List of The Office (UK TV series) episodes

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A man in a black suit with a Comedy Central microphone held in front of him.
A blue-eyed, ginger-bearded man in a blue shirt and glasses looking into the camera before a black background.
The Office was co-written and co-created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Gervais (left) also starred as main character David Brent.

The Office is a British sitcom that was originally broadcast by the BBC in the United Kingdom from 2001 to 2003. The television programme was created and written by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant; the former also played the main character, manager David Brent. The series is set in the Slough office of a fictional paper merchant, Wernham Hogg, and is presented in a mockumentary format depicting the everyday lives of its employees.[1]

Brent tries to be a friend and an entertainer as well as a boss, and is often annoying as a result. His sycophantic assistant Gareth Keenan (Mackenzie Crook) annoys and is often pranked by sales representative Tim Canterbury (Martin Freeman), whose relationship with receptionist Dawn Tinsley (Lucy Davis) is a major story arc, despite her engagement to warehouse worker Lee (Joel Beckett). Minor characters include droning and crass office worker Keith Bishop (Ewen MacIntosh), Brent's brash and sexist friend Chris Finch (Ralph Ineson) and Brent's bosses Jennifer Taylor-Clarke (Stirling Gallacher) and later Neil Godwin (Patrick Baladi).[2]

The programme ran for two series of six half-hour episodes each: the first aired from July to August 2001,[3] and the second from September to November 2002.[4] A two-part Christmas special was also made and aired on 26 and 27 December 2003.[5] There are 14 episodes in total. Although series 1 and 2 were originally broadcast on BBC Two, the Christmas episodes were moved to BBC One to increase viewership following the previous series' popularity.[6] Both series, as well as the Christmas specials, have been released on DVD in Regions 1, 2 and 4. The programme has won numerous awards, including two British Comedy Awards[7][8] and a Golden Globe.[9] The Office has also been remade in several different countries, with its American adaptation being the most popular and longest-running.

Series overview[edit]

Series Episodes Originally aired
Series premiere Series finale
1 6 9 July 2001 (2001-07-09) 20 August 2001 (2001-08-20)
2 6 30 September 2002 (2002-09-30) 4 November 2002 (2002-11-04)
Christmas specials 26 December 2003 (2003-12-26) & 27 December 2003 (2003-12-27)
Comic Relief short 15 March 2013 (2013-03-15)

Episodes[edit]

Series 1 (2001)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 Episode One
"Downsize"[12]
9 July 2001 (2001-07-09)
A documentary crew films the activities of the Slough branch of paper merchant Wernham Hogg. The regional manager is David Brent, a middle-aged man who mistakenly thinks he is as likeable as he is entertaining. Among his employees are Dawn Tinsley, his receptionist; Tim Canterbury, a sales representative; and Gareth Keenan, his sycophantic assistant. David's boss Jennifer Taylor-Clarke tells him that Wernham Hogg cannot run both a Slough and Swindon branch, and that the most efficient will incorporate the other. David panics at the prospect of his branch being closed and his employees made redundant, but promises to keep it secret; rumours spread around the office. David hires a new forklift driver and shows new temp Ricky Howard around the office. Tim annoys Gareth by putting his stapler inside a jelly, and later dropping it out of a window. After being confronted about redundancies, David holds a meeting and explains the situation; employees are immediately worried for their jobs. David pretends Dawn is being fired for stealing Post-it notes, but his joke backfires when she starts crying and he awkwardly comes clean.[10][11]
2 Episode Two
"Work Experience"[12]
16 July 2001 (2001-07-16)
David introduces a new employee, Donna—who is staying with him as a favour to her parents—and grows uncomfortable with the attention she receives from male employees. Brent discovers a pornographic image with his face superimposed onto the body of a naked woman and finds that everybody in the office has seen it. He covers his embarrassment by pretending to be angry because the image "offends women", and gives Gareth the task of finding the culprit; Tim mocks Gareth as he takes it far too seriously. Jennifer asks David if he has made any changes. He says that he has already dismissed a warehouse employee, but after being undermined by sexist warehouse workers, Jennifer discovers that he was lying. Gareth tells David that Tim created the image, and David reprimands him in an effort to prove himself to Jennifer. Tim reveals that it was in fact David's friend Chris Finch who created it, and Brent's attitude changes entirely; he calls it "bloody hilarious". Jennifer suggests that David apologise to Tim and fire Finch instead, and David dials a telephone and stages a firing. Jennifer presses the speakerphone button, revealing that he called the speaking clock instead.[13][14]
3 Episode Three
"The Quiz"[12]
23 July 2001 (2001-07-23)
It's Tim's 30th birthday and the staff pub quiz night, which David and Chris Finch have won six years in a row. However, this year, Brent and Finch have some legitimate competition in former university student Ricky, who reveals he once appeared on Blockbusters. During the quiz, Brent and Finch tie with Tim and Ricky and quizmaster Gareth announces a sudden death scenario: whoever answers correctly first wins. The question "Which Shakespeare play features a character called Caliban?" is correctly answered by Ricky first (The Tempest). Despite Finch's protests, Gareth declares Tim and Ricky the winners. Brent and Finch are not happy and challenge Ricky to a winner-takes-all challenge: if Finch can throw Tim's shoe over the building, he and David will be the winners.[15][16]
4 Episode Four
"Training"[12]
30 July 2001 (2001-07-30)
It is staff training day at Wernham Hogg, and an outside facilitator, Rowan, has come to educate the Slough branch about customer care. David is determined to undermine him at every opportunity by offering unhelpful suggestions and needless interruptions. Meanwhile, Dawn and her fiancé Lee are having trouble with their relationship. During the day-long training session, frustration builds amongst the staff, and David eventually breaks into song, singing self-penned titles such as "Spaceman" , "Freelove Freeway" and " The Serpent Who Guards The Gates of Hell" comforting Dawn with "Goodnight My Sweet Princess", a composition about Princess Diana. Dawn and Lee reconcile outside. Rowan eventually loses patience with Brent and ends the session. Tim, equally frustrated with the situation and the pointlessness of his job, quits in front of the entire staff. Before he goes, he publicly asks Dawn to accompany him for a drink, now that she is single. She quietly informs him that she has made up with Lee, and Tim attempts to play it off as a friendly offer.[17][18]
5 Episode Five
"New Girl"[12]
13 August 2001 (2001-08-13)
David decides to hire a secretary, despite redundancies of current Wernham Hogg employees threatening morale. He hires an attractive woman (not even considering a male applicant), and ends up headbutting her while showing off his football skills. Meanwhile, Gareth tries to flirt with Donna by giving her health and safety training. Tim has resolved to quit his job, determined to go back to university. To change his mind, Brent convinces Tim to go out with him, Gareth, and Finch to the Chasers nightclub, where "Wonderbras get in free". But with Finch at his lecherous worst and David far from happy with his behaviour, the evening does not go well.[19][20]
6 Episode Six
"Judgement"[12]
20 August 2001 (2001-08-20)
David dismisses a warehouse worker and is accused of positive discrimination because he fired an able bodied worker instead of a "midget". As he takes his new secretary around the office, he dodges questions about the branch's future and attempts to play them off with jokes. He ridicules Tim's desire to leave and pursue his education. Jennifer informs David of an opening in her position, and that the board has voted for him, rather than Neil, to get it. If he accepts, his branch will be shut down and absorbed by Swindon. Brent chooses immediately to take it, and breaks the news to his staff. Everybody seems prepared for redundancy as dislike of David reaches an all-time high. At that night's party, David announces that he rejected the corporate position and that jobs at the Slough branch are safe. Malcolm confronts David with rumours that he failed the position's mandatory medical examination; Brent awkwardly attempts to convince him that he deliberately raised his blood pressure in order to fail the test. Back at the party, Tim accepts Brent's offer of a promotion if he stays. Dawn seems disappointed and disillusioned with Tim giving up his dreams.[21][22]

Series 2 (2002)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
7 Episode One
"Merger"[25]
30 September 2002 (2002-09-30)
The Slough branch has remained open, and the transferred Swindon employees are due in. Brent meets his new boss, Neil, and hates him instantly. David performs a stand-up routine to impress the new employees, which fails miserably. Worse for Brent, Neil is funny and likeable, and makes a joke at David's expense. Meanwhile, Tim, who has been persuaded to stay, upsets Dawn by uncharacteristically asking her to return to the reception desk. Gareth does not like Tim's authority over him. Meanwhile at the meet-and-greet for Swindon employees, David tells a sexually explicit racial joke that proves unpopular with the women of Swindon, despite David's protests that it did not offend Oliver, who is black. Jennifer, who has been promoted above Neil, reprimands David for offending new employees on their first day. Lee becomes upset with Tim for what he sees as flirting with Dawn, and pushes him against a wall.[23][24]
8 Episode Two
"Appraisals"[25]
7 October 2002 (2002-10-07)
It is the day of the staff appraisals, in which we learn that Dawn wants to be a children's illustrator and Keith has completely lost all motivation for his job. The staff from Swindon indicate that they do not like it in Slough, and that they preferred Neil as a manager. David immediately challenges them to accompany him for a lunchtime drink to prove that he is more fun. A handful of employees agree to join David and are entertained by talk about meat pies and Courage Ales, Slough's local brewery. Back at Wernham Hogg, Neil effortlessly keeps the staff entertained. David admonishes him for having fun when he should be working, and Neil tells Brent that he cannot talk to him that way. Lee apologises to Tim, who is getting along well with Rachel from Swindon; she asks him out, much to Dawn's discomfort.[26][27]
9 Episode Three
"Party"[30]
14 October 2002 (2002-10-14)
It is Trudy's birthday, but Brent's social ineptitude manages to ruin the event. Tim and Gareth compete over Rachel. David is approached to do some outside management training by the consultancy firm Cooper & Webb, and is asked if he would like to work as a motivational speaker for a paying audience. He happily accepts the lucrative offer of work and delights in informing everybody who will listen how much it pays. He is not happy when he learns that Neil was also approached by Cooper & Webb's representatives to do a stint of motivational speaking, but turned the offer down. Dawn and Tim glue down Gareth's phone, but Dawn feels left out when he celebrates with Rachel instead. David also learns that Neil and Chris Finch are good friends, which upsets him.[28][29]
10 Episode Four
"Motivation"[30]
21 October 2002 (2002-10-21)
Tim has started seeing Rachel, which upsets Dawn and shocks Gareth, who was trying to flirt with Rachel. Gareth tries to impress the visiting office computer geek, and they discuss Bruce Lee and go-karting. It is the day of Brent's management presentation. David is told off by Neil for failing to pay an employee, and Dawn agrees to help him with the presentation when he offers her £100; his rambling monologue and use of both a book of Native American wisdom and a boombox playing "The Best" by Tina Turner make it very unorthodox, and he does not get the audience reaction he had hoped for.[31][32]
11 Episode Five
"Charity"[35]
28 October 2002 (2002-10-28)
It's Red Nose Day at Wernham Hogg, which Brent treats like a national holiday. Gareth is hopping everywhere, Dawn is selling kisses, Keith is dressed as Ali G, Tim is hiding Gareth's possessions for charity and Neil is disco-dancing with Rachel—Brent performs a horrendous dance when trying to compete with them. David eagerly awaits a photo opportunity from the local paper, but the pictures cannot be used due to the lack of light. Neil and Jennifer "offer" David, who is dressed in a Bernie Clifton ostrich costume, a redundancy package and inform him that he will soon be fired. Tim, along with Gareth's friend "Jimmy the Perv", pays for a kiss from Dawn.[33][34]
12 Episode Six
"Interview"[35]
4 November 2002 (2002-11-04)
Although slightly annoyed that his redundancy does not seem to bother his staff, David's spirits remain high as he plans his future while also being interviewed for an article in Inside Paper. Tim takes drastic action when he learns that Dawn has resigned in order to move to the USA with her boyfriend Lee: he breaks up with Rachel, removes his wireless microphone and tells her his true feelings; she hugs him, but declines to break up with Lee. When David is told that his services as a motivational speaker are also no longer required in the presence of the interviewer, he begs Neil to reconsider the dismissal.[36][37]

Christmas specials (2003)[edit]

After the conclusion of the second series, creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant stated that no more series would be filmed.[38] However, they did write and film two additional episodes, 45 and 50 minutes in duration, which first aired in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 26 December (Boxing Day) and 27 December 2003.[5]

Title Original air date
Episode One[41]
Part 1[39]
26 December 2003 (2003-12-26)
Another camera crew returns to catch up on the stars of the previous two series, who have been made famous by the documentary. David Brent is selling cleaning products and unsuccessfully trying to launch a music career by making celebrity appearances in nightclubs, and Tim and Gareth are still working together at Wernham Hogg, where Gareth has been made general manager and Tim has a new annoying pregnant desk-mate. Brent still visits the office, which Gareth and Neil dislike. Dawn and Lee have moved to Florida, but Lee does not seem to respect her ambitions or make her happy; the crew offers to fly them back to England to attend the office's Christmas party.[39][40]
Episode Two[41]
Part 2[42]
27 December 2003 (2003-12-27)
David looks for a woman to take to the party on the Internet, but none of his three dates go well: he ruins one meeting with talk of breasts; one date, not knowing who he is, mocks the manager from The Office over the phone; and one he finds unattractive and boring. Dawn arrives and reunites with Tim to wind up Gareth, but Lee ruins their fun when he tells Gareth about their innuendos. David is banned from the office after he brings his dog, and non-employees are not allowed to attend their Christmas lunch. A fourth date, whom Brent likes, arrives at the party. Dawn leaves with Lee after saying goodbye to Tim. David finally stands up to Chris Finch, and Dawn returns and kisses Tim; she decided to leave Lee after Tim showed his sensitivity and an interest in her illustrating dreams by buying her an art set. Everybody gathers for a group photo, and Brent finally makes them laugh with his Frank Spencer impression.[42][43]

The Office Revisited (2013)[edit]

As part of Red Nose Day 2013 and to celebrate ten years since the end of The Office, a one-off special catches up with David Brent, the former manager of the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg Paper Merchants.[44]

Title Original air date
Episode One
The Office Revisited
15 March 2013 (2013-03-15)
David Brent starts a new career as a talent manager in the music industry, trying to help urban solo artist Dom Johnson (Doc Brown) secure his big break.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "About 'The Office'". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  2. ^ "The Office Characters". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  3. ^ "Series 1 (2001)". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "Series 2 (2002)". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  5. ^ a b "Christmas Specials (2003)". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  6. ^ "BBC1 gets The Office for Christmas". Broadcastnow. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  7. ^ "Past Winners 2001". British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  8. ^ "Past Winners 2002". British Comedy Awards. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  9. ^ "The 61st Annual Golden Globe Awards (2004)". Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  10. ^ "Series One: Episode One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  11. ^ "Episode 1.1 – Downsize". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c d e f "The Office Episode Guides: Series One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  13. ^ "Series One: Episode Two". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  14. ^ "Episode 1.2 – Work Experience". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  15. ^ "Series One: Episode Three". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  16. ^ "Episode 1.3 – The Quiz". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  17. ^ "Series One: Episode Four". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  18. ^ "Episode 1.4 – Training". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  19. ^ "Series One: Episode Five". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  20. ^ "Episode 1.5 – New Girl". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  21. ^ "Series One: Episode Six". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  22. ^ "Episode 1.6 – Judgement". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  23. ^ "Series Two: Episode One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  24. ^ "Episode 2.1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  25. ^ a b VanDerWerff, Todd (20 July 2011). %7Ctitle'Merger'/'Appraisals' "'Merger'/'Appraisals'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  26. ^ "Series Two: Episode Two". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  27. ^ "Episode 2.2". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  28. ^ "Series Two: Episode Three". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  29. ^ "Episode 2.3". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  30. ^ a b VanDerWerff, Todd (27 July 2011). "'Party'/'Motivation'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  31. ^ "Series Two: Episode Four". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  32. ^ "Episode 2.4". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  33. ^ "Series Two: Episode Five". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  34. ^ "Episode 2.5". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  35. ^ a b WanDerWerff, Todd (10 August 2011). "'Charity'/'Interview'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 14 November 2012. 
  36. ^ "Series Two: Episode Six". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  37. ^ "Episode 2.6". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  38. ^ "The Office back for Christmas". BBC News. 27 May 2003. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  39. ^ a b "Christmas Specials – Part 1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  40. ^ "Christmas Specials: Episode One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  41. ^ a b "The Office Episode Guides: Christmas Specials". BBC. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  42. ^ a b "Christmas Specials – Part 2". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012. 
  43. ^ "Christmas Specials: Episode Two". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012. 
  44. ^ "Ricky Gervais revives The Office's David Brent for Comic Relief special… and this time he thinks he’s Simon Cowell". Daily Mail. 28 February 2013. Retrieved 4 July 2013. 

External links[edit]