After Life (TV series)

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After Life
Title screen for the Netflix series, After Life.png
Created byRicky Gervais
Written byRicky Gervais
Directed byRicky Gervais
ComposerAndy Burrows
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of series2
No. of episodes12 (list of episodes)
Executive producers
  • Ricky Gervais
  • Duncan Hayes
ProducerCharlie Hanson
CinematographyMartin Hawkins
EditorJo Walker
Camera setupSingle-camera
Running time25–31 minutes
Production companyDerek Productions Limited
Original networkNetflix
Picture format4K (16:9 UHDTV in high dynamic range)
Audio formatDolby Digital 5.1
Original release8 March 2019 (2019-03-08) –
External links

After Life is a British black comedy-drama streaming television series created, written, produced and directed by Ricky Gervais, who is also the star. It premiered on 8 March 2019 on Netflix. The second series premiered on 24 April 2020. On 6 May 2020, Netflix and Gervais reached a new multi-project deal which included the renewal of After Life for a third series.[1][2]


After Life follows Tony, whose life is turned upside down after his wife dies from breast cancer. He contemplates suicide, but instead decides to live long enough to punish the world for his wife's death by saying and doing whatever he wants. Although he thinks of this as his "superpower", his plan is undermined when everyone around him tries to make him a better person.[3] It is set in the fictional town of Tambury, where Tony works as a journalist at a local free newspaper, the Tambury Gazette.

Cast and characters[edit]

  = Main cast
  = Recurring cast
  = Guest cast
Character Portrayed by Series
1 2 3
Tony Johnson Ricky Gervais Main
Matt Braden Tom Basden Main
Lenny Tony Way Main
Kath Diane Morgan Main
Sandy Mandeep Dhillon Main
Ray Johnson David Bradley Main
Lisa Johnson Kerry Godliman Main
Emma Ashley Jensen Main
Psychiatrist Paul Kaye Main
Anne Penelope Wilton Main
Pat Joe Wilkinson Main
Julian Kane Tim Plester Main
Daphne / “Roxy” Roisin Conaty Main
Brian Gittins David Earl Recurring Main
June Jo Hartley Recurring Main
James Ethan Lawrence Recurring Main
Brandy the Dog Anti Recurring
Valerie Michelle Greenidge Recurring
George Tommy Finnegan Recurring
Robbie Thomas Bastable Recurring
Jill Laura Patch Guest Recurring
Rebecca Tracy Ann Oberman Guest Recurring
Paul Peter Egan Recurring
Ken Otley Colin Hoult Recurring
Simon Bill Ward Recurring
  • Ricky Gervais as Tony Johnson, head of feature stories at the local newspaper, the Tambury Gazette. Following the death of his wife, he is depressed and suicidal
  • Tom Basden as Matt, Tony's brother-in-law and boss of the Tambury Gazette
  • Tony Way as Lenny, photographer at the Tambury Gazette
  • Diane Morgan as Kath, the newspaper's advertising employee
  • Mandeep Dhillon as Sandy, a newly-hired journalist
  • Ashley Jensen as Emma, a nurse working at the nursing home in which Tony's dad is a resident
  • David Bradley as Ray Johnson, Tony's dad, who has dementia
  • Kerry Godliman as Lisa Johnson, Tony's late wife
  • Roisin Conaty as Daphne, aka "Roxy", a sex worker
  • Penelope Wilton as Anne, an older lady and widow, who Tony meets at the graveyard
  • Paul Kaye as Tony and Matt's psychiatrist
  • Joe Wilkinson as Postman Pat
  • Michelle Greenidge as Valerie, the Tambury Gazette receptionist
  • Tommy Finnegan as George, son of Matt and Jill, Tony's nephew and godchild
  • Thomas Bastable as Robbie, a classmate of George's
  • David Earl as Brian Gittins, a hoarder, puppeteer and stand-up comedian, who above all, wants to appear in the local newspaper. Later he is hired to deliver the paper
  • Jo Hartley as June, Lenny's girlfriend
  • Ethan Lawrence as James, June's son who starts working at the Tambury Gazette as work experience
  • Tracy Ann Oberman as Rebecca, a woman with whom Tony goes on a date and then who later reappears at an amateur dramatics workshop
  • Laura Patch as Jill, Matt's wife
  • Anti as Brandy, Tony's and Lisa's dog, Tony's best friend and reason to keep living
  • Tim Plester as Julian Kane, a drug addict, who is hired by Matt to deliver the paper (series 1)
  • Bill Ward as Simon, Emma's new love interest who Tony dislikes (series 2)
  • Peter Egan as Paul, the semi-retired local newspaper owner (series 2)
  • Colin Hoult as Ken Otley, head of the local amateur dramatics company and a wannabe showbiz superstar (series 2)
  • Annette Crosbie as Rosemary, a 100-year-old woman (series 2)


SeriesEpisodesOriginally released
168 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
2624 April 2020 (2020-04-24)

Series 1 (2019)[edit]

No. in
TitleWritten and directed byOriginal release date
11Episode 1Ricky Gervais8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Tony tries to adapt to life after his wife dies. Tony's workplace, Tambury Gazette, a free newspaper company, hires Sandy.
22Episode 2Ricky Gervais8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Tony considers trying heroin feeling like he has nothing to lose. He babysits George and begins to somewhat get along with Sandy.
33Episode 3Ricky Gervais8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Tony hires "Roxy" to complete a task. His mood worsens after visiting a stand-up gig.
44Episode 4Ricky Gervais8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Tony is organised a blind date by Matt. He also makes a rare apology.
55Episode 5Ricky Gervais8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Tony eventually is persuaded by Brian to do a news story at his apartment. He threatens Robbie with a hammer.
66Episode 6Ricky Gervais8 March 2019 (2019-03-08)
Tony acknowledges those around him in an effort to not be depressed.

Series 2 (2020)[edit]

No. in
TitleWritten and directed byOriginal release date
71"Episode 1"Ricky Gervais24 April 2020 (2020-04-24)
Determined to be kind, but still struggling to be happy. Tony attends a Zen meditation with Matt, whose own marriage is on the rocks.
82"Episode 2"Ricky Gervais24 April 2020 (2020-04-24)
Lenny's girlfriend's son takes a position at the Gazette. Sandy contemplates writing a gossip column. Matt gets iffy advice from his therapist.
93"Episode 3"Ricky Gervais24 April 2020 (2020-04-24)
A turn of events hits Sandy hard. Roxy and Pat share a meal, and Tony tries to support Matt's desire to get back out there.
104"Episode 4"Ricky Gervais24 April 2020 (2020-04-24)
Tony interviews a local woman addicted to corrective surgery. Later he holds back the snark in hopes of cheering up Kath.
115"Episode 5"Ricky Gervais24 April 2020 (2020-04-24)
The curtains go up on the community theatre revue and things go about as well as can be expected. Tony receives devastating news.
126"Episode 6"Ricky Gervais24 April 2020 (2020-04-24)
Grieving over another loss, Tony asks his friends and co-workers for space, not sympathy. Later, he wrestles with what it means to move on.



On 9 May 2018, it was announced that Netflix had given the production a series order for a first season consisting of six episodes. The series was created and directed by Ricky Gervais, who is also executive producer alongside Charlie Hanson.[3][4][5][6] On 14 January 2019, it was announced that the series would premiere on 8 March 2019. It was further announced that Duncan Hayes would serve as an additional executive producer and that Hanson would actually serve as a producer.[7] On 3 April 2019, it was announced that the series was renewed for a second season.[8][9] On 6 May 2020, the program was renewed for a third season, the first time a fictional series created by Gervais had been extended beyond two seasons.[10][11]


Alongside the series order announcement, it was confirmed that Ricky Gervais would star in the series.[3] On 5 July 2018, it was announced that Penelope Wilton, David Bradley, Ashley Jensen, Tom Basden, Tony Way, David Earl, Joe Wilkinson, Kerry Godliman, Mandeep Dhillon, Jo Hartley, Roisin Conaty, and Diane Morgan had joined the cast.[12]


Principal photography for the first series reportedly began by July 2018 in London.[12]

The series was filmed in Hampstead, Hemel Hempstead, Beaconsfield, and Camber Sands in East Sussex.[13]

Season 3 is due to begin production in April 2021. [14]


Series 1[edit]

On 22 February 2019, the official trailer for the series was released.[15] On 8 March 2019, Netflix released all six episodes of the series.

Series 2[edit]

On 10 April 2020, the official trailer for the series was released. On 24 April, Netflix released all six episodes of the series.


The first series received positive reviews upon its release. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has an overall approval rating of 73% with an average score of 6.56/10 based on 45 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "After Life's first season teeters tonally between dark comedy and affecting drama, but Ricky Gervais' poignant performance illuminates new sides of the actor's talent".[16] On Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, the series has a score of 58 based on 19 reviews.[17]

Merrill Barr from Forbes said of the series, "Overall, After Life is one hundred percent a series to check out. It's the Ricky Gervais project people have been begging for, for a long time."[18] Josh Modell of AV Club states that After Life is a "dreary, sarcastic self-pity party that also manages—in a magic trick perhaps only Gervais is capable of pulling off—to constantly point out its protagonist's intellectual superiority" and that "as a meaningful meditation on grief, is dead on arrival".[19]

The second series received positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, it has a certified fresh approval rating of 76% with an average score of 6.65/10, based on 29 reviews. The site's critical consensus reads: "Though After Life's second season struggles to affirm its existence, it's a solid entry for anyone aching for a little more contemplative gallows humor."[20] The BBC reported mixed responses from critics.[21] Ed Cumming from The Independent wrote that "all I see is a series constantly looking for easy solutions" and that "the script has a habit of using swearing where a joke ought to be".[22] In a more positive assessment, the Daily Express deemed that "Ricky Gervais is exceptional in unbeatable comedy".[23]


  1. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (6 May 2020). "Ricky Gervais Inks Netflix Overall Deal; 'After Life' Renewed for Season 3 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 5 February 2021.
  2. ^ ""After Life Netflix Season 3 latest updates and are there any shows like after life?". 12 July 2020.
  3. ^ a b c Petski, Denise (9 May 2018). "Ricky Gervais Comedy 'After Life' Gets Series Order at Netflix". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  4. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (9 May 2018). "Ricky Gervais to Create, Star in Netflix Scripted Comedy Series 'After Life'". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  5. ^ Ausiello, Michael (9 May 2018). "Ricky Gervais Comedy After Life Snags 6-Episode Series Order at Netflix". TVLine. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  6. ^ Baysinger, Tim (9 May 2018). "Netflix Orders Ricky Gervais Sitcom 'After Life'". The Wrap. Retrieved 9 May 2018.
  7. ^ Petski, Denise (14 January 2019). "Ricky Gervais' Netflix Series 'After Life' Sets March Premiere Date". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 14 January 2019.
  8. ^ Gervais, Ricky (20 March 2019). "Once again, I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your amazing tweets about #AfterLife. I've never had a reaction like it. I have a spring in my step as I skip towards writing series". @rickygervais. Retrieved 20 March 2019.[non-primary source needed]
  9. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (3 April 2019). "'After Life,' Starring Ricky Gervais, Renewed for Season 2 at Netflix". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  10. ^ White, Peter (6 May 2020). "Ricky Gervais Strikes Overall Deal With Netflix As 'After Life' Comes Back For Season 3". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  11. ^ Goldberg, Lesley (6 May 2020). "Ricky Gervais Inks Netflix Overall Deal; 'After Life' Renewed for Season 3 (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
  12. ^ a b Wiseman, Andreas (5 July 2018). "'Downton Abbey' & 'Game Of Thrones' Stars Join Ricky Gervais in His New Netflix Comedy 'After Life', Shoot Under Way". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  13. ^ Moon, Ra. "Where is After Life filmed? Tambury Filming Location of Ricky Gervais Netflix series". Atlas of Wonders. Retrieved 15 March 2019.
  14. ^ "'After Life' Season 3: Netflix Release Date & What to Expect". What's on Netflix. 20 August 2020.
  15. ^ Ellwood-Hughes, Pip (26 February 2019). "After Life: trailer arrives for Ricky Gervais' Netflix series". Entertainment Focus. Retrieved 28 February 2019.
  16. ^ "After Life: Season 1". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  17. ^ "After Life Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  18. ^ Barr, Merrill. "'After Life' Review: A Show About Depression That Is Surprisingly Entertaining". Forbes. Retrieved 22 March 2019.
  19. ^ Modell, Josh. "Ricky Gervais' dour new Netflix series belongs on the Hallmark Channel". TV Club. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  20. ^ "After Life: Season 2". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 27 April 2020.
  21. ^ "After Life returns: But is it heavenly or hellish?". BBC News. 24 April 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  22. ^ "After Life season 2 review: Ricky Gervais can do so much better". The Independent. 24 April 2020. Retrieved 24 April 2020.
  23. ^ Crumlish, Callum (24 April 2020). "After Life season 2 review: Ricky Gervais is exceptional in unbeatable dark comedy". Retrieved 24 April 2020.

External links[edit]