Twenty Twelve: Series Two Episode 5 Review – Catastrophisation

After a brief hiatus, Twenty Twelve is back on our screens with more calamities and buzz words from the hapless team.

© BBC/Colin Hutton

When it disappeared after episode four I was a little confused, wondering if it would return but thankfully that question was answered by this week’s hilarious episode. Previously being a simply amusing show, they really ramped up the comedy in episode five and I found myself genuinely laughing out loud rather than the gentle chuckling that the show usually induced.

With the Olympics a mere 32 days to go and the fictional Olympic Deliverance Committee struggling to even decide whether or not they want coffee – Ian (Hugh Bonneville) is understandably under a great deal of pressure. His breakfast meeting seemed to be getting nowhere, with his questions met by agreement rather than tangible solutions. Coupled with the usual stresses, Ian’s divorce settlement is finally coming through but he seems to take it in his usual cheery glass half full manner. Even when thinking he was going on a date with Fi (Morven Christie), only to find that she wanted to ask if she should apply for another job, seemed to do little to dampen his spirits.

The permanently baffled Siobhan Sharpe (Jessica Hynes) and her team at Perfect Curve are tasked with overhauling the branding for the travel advice pack for the Olympics. Considering that her views are that some things are not meant to be ‘really’ paid attention to… like aeroplane safety demonstrations (???), she basically asks the team to come up with a cool name and make it look good, which doesn’t really solve the problem. After creating the ‘Way To Go’ slogan and showcasing it to the ODC, there seemed to be more confusion rather than less.

Kay’s (Amelia Bullmore) experiences of attempting to secure a tenant for the Olympic stadium were truly highlights of the show as, no matter what obstacles were in her path…she blatantly ignored them and powered through anyway. Even when the club director of a team said that they were left with empty seats in a 5300 seat stadium every week, Kay still insisted that they needed a 60000 seat stadium. Another potential lead told her randomly “You’re still an attractive woman Kay, don’t throw it away”.

Finally, the main gem of the show was Ian chairing the final meeting of the 2012 security committee catastrophisation unit. David Tennant’s velvet smooth voiceover explained that some of the details would need to be bleeped out for security reasons, however the bleeps that were inserted were frankly pointless as they didn’t really disguise anything, but for comedy purposes, that was entirely the point. Even words like ‘park’ were obliterated. Assisted by Rachel and Rob, the team were assured that the issue regarding people converting starting pistols to add live rounds had been dealt with – ineffectively of course. There was a great amount of friction between Rachel and Rob with the pair undermining each other at every opportunity and a visit to the Olympic stadium with the US Security Forward team didn’t go exactly to plan either. During a demonstration of the altered starting pistols and assurances of safety, Rachel accidentally managed to shoot Ian in the foot, ( and metaphorically shooting the team in the foot by making them look incompetent in front of the US Security Forward team.)

All in the all the episode was a masterclass in misfortune; in the fictional world you wouldn’t trust this team to plan a birthday party, let alone a major event such as the Olympics and that is the true comedy of the show. The parts are played with aplomb and a special mention must be made to the wonderful Jessica Hynes for pulling off the role of the buzzword spouting, calamitously confused Siobhan Sharpe with alacrity.

Great episode and from what I can see, next week looks to be host to a welcome return for the marvellous Olivia Coleman as Sally. Highly recommend this episode.