29/09/2012 23:17 BST | Updated 29/11/2012 10:12 GMT

TV REVIEW: The Thick Of It - Malcolm Tucker Eyes A Revolution

Anyone who has been missing Malcolm Tucker's mischief-making from much of this series will be delighted by the events of this week's fourth episode - which saw Mr Tucker beginning the first delicate stages of his all-out coup.

Malcolm, beyond indignation at the lack of Machiavellian skills revealed by his boss and Opposition leader, Nicola Murray, set about getting rid of her, and installing his darling Dan instead.

the thick of it

Malcolm eyes a new, Nicola-free order

What followed was a chess game not entirely Karpov-Kasparov in its icey-stared precision. Nicola, stuck on a train with JD - "recently divorced" - had to bundle together a promise of Shadow Chancellor to bumbling Ben Swain - not perhaps the greatest of candidates ("he goes into debt every time he goes past a sweet shop").

After a few more, dramatically-rushed, barely-comprehensible manoeuvres on the part of Malcolm and his minions, it was bye-bye Nicola, hello new, new Labour.

the thick of it

Nicola realised her number was up at the helm of the party

This episode, which included the first time we've seen two figures from the opposing parties (if you don't count the Coalition) in the same scene - only Ollie and Glenn, but still - felt very much a bridging device, heralding the final three episodes to come, and the revolution evident in Malcolm's eyes, and his singular oratory...

"This is the end of a chapter of a very thin book that nobody enjoyed reading. We need to get a draught in here to blow away the stench of f***ing failure.

"You hear that sound? Underneath the sound of the champagne popping is another sound, of the Government's arses yawning open, because we have got ourselves a superb leader-in-waiting who's going to stick the boot into those coked-up cousin-f***ing chinless aliens."

So there you have it.

The Thick Of It Returns