Hector, Bel and Freddie.

(Now with Part Two and new pics – scroll down – ahead of episode two tonight…Wed Nov 21.)

THE welcome clatter of typewriters is back in town tonight with the return of The Hour.

Set in 1957, the second BBC2 series is a step up from the acclaimed first season with the confidence to be even bigger and bolder in its storytelling and settings.

Presenter Hector Madden (Dominic West) is dining out – and more – on his national celebrity while producer Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) does all the work back at the BBC.

The deliciously dry Lix (Anna Chancellor) remains on the foreign beat and knows a lot more than she cares to tell, still clutching a glass of Scotch at all times of the day.

And just what is her link to the intriguing and ever so slightly OCD new Head of News Randall Brown, played by Peter Capaldi?

There’s a dramatic re-appearance for Freddie, played by new Bond star Ben Whishaw, who was fired in the first series.

And an unexpected new direction has been cooked up for Hector’s frustrated wife Marnie (Oona Chaplin).

Bel Rowley (Romola Garai), Hector Madden (Dominic West) and Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw)

“THE newsreels are dead. We’ve bored the public for too long.”

So begins The Hour, a fascinating new BBC2 drama series set in the changing media and political world of the 1950s.

Episode one finds the BBC News at London’s Alexandra Palace still fixated with reporting on the daily lives of society darlings.

Frustrated TV news reporter Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw), working alongside Bel Rowley (Romola Garai) knows there are far more important stories to tell.

Both seize their chance with a move to Lime Grove studios in west London, heralding the dawn on a modern and questioning topical news programme called The Hour.