Series 3, Episode 1
- Monday 18th September 2017
- BBC Two
- 30 minutes
Cast & crew
|Matt Taverner (Comedy Drama Exec)
|Director of Photography
|1st Assistant Director
Siobhan Sharpe, BBC's Head of Brand, has come in to present a 'Hello Present' from PR Giant FUN Media. Despite Siobhan's enthusiasm, they struggle to grasp the novelty of 'BBC ME'.
Featuring: Hugh Bonneville (Ian Fletcher), Jessica Hynes (Siobhan Sharpe), Jason Watkins (Simon Harwood), Monica Dolan (Tracey Pritchard), Sarah Parish (Anna Rampton), David Westhead (Neil Reid), Max Olesker (Ben Rosenstern) & Ivan Gonzalez (Jerry Guildencrantz).
W1A (BBC2, Monday), the witty mockumentary about the BBC, returned for another series and felt closer and closer to the real thing. I can't make up mind whether this is good or bad. By the end of the season let's have BBC boss Tony Hall doing a cameo in which he shuts down the production.
BBCMe, the Corporation's fictional version of YouTube, sounded ludicrous enough to actually happen. But you've got to laugh, because these types of meetings happen everywhere, only the jokes aren't as good. I loved the "more of less" initiative but the best line found an open goal at Match Of The Day.
When it was suggested that trans football pundit Ryan Chelford was too dull for the show, one PR queried: "Too dull for Match Of The Day?"David Stephenson, The Daily Express, 24th September 2017
It was a genuine delight to hear, once more, the strains of the Animal Magic theme as W1A returned for a third series. One of the joys of watch-again is that, in addition to the more garish tropes to which we're now used - the folding bikes, Monica Dolan's perpetual Welsh whining, Jessica Hynes's PR gorgon - one can find, in almost every 30 seconds, unlooked-for subtleties. David Westhead as Neil Reid, the one-man Greek chorus whose muttered "bollocks" says, in sadly splendid isolation, what we're all thinking, and the more hidden verbal tics from deadpan narrator David Tennant: "the department for culture, media and also for some reason sport"... "assistant of some sort Will Humphries".
Incidentally, did you notice Dolan in Strike, playing the wrongly jailed wife? True skills, to turn from blistering darkness to high comedy over two nights. W1A continues to draw flak, roundly undeserved: too BBC-smug, too London, too hugging of itself, too versed in PR knowingness, too not-Brexit. I revere it as a brave commission, and a gleeful and celebratory use of most of the best comedy actors and improvisers of the last decade, surely a golden age, and long may it continue: at least until a massive backdrop of caustic creator John Morton appears on one of the walls, at which point the BBC can officially be proved to have eaten itself.Euan Ferguson, The Guardian, 24th September 2017
The returning mockumentary send-up of the BBC is very funny at times, if a bit smug. Perhaps it should sharpen its daggers and look at Auntie's pay gap...Sam Wollaston, The Guardian, 19th September 2017
I'm just a little upset that this is the final series as, from what I've seen, W1A is arguably the BBC funniest comedy that's currently on screen and I'm just wondering if the reason its leaving the screens is because of Morton's ability to spoof the company that's actually in charge of recommissioning his brilliant sitcom.Matt, The Custard TV, 19th September 2017
Brilliant. Exactly. The merciless spoof of the Beeb by the Beeb is back for a new series. It's the year of Charter renewal and the perfect excuse for a round of meetings in which the art of saying nothing at length is spun out with semantic ingenuity by the scriptwriters. Meanwhile, Siobhan's Perfect Curve group has been bought out by Dutch group Fun Media. Not entirely sure about the sub-plot about a footballing cross-dresser, however.David Stubbs, The Guardian, 18th September 2017
There are moments in W1A that are almost too agonising to watch. The circuitous meetings of the BBC's directionless yet ironically named Way Ahead group so accurately replicate the prevarications of real corporate life that you can feel the knuckle-gnawing frustration from your own sofa.Steve Bennett, Chortle, 18th September 2017
"How about a BBC News forecast app? Like the weather forecast but with emojis. Each day, it'll be, like, Italy: smiley face. Syria: droopy mouth. Russia: angry face." Unfold your Brompton bike because W1A (BBC Two) was back for a third series of self-reflexive BBC satire and management gobbledegook.Michael Hogan, The Telegraph, 18th September 2017