BBC America's 1950s-era drama series "The Hour" returns at 9 p.m. Wednesday with news anchor Hector (Dominic West, "The Wire") as irresponsible as ever, arriving at the studio from a club just seconds before he's to go on the air.

This doesn't sit well with Bel (Romola Garai), although she's used to it, but new Head of News Randall Brown (Peter Capaldi, "In the Loop") won't tolerate Hector's behavior.

Randall turns out to be a character full of surprises. At first, he has Bel on her heels, but over the course of the one-hour season premiere, he proves to be an intriguing addition.

'The Hour'
» When: 9 p.m. Wednesday
» Channel: BBC America
» Info:

As for crusading journalist Freddie Lyon (Ben Whishaw, "Skyfall"), the third leg of the Bel-Hector love triangle, he's been fired and gone traveling. But worry not: He's back to London by the episode's end after a trip to America.

"Being in a country where everybody thinks they can be a somebody, it's infectious," Freddie says, taunting Hector.

The spy plot from season one is gone, replaced by new stories as the show moves into 1957, including a competitor for "The Hour" on a rival British TV network and a government-corruption storyline.