‘Twenty Twelve’ Lives On in New BBC Mockumentary ‘W1A’

hugh bonneville in w1a.jpg

Hugh Bonneville is back as Ian Fletcher in "W1A" (Photo: BBC)
Good news for those of you that loved Olympics mockumentary Twenty Twelve – it’s back! Well, sort of. Since the London Games are long past in our collective rearview, we’re getting the next best thing – a sequel series! The new comedy comes complete with several returning characters from the original, including Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville as harassed executive Ian Fletcher and Jessica Hynes as PR whiz Siobhan Sharpe.

Called W1A, the new series will see Bonneville’s Fletcher take on a new role as the (fictional) Head of Values at the BBC. His task is to clarify, define, or re-define the core purpose of the BBC across all its functions and to position it confidently for the future, in particular for Licence Fee Renegotiation and Charter Renewal in 2016 and 2017 respectively. The show takes its name from the postcode of the BBC’s London headquarters and – given some of the real-life going on at the corporation lately, including the planned closure of BBC Three - art may end upimitating life fairly closely in this instance. 

The BBC insists that while W1A is not a direct sequel to Twenty Twelve because it features new situations and new characters, it does “share some of the same DNA”. Jason Watkins, Monica Dolan, Hugh Skinner, Nina Sosanya and Sarah Parish are all also set appear, though there’s not been official confirmation as to whether any of the returning folks will be reprising their Twenty Twelve roles. (But let's hope so.)

Watch a trailer for W1A below: 

W1A: Trailer - BBC Two

And, just because I will use any excuse to post videos of Hugh Bonneville, here’s the Downton star discussing his W1A role, Ian’s character and the bridge between the two series: 

Ian Fletcher becomes the BBC's Head of Values - W1A - BBC Two

The four-part series premieres tonight (March 19) in the UK, and while there’s no official word on when we might expect to see it on our screens in America, take heart from the fact that the original Twenty Twelve aired BBC America, and is currently available to most public television stations around the country. Let’s hope it’s not too long before the same can be said of its “sequel”!

Did you love the original Twenty Twelve? How do you feel about the idea of seeing some of those characters again?