A Conspiracy Thriller drama series on ABC, and created by Paul Scheuring, better known as the man behind Prison Break. The show stars Anthony Edwards as Hank Galliston, the publisher of a magazine that skewers various out-of-left-field conspiracy theories. After his clock-seller wife is mysteriously kidnapped, his efforts to find her set him on the path to uncovering the greatest conspiracy in the history of mankind.
It was panned by the critics and set record lows in the ratings upon its premiere. After the third episode, ABC pulled it from the schedule. The remainder of its episodes was burned off on Saturdays in the summer of 2013.
This series provides examples of the following tropes:
- Ancient Conspiracy: Apparently dates back to at least the second century AD, although many of the more relevant events took place in the late 1930s and involved the Rosicrucians and the Nazis.
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Albert Einstein was one of the 12 New Apostles guarding the secret that could end the world.
- Gilligan Cut: In the pilot, Arron and Rachel have an argument over whether to seek out the maker of the first clock, who lives in New York. Prior to leaving for the Arctic, Hank insisted they not leave the loft, and Rachel swears to Arron that they're keeping their word. Cut to: Rachel and Arron trying to catch a cab.
- Healing Hands: The girl pregnant with the Christ clone is shown in the epilogue healing people in a remote African village.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each episode title has something to do with clocks ("Strike," "Face," etc.)
- MacGuffin: A set of twelve clocks that are said to be the key to unlocking the salvation or destruction of the world. Hank's wife unwittingly bought one of them from a street vendor, which attracts White Vincent's attention and gets her targeted. It actually wasn't so unwittingly. Plus, Laila's whole marriage to Hank was no accident either.
- Prophet Eyes: The baby seen in the Nazi facility in the pilot. And the dreaded White Vincent, who uses colored contacts to conceal the Prophet Eyes.
- Revenge Before Reason: Agent Riley towards White Vincent, for blowing up the plane her husband was on. It doesn't change when she finds out her husband is alive and working with him.
- Scare Chord: The clock sounds that precede each commercial break are EXTREMELY jarring.
- Short-Runner: Nearly a Two-Episode Wonder...at least on Thursdays @ 8. ABC burned off the rest on Saturdays during the summer.
- Skepticism Failure: Hank is not only a skeptic, he publishes Modern Skeptic magazine, and of course his doubt toward conspiracy theories quickly gets disproven when he encounters a real one in the show. This appears to be the only real reason he begins as a professional skeptic, with a dramatic contrast.
- Stupid Jetpack Hitler: It is strongly implied the Nazis were conducting some sort of genetic engineering experiment which may have resulted in a demonic child. Turns out this child grew up to become White Vincent, the infamous mercenary who kidnapped Hank's wife.
- Title Drop: Right at the end of the pilot. The old man says that "Zero Hour" is the prophesied End of Days.
- The second episode has "Zero Hour" as the name of a Nazi project (possibly including the above-mentioned genetic engineering experiment).
- Treasure Map: The first clock contains one of these that somehow was etched into a small diamond. While the heroes do get the chance to decipher it, it eventually winds up in White Vincent's hands. Turns out it leads to a Nazi sub stranded in the Arctic, with the remains of multiple Nazi soldiers, including New Bartholomew aka Nazi!Hank, on board.
- The second clock contains a star map that leads to the city where New Thomas lives.