.


Where is it going?

Many viewers tend to avoid the big, serialized, mythology-heavy dramas because of so many shows running out of steam somewhere along the way. That probably won't be a problem with "Zero Hour." Executive producer Paul Scheuring pointed out that he actually started with the end of the series (whenever that may happen). From there, the writers have worked backward to find the story.

We also will not have to wait too long for answers to some of the mysteries at the center of the story. The Nazi plotline, for example, is scheduled to wrap up by the end of season 1's 13 episodes. Future seasons will continue the idea of truth-seeking, but the investigators will be on a different quest.

"Zero Hour" premieres on Thursday, Feb. 14 at 8pm on ABC.

Photo/Video credit: ABC
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