The Thick Of It. Image shows from L to R: Oliver Reeder (Chris Addison), Terri Coverley (Joanna Scanlan), Nicola Murray (Rebecca Front), Glenn Cullen (James Smith), Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi). Copyright: BBC.

The Thick Of It

BBC Two and BBC Four sitcom about political spin. 23 episodes (4 series), 2005 - 2012. Stars Peter Capaldi, Chris Addison, James Smith, Joanna Scanlan and others.

Series 2, Episode 2

There's a reshuffle in the offing and the PM's new 'blue skies' advisor is making trouble.

Further details

The pressure is on at the Department of Social Affairs: there's a reshuffle and outside advisor, Julius Nicholson is investigating the structure of all Government departments. Will the department survive? Will Hugh survive? And could promotion be in the air?

With the reshuffle pending, Hugh wants a new policy announcement which will impress the Prime Minister, only to discover that it's common knowledge that the PM's wife doesn't like him. It's news to Hugh, painful news. He tries to take it manfully, but doesn't.

Meanwhile, as the paranoia and game-playing begins, Nicholson drops into Malcolm's office, sniffing around the department. Nicholson wants access to various papers, people and meetings. Malcolm is as obstructive as he can be, right up to the point of insubordination.

They both hint at the power that flows to them from the PM, and the closeness of their ties. A childish power-play ensues - Nicholson drops in that he plays tennis with the PM and Malcolm says he has every Sunday breakfast with the PM and his family.

Hugh's possible appearance on Question Time has fallen through and he's freaking out about his profile. He decides his final chance to put in a good show before the reshuffle is to host a successful party for the press. Only for Nicholson to rain on his parade: the Treasury has also arranged a last minute bash that night.

Malcolm is sick of Nicholson hanging around. He can't wait any longer - later that night he decides to f**k him up. With the help of Hugh, Ollie and Glenn he plots and conspires to destabilise Nicholson. How? The oldest trick in the book, Chinese whispers.

Broadcast details

Date
Thursday 27th October 2005
Time
10:30pm
Channel
BBC Four
Length
30 minutes

Cast & crew

Regular cast
Peter Capaldi Malcolm Tucker
Chris Addison Oliver Reeder
James Smith Glenn Cullen
Joanna Scanlan Terri Coverley
Chris Langham Hugh Abbot
Lucinda Raikes Angela Heaney
Polly Kemp Robyn Murdoch
Alex Macqueen Julius Nicholson
Guest cast
Graeme Mearns Frankie
James Doherty Steve
Richard Betts Online Telegraph
Writing team
Jesse Armstrong Writer
Armando Iannucci Writer
Simon Blackwell Writer
Tony Roche Writer
Ian Martin Writer (Additional Material)
Production team
Armando Iannucci Director
Adam Tandy Producer
Jon Plowman Executive Producer
Paywall

Supporters and subscribers get more

Additional content and tools are available across the site for Supporters and BCG Pro subscribers. On this page you can:

  • BCG Pro business users can see additional crew credits  
    If you join BCG Pro business, you can see script development, production designer & editor credits for this episode.

Donate (for fans) BCG Pro

Already a donor or Pro user?