List of The Office (British TV series) episodes

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]

The Office was co-written and co-created by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. Gervais (left) also starred as main character David Brent.

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 two 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

SeriesEpisodesOriginally aired
First airedLast airedNetwork
169 July 2001 (2001-07-09)20 August 2001 (2001-08-20)BBC Two
2630 September 2002 (2002-09-30)4 November 2002 (2002-11-04)
Christmas226 December 2003 (2003-12-26)27 December 2003 (2003-12-27)BBC One
Revisited15 March 2013 (2013-03-15)


Series 1 (2001)

No. in
Title[10]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date
11"Downsize"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant9 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 39-year-old single man who arrogantly thinks he is likable and 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.[11][12]
22"Work Experience"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant16 July 2001 (2001-07-16)
David introduces an attractive young new employee, Donnawho is staying with him as a favour to her parentsand grows uncomfortable with the attention she receives from male employees. David 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 made a warehouse employee redundant, but after being undermined by sexist warehouse workers, Jennifer discovers that he is 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 David's attitude changes entirely; he calls it "bloody hilarious". Jennifer suggests that David apologise to Tim and sack 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]
33"The Quiz"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant23 July 2001 (2001-07-23)
It is 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, David 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. David 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]
44"Training"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant30 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 "Paris Nights", a composition about Princess Diana. Dawn and Lee reconcile outside. Rowan eventually loses patience with David 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, assuming that she will have broken up with Lee by this time. She quietly informs him that she has made up with Lee, and Tim attempts to play it off as a friendly offer.[17][18]
55"New Girl"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant13 August 2001 (2001-08-13)
David decides to hire a secretary, despite redundancies of current Wernham Hogg employees threatening morale. He hires an attractive young woman, Karen, as his secretary (not properly considering the male applicant). He accidentally headbutts her in the office whilst trying to show off his football skills. David is disappointed with Donna for arriving late and having stayed at colleague Ricky's place during the previous night and had sex with him. Gareth tries to flirt with her whilst giving her health and safety training. Tim has resolved to quit his job, determined to go back to university. To try to change his mind, David convinces Tim to go out with him, Gareth, Finch and Donna to Chasers nightclub. Gareth meets and goes home with a married couple for a devil's threesome. Donna kisses colleague Ricky, which David voices his disapproval of.[19][20]
66"Judgement"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant20 August 2001 (2001-08-20)
David dismisses a warehouse worker who accuses him of positive discrimination because he fired an able-bodied worker instead of a "midget". As he shows Karen around the office, he dodges questions from his staff 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. David chooses 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 due to having high blood pressure. David fake-smiles and says that he deliberately raised his blood pressure in order to fail the test, ignoring Malcolm's incredulity at his claim. Back at the party, Tim accepts David's offer of a promotion if he stays. Dawn seems disappointed and disillusioned with Tim giving up his dreams.[21][22]

Series 2 (2002)

No. in
Title[23][24][25]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date
71"Merger"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant30 September 2002 (2002-09-30)
The Slough branch has remained open, and the transferred Swindon employees are due in. David meets his new boss, Neil (Jennifer's replacement), and dislikes him instantly. Worse for David, Neil is funny and likeable, and makes a joke at David's expense. Gareth does not like Tim's authority over him and disputes it. At the meet-and-greet which is attended by all the office's staff, David talks to all the staff together, at which his several attempts to impress them by using humour fall flat. Later, he repeats to a few staff a racial dick joke that Gareth told him earlier that day. It is received badly by some of the Swindon staff, who complain to Jennifer, who has been promoted above Neil. She reprimands David for offending new employees on their first day. David protests that it did not offend Oliver, who is the only non-white person present. David is later reprimanded by Jennifer and Neil for supposedly promoting drug use after he joked about smoking marijuana. Tim, who has been persuaded to stay, upsets Dawn by uncharacteristically telling her to return to the reception desk. Lee is angry with Tim for touching Dawn, and pushes him against a wall.[26][27]
82"Appraisals"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant7 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 working at the Slough office, and that they preferred Neil as their 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 David 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.[28][29]
93"Party"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant14 October 2002 (2002-10-14)
It is Trudy's birthday, but David's social ineptitude ruins the event. Tim and Gareth compete over Rachel. Tim puts a dildo in David's office as a dare and shows the new staff round the warehouse. 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 learns that Neil and Chris Finch are good friends, which he is disappointed by.[30][31]
104"Motivation"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant21 October 2002 (2002-10-21)
Tim has started dating Rachel, which upsets Dawn and angers Gareth, who had tried to flirt with Rachel. Gareth tries to impress the visiting office computer geek; they discuss Bruce Lee and go-karting. It is the day of David's management presentation. David is admonished 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 unusual and disappoints the audience.[32][33]
115"Charity"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant28 October 2002 (2002-10-28)
It's Red Nose Day at Wernham Hogg, which David 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 and Neil is disco dancing with Rachel (Brent performs a horrendous dance when trying to compete with them), all for charity. David is dressed in a Bernie Clifton ostrich costume as he eagerly awaits a photo opportunity from the local paper, but the pictures cannot be used due to the lack of light. Neil and Jennifer inform David, whilst he is still wearing the costume, that they are firing him. Tim, along with Gareth's friends "Jimmy the Perv" and "The Oggmonster", pays for a kiss from Dawn.[34][35]
126"Interview"Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant4 November 2002 (2002-11-04)
Although disappointed that his redundancy does not 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 United States with her boyfriend Lee: he breaks up with Rachel, removes his wireless microphone and tells Dawn 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)

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[39][40][41]Directed byWritten byOriginal air date
The Office Christmas special (Part 1)Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant26 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 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. David 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][42]
The Office Christmas special (Part 2)Ricky Gervais & Stephen MerchantRicky Gervais & Stephen Merchant27 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 David likes, arrives at the party. Dawn leaves with Lee after saying goodbye to Tim. David finally stands up to Chris Finch. 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 with a card saying "never give up". Everybody gathers for a group photo, and David finally makes them laugh with his Frank Spencer impression.[41][43]

The Office Revisited special (2013)

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, the former manager of the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg Paper Merchants.[44]

TitleOriginal air date
The Office Revisited15 March 2013 (2013-03-15)
David 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.

See also


  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. "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 29 July 2015.
  10. "The Office Episode Guides: Series One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  11. "Series One: Episode One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  12. "Episode 1.1 – Downsize". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 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. VanDerWerff, Emily (20 July 2011). "'Merger'/'Appraisals'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  24. VanDerWerff, Emily (27 July 2011). "'Party'/'Motivation'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  25. WanDerWerff, Emily (10 August 2011). "'Charity'/'Interview'". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 27 July 2019.
  26. "Series Two: Episode One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  27. "Episode 2.1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  28. "Series Two: Episode Two". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  29. "Episode 2.2". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  30. "Series Two: Episode Three". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  31. "Episode 2.3". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  32. "Series Two: Episode Four". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  33. "Episode 2.4". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  34. "Series Two: Episode Five". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  35. "Episode 2.5". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 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. "Christmas Specials – Part 1". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  40. "The Office Episode Guides: Christmas Specials". BBC. Retrieved 8 September 2012.
  41. "Christmas Specials – Part 2". British Comedy Guide. Retrieved 9 September 2012.
  42. "Christmas Specials: Episode One". BBC. August 2009. Retrieved 8 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.
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