Twenty Twelve

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

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 up imitating life fairly closely in this instance.

British Actresses You Should Know: Olivia Colman

Welcome to a new series we’ll be doing here at Telly Visions – introductions to some of our favorite British actors and actresses and their work. (Yes, this means a Cumberbatch post along these lines is absolutely going to show up at some point in the future. But you probably already knew that.) This also marks Carmen’s first Telly Visions post, so stop in and say hello!

As a binge watcher of British television I’ve come to appreciate many fine actors who are unfamiliar to most American TV viewers. As a person who writes about British television, I’m eager to share my “discoveries” with like-minded Anglophiles. I have always been, first and foremost, a fan. Be warned! I have a tendency to gush, sometimes to an embarrassing degree, when discussing my favorites.

So for my very first Telly Visions post ever, I’d like to highlight a most brilliant and delightful actress, one I think every telly fanatic should know - Olivia Colman. If her name sounds familiar, you may have read about her recent double win at the 2013 BAFTA Television awards where she picked up one statuette for a comedic role and the other for a dramatic one.

If she hasn’t made an impression on you yet, no doubt she will she will very soon. Colman’s most recent project, the popular ITV crime drama Broadchurch, aired this spring in the UK and will be coming to BBC America in August. She co-stars with David Tennant, Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who’s Rory Williams) and Andrew Buchan (Garrow’s Law). I can’t wait!

But I digress…

If I’ve piqued your curiosity, you might want to watch some of the television shows and film clips provided below. They serve as my introduction to the talented and versatile, Olivia Colman.

Hugh Bonneville’s Olympic Mockumentary Twenty Twelve Comes to BBC America This Week

Downton Abbey star Hugh Bonneville returns to American televisions this week with Twenty Twelve, a very contemporary, exceptionally dry comedy about the organizing committee charged with putting on the 2012 Summer Olympic Games.

Bonneville stars as Ian Fletcher, the harried Head of Deliverance for the London Games. He is joined by a strong ensemble cast, including Peep Show’s Olivia Coleman, Spaced’s Jessica Hynes, I’m Alan Patridge’s Amelia Bullmore, The Thick of It’s Vincent Franklin and Green Wing’s Karl Theobald. It’s also narrated by David Tennant, a guy you may have seen once or twice on Doctor Who.

Twenty Twelve premieres this Thursday, June 28th at 9pm on BBC America with three back-to-back episodes – but here’s where the scheduling gets tricky. The comedy will be moving to its regular timeslot of Saturdays at midnight, where it will join the network’s Ministry of Laughs comedy block starting June 30. BBC America will air both series of the show (13 episodes in total) over the next few weeks.

Click through to take a look at two trailers that ought to give you a pretty good feel for the comedy and its style of humor, as well as an interview with Bonneville in which he tells American audiences what they can expect from the show.