The Office (UK)

Season 1 Episode 1


Aired Unknown Jul 09, 2001 on BBC Two
out of 10
User Rating
166 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

David Brent, manager of the Slough branch of Wernham Hogg paper merchants, is told that it might be closed down. He makes the rash promise of No Redundancies...

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  • I've been a big fan of the American edition of The Office and so when I got a free edition, from some dodgy newspaper, of the first episode of the British series I thought "What the heck? I'll give it a go!". And trust me, the US version is a lot bettermoreless

    Usually shows & movies that get re-made again are usually considered that the original is the better. However with "The Office" the US edition of the show is a lot better! I've been a big fan of the US edition of the show for a long time now and one morning a copy of the Daily Mirror landed down on my mat (Just to point out that I don't actually read the Daily Mirror usually!) with the header "Free The Office DVD!". It had the first episode on it, I thought I;d give the show a try but it didn't live up to all the expectations. I've seen much better shows! The US show is just far superior!

    Steve Carell Vs. Ricky Gervais?? No competition!moreless
  • Ricky Gervais introduces us to the Slough branch

    Having watched the American version for seven years now, I felt it was the right time to jump back and see how this entire concept began. The first major difference between the two is definitely the presence of that typical British humor that is found in most British comedies. And despite its dryness, there was also some great broad humor, especially between Tim and Gareth.

    It's definitely because of how much time I've spent with the American version, but the British pilot left me feeling a bit cold.. there were some great jokes, including the "waking up at the crack of Dawn" line and Tim building the wall in front of Gareth's desk and asking him to call him to ask him a question.. there were some great skits and minor moments that stood out too.. when Ricky Gervais just stood there and pointed at that ridiculously stupid yellow stuffed animal for about ten seconds, I lost it.

    However, I wouldn't look at this episode and be able to say that it would eventually go on to be one of the best shows of all time. It was a good introduction but not much else.moreless
  • The first episode of series where we meet the characters and understand the plot that is around the whole season. David Brent is a typical manager and he is asked to make some redundancies in order to show that they are better than the other division...moreless

    "The Office" starts with David Brent trying to hire a forklift driver and only by looking at that moment, you understand his personality. A man who is selfish and trying to be funny/friendly but screws it up every time. Still, he goes on trying to be funnier by making more idiotic jokes. Anyway, although Brent is the focus, we have other characters and their conflicts: Tim is bored to death at working at this place, he hates Gareth because he bugs him, and he loves Dawn, who is engaged to a macho-like man, Lee. Dawn is the receptionist who hates Brent, but tries not to show it. Just like Tim, she is sick of working in this office.

    Gareth is the "assistant manager" to David, and he is just like Brent, although he is in a lower status, he does the exact same things with him.

    So, a nice start to the series and introduction to the people that are working inside this office...moreless
  • Pretty good pilot

    This episode does many things and does them all really well, whether they be:

    - introducing the characters

    - starting the downsizing issue that would be apparent throughout the whole series

    - marks the first office prank.

    Tim putting Gareth's stapler in jelly makes the episode very worthwhile, later revealing that Tim has one it twice before and this introduces his character and Gareth's very well.

    David's character is introduced as the unfunny boss that thinks he is funny and nobody else is and gets defensive when jokes are about him. His character is explored though the introduction of the downsizing aswell.

    The end revealing that Dawn had a fiance was done very well and overall, the pilot is a great start to The Office.moreless
  • Meet the wacky folks who could be your co-workers....

    I classified this as "Painful to watch" due to the type of comedy it is. It is almost physically painful to watch this show. Still, it's with The Royle Family in my pantheon of Theatre of The Socially Wrong.

    The office items in Jell-O, though? Classic and universal, no doubt! *g* The poor receptionist? Adore! Mr. Gervais himself? As cute as he is frustrating (as Mr. Brent)!

    It was a great into to the characters and I can't wait to see more!moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The scene where Tim drops Gareth's stapler out of the window was totally improvised. This happened because the episode was running short.

  • QUOTES (3)

    • Gareth: He put my stapler inside a jelly again. That's the third time he's done it. It wasn't funny the first time.
      David: Why has he done that?
      Gareth: I told him once I don't like jelly. I don't trust the way it moves.
      David: Yeah, you show him a weakness, he'll pounce. You should know that.

    • Tim: You're a twat, Gareth. A twat and a knob end.
      Gareth: I'm still not listening, so it's not offending me.
      Tim: So you won't hear this: you're a cock, you're a cock, you're a cock. (pause) You're a cock.

    • David: I'd say, at one time or another, every bloke in the office has woken up at the crack of Dawn! (laughs)
      Dawn: What?!
      David: (embarrassed) Could I have the mail, please?

  • NOTES (1)

    • The idea for this came up when Stephen Merchant was trying to get a job at the BBC. He conceived the idea of making a documentary style format because it would be easier to film. He and his colleague Ricky Gervais filmed a short video in a local University and after seeing it, BBC requested that they make a series out of it.