- List of The Office (UK TV series) episodes
In total, there are fourteen episodes of The Office (six in each series and two 45-minute episodes making up the Christmas special).
Series One of The Office was first broadcast in the UK between 9 July and 20 August 2001. Alternate episode titles are given in quotations.
# Title Original airdate Prod. code 1 "Downsize" 9 July 2001 101 A documentary crew films the everyday activities of the Slough branch of fictional paper merchant Wernham Hogg. The regional manager of the branch is David Brent, an irritating, middle-aged man who thinks he is as likable as he is entertaining. Among Brent's employees are Dawn Tinsley, Brent's reluctant receptionist; Tim Canterbury, a well-liked sales representative; and Gareth Keenan, the sycophantic assistant to the regional manager. Early in the day, Jennifer Taylor-Clarke visits David for a meeting to inform him that Wernham Hogg can't run both a Slough branch and a Swindon branch. One of the branches will inevitably be merged with the other, depending on which is the most efficient. David panics at the thought of the Slough branch closing and his employees being made redundant, but he promises to keep Jennifer's announcement under wraps. However, rumours quickly spread around the office. In addition to hiring a new forklift driver, David shows new temporary employee Ricky Howard around the office. During Ricky's tour, Tim sparks conflict with Gareth after he discovers his stapler inside a jelly. Rather than punishing Tim, David focuses more on trying to come up with a joke for the situation. Later, after Gareth forbids Tim from using his stapler, Tim takes it and ends up dropping it out of a window. After various employees confront David about the rumours, David holds a meeting and explains the situation to everyone. Employees are immediately worried for their jobs. At the end of the day, Tim invites Dawn to go out with him and some other employees for an "end of the week drink", however their conversation is interrupted by Lee, Dawn's fiancé. Before Dawn leaves, David pranks Dawn by telling that she is being fired for stealing Post-it notes. His joke backfires when Dawn starts crying and he awkwardly comes clean. 2 "Work Experience" 16 July 2001 102 David continues to promise the employees that there will be no redundancies while he introduces a new employee Donna to the office staff. David—who is letting Donna stay at his place as a favour to her parents—grows uncomfortable with the attention that Donna receives from the male employees. While David demonstrates to Donna how to use the office's email system, he discovers a pornographic image with his face superimposed on the body of a naked woman. David quickly finds that everyone in the office has seen the image, and tries to cover his obvious embarrassment by telling the staff that he's angry because the image "offends women". David gives Gareth the task of finding the culprit of the prank. Gareth is more than willing to conduct the investigation, excited at the chance to put the experience from his Territorial Army days to the test. Jennifer Taylor-Clarke visits David to see if he's yet made any changes to his branch in an effort to keep it running. After hearing that Neil—rival manager of the Swindon Wernham-Hogg branch—has made several changes, David lies and tells Jennifer that he's already let go of an employee in the warehouse by the name of Julie Anderton. After visiting the warehouse and being undermined by warehouse workers, Jennifer catches David in his lie. After returning from the warehouse, Gareth interrupts David and Jennifer's sour meeting to tell David that it was Tim who created the pornographic image. Already frustrated with David, Jennifer tells him that if he can't handle the responsibility of his job, she'll relieve him of his duties. In an effort to prove himself, David reprimands Tim about the image. However, Tim reveals to David that it was in fact David's good friend Chris Finch who created the image. David's attitude about the prank changes entirely once he realises Chris Finch is responsible, calling it "bloody hilarious". When Jennifer suggests that David apologise to Tim and fire Finch instead, David dials a telephone and stages a firing. Jennifer foils his ruse by pressing the speakerphone button on the telephone, revealing that he has rung the speaking clock instead of Finch. 3 "The Quiz" 23 July 2001 103 It's Tim's 30th birthday. Unfortunately for him, it is also the staff pub quiz night, which David Brent and his "mate" Chris Finch have won six years in a row. However, this year is a little different as Brent and Finchy 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 protestations, Gareth declares Tim and Ricky winners. Brent and Finchy aren't happy with this and challenge Ricky to a winner takes all challenge, where if Finchy can throw Tim's shoe over a building, the original result of the quiz is voided and Brent and Finch will be champs for a 7th successive year. 4 "Training" 30 July 2001 104 It is staff training day at Wernham Hogg, and an outside facilitator, Rowan, has come in 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 in their relationship. During the day-long training session, frustration builds amongst the staff, especially for Rowan and Tim, who grow annoyed and bemused at David's interruptions. David eventually breaks into song, singing self-penned titles such as "Spaceman" and "Free Love Freeway" to the general muted response of those present. He also comforts Dawn with a composition about Princess Diana, contending that the lyrics have specific application to her present tiff with Lee. Eventually, unbeknown to Tim, Dawn and Lee reconcile their differences and appear to return their relationship to normal. The episode's climax comes as Rowan loses patience with yet another pointless interruption from Brent, ending the training session. Tim, equally frustrated with the situation and the seeming pointlessness of his job at Wernham Hogg, 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. Quietly, she informs him that she has made-up with Lee, and Tim attempts to play the entire request off as a friendly offer. 5 "New Girl" 13 August 2001 105 David decides to hire a secretary, despite the fact that redundancies of current Wernham Hogg employees still threaten work morale. He hires an attractive woman, and ends up headbutting her while showing off his football skills. Tim has resolved to quit his job, determined to go back to university and make something of his life. To change his mind, Brent convinces Tim to go out with him, Gareth, and Finchy to Chasers, where "Wonderbras get in free". But with Finchy at his lecherous worst and David far from happy with his behaviour, perhaps it won't be the fun evening everybody hoped it would be. 6 "Judgment" 20 August 2001 106 It is the day of judgment at Wernham Hogg: David lets go 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 while attempting to lighten the mood to no avail, he is asked by Malcolm what will happen to the branch, and why he is hiring new staff when existing workers are being cut. David gives an unsatisfactory answer to both questions, and attempts to play off the situation with offensive bald jokes. David also holds a brief meeting with Tim in which he ridicules his desire to quit Wernham Hogg to pursue his education. Jennifer's arrival brings the crescendo in the employees to a head. She informs David of an opening in her old position, as she has just been given partnership, and that the board has approved him to be promoted by a vote of 5 to 2 over Swindon manager Neil Godwin. If David takes the promotion, the Slough branch will be shut down and be absorbed by the Swindon branch. Brent immediately chooses to take the promotion, and expecting the office to be excited for him, breaks the news to his "troops" with poor reception. Glumly, everyone seems prepared for redundancy as personal dislike of David reaches an all-time high. Gareth also bids a tearful farewell to David in his office. At the party that night, nobody is in the celebratory mood. Gareth emotionally conveys his frustrations to Tim and Ricky, suggesting he will land on his feet and that hard working people like him are victims of political correctness. David goes onstage and announces that he rejected the promotion at corporate and that Slough will now absorb Swindon, securing everyone's job at his branch. This noticeably lightens the mood at the celebration, and the upbeat and grateful employees begin to enjoy the festivities. Malcolm confronts Brent with rumours that he didn't receive the promotion because of a failed medical examination from high blood pressure, rather than actually caring about his employees. Brent awkwardly attempts to convince Malcolm that he raised his blood pressure in order to deliberately fail the test. Back at the party, Brent offers a promotion to Tim in exchange for staying, which Tim accepts. As Tim explains the promotion and his decision to stay to Dawn with avid use of business buzz words, she seems disappointed and disillusioned with Tim giving up his dreams of university.
The second series of The Office was originally broadcast in the UK between 30 September and 4 November 2002.
# Title Original airdate Prod. code 7 "Merger" 30 September 2002 201 The episode takes place two weeks after the final episode of series one. The Slough branch has remained open, and the new Swindon employees who were transferred there are due in. Brent also meets his new boss, Neil, and begins to hate him instantly. David is preparing to mark the occasion with one of his stand-up routines, which fails miserably. Worse yet for Brent, Neil is both naturally funny and likable, and makes a joke at David's expense. Meanwhile, Tim has been persuaded to stay with a promotion and a pay increase, and Dawn becomes upset when Tim takes his job seriously and uncharacteristically asks her to get back to the reception desk during the welcoming festivities. Gareth does not like that Tim actually has authority over him now, a fact which Tim doesn't hesitate to bring up when Gareth resorts to his numerous annoying tendencies. Meanwhile, in a desperate bid for laughs at the meet-and-greet for Swindon employees, David tells a joke with racial overtones that isn't too popular with the women of the Swindon branch, despite David's protest that it did not offend Oliver. In disbelief over his ability to have offended new employees on the first day, Jennifer (who has been promoted above Neil) calls a meeting and reprimands David in front of Neil. The episode ends with Lee becoming upset with Tim for what he sees as flirting with Dawn, but in fact is just another of the jokes the two routinely share. Lee pushes Tim back into a wall before leaving with Dawn. In an attempt to brush off the incident, Tim sits down and laughs nervously to the camera. 8 "Appraisals" 7 October 2002 202 It is the day of the staff appraisals, in which we learn that Dawn wants to be a children's illustrator and that Keith has completely lost all motivation for his job. The Swindon lot also indicate that they don't think everything's all right in Slough, and that they preferred Neil to David as a manager. David immediately challenges them to accompany him for a lunchtime drink to prove he's more fun. A handful of employees agree to join David and are entertained by exhilarating chat about meat pies and Courage Ales, Slough's local brewery. Back at Wernham Hogg, Neil effortlessly keeps the staff entertained. Disdaining Neil's popularity, David admonishes Neil for messing around when he should be working. Neil lets Brent know he won't be talked to like a child again. Lee apologises to Tim for overreacting and pushing him in the previous episode. 9 "Party" 14 October 2002 203 It is Trudy's birthday, but Brent's social ineptitude manages to ruin the event. He is approached to do some outside management training by consultancy firm Cooper & Webb, and is asked if he'd like to work as a motivational speaker for a paying audience. David happily accepts the lucrative offer of work and delights in informing everyone who'll listen how much he'll be paid by the hour. But he is less than thrilled when he learns that Neil was also approached by Cooper & Webb's representatives to do a stint of motivational speaking. David also learns that Neil and Finchy are already acquainted and are even good friends, which upsets him. 10 "Motivation" 21 October 2002 204 Tim has started seeing Rachel, a fellow employee, which upsets Dawn. Gareth tries to impress the visiting office computer geek, and it is Brent's big day: the day of his management presentation. His ultra-unorthodox approach, rambling monologue, and use of both a book of Native American wisdom and "The Best" by Tina Turner ensure that it is a session not likely to be forgotten by those in attendance. 11 "Charity" 28 October 2002 205 It's Red Nose Day at Wernham Hogg, which Brent treats like a national holiday. Gareth is hopping everywhere, Dawn is selling kisses, Neil is disco-dancing, and Tim is hiding Gareth's possessions for charity. Brent eagerly awaits a photo opportunity from the local paper, but storm clouds are headed his way. Neil gives David a warning that if he doesn't straighten up soon, he will be fired. And Tim gets a kiss. 12 "Interview" 4 November 2002 206 Although slightly peeved that the staff seem to be taking his redundancy in their stride, 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 boyfriend Lee. However, when David is told that his services as a motivational speaker are also no longer required, he sinks to his lowest ebb and begs Neil to reconsider the dismissal.
After the conclusion of the second series, creators Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant stated that no more series would be filmed. However, they did write and film two additional 45-minute episodes, which first aired in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 26 December (Boxing Day) and 27 December 2003.
Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant also created two "Office Values" videos for Microsoft to be shown during in-house training. Gervais reprises the role of David Brent and Merchant portrays a Microsoft employee interviewing him for his managerial skills.
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