The Peter Principle (TV series)

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The Peter Principle
Also known as 'The Boss (United States)
Genre Situation comedy
Written by
Directed by
  • Terry Kinane (pilot)
  • Nick Wood (series 1-2)
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of series 2
No. of episodes 13
Executive producer(s) Denise O'Donoghue
Producer(s) Dan Patterson
Running time 30 minutes
Production company(s) Hat Trick Productions
Original network BBC One
Original release 4 September 1995 (1995-09-04) – 6 March 2000 (2000-03-06)

The Peter Principle (broadcast as The Boss in the United States) is a British television sitcom. It was produced by Hat Trick Productions, and first broadcast by the BBC between 1995 and 2000 and by PBS in the United States. The series is set in the Aldbridge branch of the fictional County and Provincial Bank, featuring Jim Broadbent as the title character, its inept manager, and Claire Skinner, Daniel Flynn, Stephen Moore and David Schneider as staff. The program takes its name from the Peter Principle, a concept in management theory that states that workers are promoted to their level of incompetence.


  • Peter Duffley (Peter Duff in the pilot), Branch Manager (portrayed by Jim Broadbent) – Lazy and inept, Peter doesn't seem to take his job too seriously but manages to keep his position and is terrified of the idea of Assistant Manager Susan having any power at the branch.
  • Susan Harvey, Assistant Manager (Lesley Sharp in the pilot; Claire Skinner in the series) – Career-minded and dedicated, Susan seems to be the person actually running the branch.
  • David Edwards, Area Manager (Stuart McQuarrie in the pilot; Daniel Flynn in the series) – David is dedicated to County and Provincial, and knows that Peter doesn't give the job his all, but has a soft spot for him.
  • Geoffrey Parkes, Chief Cashier (David Gant in the pilot; Stephen Moore in the series) – Geoffrey has been with the bank all his working life has little regard or time for Peter. He has his ear to the ground but seems happy not to have climbed to a position of greater responsibility and higher stress.
  • Bradley Wilson, Junior Cashier (David Schneider) – Tech-savvy but not very intelligent, Bradley always obeys Peter out of a sense of fear.
  • Iris, Secretary/Chief Clerk (Janette Legge; series 1) – Iris is middle-aged, quite dim, but appears very competent in her position.
  • Brenda, Cashier (series 1; Tracy Keating) – Brenda regards her position at the bank as little more than a pay packet.
  • Barbara, Secretary/Chief Clerk (series 2; Beverley Callard) – Barbara's view of women in the workplace is that they should endeavour to sleep their way to the top. She fails to understand that Susan wishes to climb the ladder on merit alone.
  • Evelyn Walker, Cashier (series 2; Wendy Nottingham) – After appearing in series 1 as a charity worker, Evelyn works for the bank in series 2. She suffers from bad nerves and spends almost as much time on the phone to the Samaritans as she spends doing her work duties.

Episode list[edit]

Pilot (1995)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
1 "Pilot" 4 September 1995 (1995-09-04)

Series 1 (1997)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
2 "Sex, Lies and Videotape" 2 June 1997 (1997-06-02)
3 "Health Matters" 9 June 1997 (1997-06-09)
4 "Upwardly Mobile" 16 June 1997 (1997-06-16)
5 "The Midas Touch" 23 June 1997 (1997-06-23)
6 "Insecurity" 30 June 1997 (1997-06-30)
7 "Bank Hoiliday" 7 July 1997 (1997-07-07)

Series 2 (2000)[edit]

No. Title Original air date
8 "Un Homme et Une Femme" 3 February 2000 (2000-02-03)
9 "Desperately Seeking Susan" 10 February 2000 (2000-02-10)
10 "Greyhound Day" 17 February 2000 (2000-02-17)
11 "There's Something About Geoffrey" 21 February 2000 (2000-02-21)
12 "Truley, Bradley, Deeply" 28 February 2000 (2000-02-28)
13 "Casablanca" 6 March 2000 (2000-03-06)


Exterior scenes for the series were mainly filmed in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.[citation needed]

External links[edit]