A BBC press release today announced some of the new cast members who will be joining Romola Garai (Bel Rowley), Ben Whishaw (Freddie Lyons) and Dominic West (Hector Madden) in the second series of BBC Two drama The Hour. Peter Capaldi — probably best known for his role as Malcolm Tucker in The Thick of It but also recognisable to Torchwood fans as Frobisher in the 2009 “Children of Earth” episodes — will play the “eccentric new Head of News” Randall Brown.
Hannah Tointon, who starred as Tara in The Inbetweeners, plays a club hostess called Kiki and has a part to play in Hector’s storyline:
“Hector Madden (Dominic West) has risen to the status of a national celebrity, all whilst maintaining his lifestyle as a happily married man and face of The Hour. He is unsettled by Marnie’s (Oona Chaplin) desire to establish her own career and finds himself drawn to the late night clubs of Soho where he befriends Kiki (Hannah Tointon), a club hostess. No longer happy at The Hour under Randall’s new regime, he is tempted by offers from ITV, but when a night at the club goes badly wrong, scandal threatens and Hector must try to stop a news story that could destroy his marriage and his career.”
Tom Burke will play Bel Rowley’s adversary, Bill Kendall, “a producer whose magnetic charm [Bel] can’t help but find irresistible.” Burke played Casanova’s son Giac in the Russell T. Davies adaptation of Casanova starring David Tennant and in 2008 played Napoleon in BBC drama-doc Heroes and Villains.
The Hour follows a BBC news team in 1950s Britain who work to produce the highest quality news content in the face of political pressure and the six episodes that constitute series two will, according to the BBC:
“…see the team still striving to broadcast the stories they believe in as they grapple with the looming spectre of the Cold War and changing social mores [...] Our characters become deeply embroiled in cover-ups, sexual intrigues and the resurgence of Mosley’s fascism.”
Also returning to the programme are Julian Rhind-Tutt (McCain), the fabulous Anna Chancellor (Lix) and Oona Chaplin (playing a “newly assertive” Marnie Madden). The first series had on average 2.2 million viewers on BBC Two this summer and filming for the second series began in London this week “for three months for transmission next year.”
You can find the press release at this link. Thanks to Emily for the heads up!
Did you watch and enjoy the first series? What do you think about the current trend to set television programmes in the 1950s? Let us know in the comments!