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The British Version

Like Alan Partridge, I actually find David Brent a lovable character. But then I like to be different. Ricky Gervais puts in a brilliant performance as Brent, and the acting, generally, is of a high calibre throughout. Brent is like a spoilt child when things don't go his way, but there's a sensitivity about him which appeals. Comparing himself to Jesus is one of his finest moments of pretentious philosophizing.

The second series was a bit spoilt by being overly crude, but the Tim-Dawn moment compensated, and was one of the most genuinely touching moments in Brit sitcom history.

- Paul Rance/

The American Version

The Office - First Episode Review
The first episode of the American version of hit Brit doc-sitcom, 'The Office', was aired on June 14th, 2005, on BBC3.

Set in Pennsylvania, it wasn't bad for starters, with Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, seeming more irritating than the Brentmaster himself.

John Krasinski as Jim Halpert is disconcertingly similar to UK version's Tim, not in looks, but in persona and mannerisms. Jenna Fischer's Pam is vulnerable like Dawn was, though a lot sweeter and innocent. This is on NBC, so I doubt we'll be hearing any 'f' words, thankfully. Rainn Wilson is nerdy Dwight Schrute (don't you just love American names?!), but he'd batter Gareth quite easily. Dwight is only part nerd, then.

The first American episode is pretty much a cover of the first UK episode, including Scott telling Pam's she's been fired - as a joke.

Ricky Gervais, creator of the likeable (I think so, anyway) monster David Brent, is executive producer on the US version of his baby, but has said later episodes will be fresher, and not rehashes. A good start, proving offices in Pennsylvania and Slough are populated by the same sort of jerks!

- Paul Rance/

The Office (UK) Cast List

Ricky Gervais as David Brent
Martin Freeman as Tim Canterbury
Mackenzie Crook as Gareth Keenan
Lucy Davis as Dawn Tinsley
Ewen MacIntosh as Keith
Ben Bradshaw as Ben
Jamie Deeks as Jamie
Jane Lucas as Sheila
Emma Louise Manton as Emma
Alexander Perkins as Ralph
Philip Pickard as Phillip
Joel Beckett as Lee
Patrick Baladi as Neil Godwin
Julie Fernandez as Brenda
Rachel Isaac as Trudy
Howard Saddler as Oliver
Stirling Gallacher as Jennifer Taylor-Clark
Ralph Ineson as Chris 'Finchy' Finch
Stacey Roca as Rachel
Patrick Driver as Patrick
Tony MacMurray as Tony
Oliver Chris as Ricky Howard
Robin Hooper as Malcolm
Angela Clerkin as Jackie
Sally Bretton as Donna
Yvonne D'Alpra as Joan
Stephen Merchant as Nathan 'Oggy' aka The Oggmonster
Tom Goodman-Hill as Ray
Jennifer Hennessy as Jude
David Schaal as Glynn
Ron Merchant as Gordon
Stephen Humby as Simon
Elizabeth Berrington as Anne
Nicola Cotter as Karen Roper
Steve Brody as Agent
Neil Fitzmaurice as Alex
Martha Howe-Douglas as Office Employee #2
Ashley Jensen as Interviewer

The Office DVDs available from - in association with

'The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials DVD' The Office - Complete Series One & Two and The Christmas Specials [2001] ~ Ricky Gervais, Martin Freeman
B001F7A0D4 The Office: An American Workplace Seasons 1-3 ~ Steve Carell, Rainn Wilson

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