The IT Crowd

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The IT Crowd

Jen, Moss, and Roy
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Graham Linehan
Starring Chris O'Dowd
Richard Ayoade
Katherine Parkinson
Matt Berry
Noel Fielding
Theme music composer Neil Hannon
Country of origin United Kingdom
Language(s) English
No. of series 3
No. of episodes 18 (List of episodes)
Producer(s) TalkbackThames
Editor(s) Paul Machliss
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 min.
Original channel Channel 4
Independent Film Channel
Picture format 16:9
Audio format Stereo
Original run 3 February 2006 – Present
External links
Official website

The IT Crowd (pronounced /ˈɪt/ or pronounced /ˌaɪˈtiː/)[1][2] is an Emmy Award-winning British sitcom, written by Graham Linehan and produced by Ash Atalla for Channel 4.

Three series have been produced to date, and a fourth series was announced in March 2009. [3]


[edit] Situation and plot

The IT Crowd is set in the offices of Reynholm Industries, a fictitious British corporation in central London. It focuses on the shenanigans of the three-strong IT support team located in a dingy, untidy and unkempt basement — a stark contrast to the shining modern architecture and stunning London views enjoyed by the rest of the organisation. The obscurity surrounding what the company does serves as a running gag throughout the series — all that is known is that the company bought and sold ITV (a fact which Denholm Reynholm forgot completely,) and once made part-year profits of "eighteen hundred billion billion". The team consists of what Douglas Reynholm describes as "a dynamic go-getter (Jen), a genius (Moss) and a man from Ireland (Roy)".

Moss and Roy, the two technicians, are portrayed as socially inept geeks or, in Denholm Reynholm's words, "standard nerds". Despite the company's dependence on their services, they are despised, ignored, and considered losers by the rest of the staff. Roy's exasperation is reflected in his support techniques of ignoring the phone in the hope it will stop ringing, and using reel-to-reel tape recordings of stock IT suggestions ("Have you tried turning it off and on again?" and "Are you sure it's plugged in?"). Moss's wide and intricate knowledge of all things technical is reflected in his extremely accurate yet utterly indecipherable suggestions, while demonstrating a complete inability to deal with practical problems like extinguishing fires and removing spiders.

Jen, the newest member of the team, is hopelessly non-technical, despite claiming on her CV that she has "a lot of experience with computers". As Denholm, the company boss, is equally tech-illiterate, he's convinced by Jen's interview bluffing and appoints her head of the IT department. Her official title is "relationship manager", yet her attempts at bridging the gulf between the technicians and the business generally have the opposite effect, landing Jen in situations just as ludicrous as those of her team-mates.

[edit] Development

The first series of six episodes was produced and recorded in front of a live audience at Teddington Studios and series 2 and 3 were shot at Pinewood Studios. The third series completed shooting in late October / early November 2008.

The first series premiered on 3 February 2006, the second series on 24 August 2007[4] and the third series November 21, 2008. [5] Linehan is optimistic about doing a fourth series.[6]

[edit] Cast

[edit] Central

  • Roy - Chris O'Dowd: Roy is a laid back, very lazy, Irish IT engineer who goes to great lengths to avoid performing his role within the organisation such as (in episode 3) a machine to say his first trouble shooting step "Hello IT, have you tried turning it off and on again" usually followed by "are you sure its plugged in". He constantly eats junk food and has a low regard for his career in technology, despite signs that he is more than capable. He is a big fan of comics and often reads them when he is supposed to be working. His work attire is very casual compared to his colleagues; he wears a new geek-related t-shirt in every episode. Before becoming an IT consultant, he held a job as a waiter, during which time he would carry the food of rude customers in his trousers until he served it to them. He often attempts to attract women by various methods, such as pretending to be a "bastard" because he believes that that is what women want. In one episode he won a £20 bet with Jen by proving this theory correct. He is rarely successful, but still has better social skills than Moss. When angry, upset or worried, his voice adopts a notably higher pitch and trembles significantly. His last name is never mentioned in the series, although O'Dowd and Linehan discussed the possibilities of it being either 'Shepherd' or 'McGonagall.' After the episode "Speech", Graham Linehan's blog suggested that Roy's last name is Tenneman[1], but Linehan clarified that this was not canonical. The only member of Roy's immediate family mentioned is his mother - who he insults on the phone before realising he isn't speaking to a Reynholm Industries employee. In the final episode in the first series, we discover Moss' psychiatrist resembles Roy's mother, while in "Return of the Golden Child" it's revealed his uncle died at the age of 32 in a car crash.
  • Maurice Moss - Richard Ayoade: Maurice Moss ("Moss") (Age 32, although his online dating profile seems to assert it is 22) is a stereotypical computer Nerd, and displays characteristics typical of nerd behaviour. The humour in his character is derived from his socially ignorant comments and his intricate and detailed knowledge of specialised technical subjects, including Chemistry and electronic engineering. He lives with his mother (in one episode, Moss enters her room while she is asleep, but her body is under the bedclothes, hence, she is not seen or heard). Both Moss and Roy feel they never get the credit they deserve in the company. They also show little interest in anything related to sport; in "Fifty-Fifty" when asked about the previous night's match, neither of them knew what had happened, while in "Smoke and Mirrors" Moss's interest wanders when Jen brings up football in conversation. This lack of sporting awareness drives the plot of "Are we not men?", as Moss and Roy use the website [2] to appear knowledgeable about football with unfortunate consequences. In "Smoke and Mirrors", it is revealed that he wears his glasses in bed. In "Yesterday's Jam", it is revealed that he keeps several pairs of glasses in his desk, and he keeps a spray bottle on his belt to prevent getting a "hot ear". In "Calamity Jen", it is revealed that he keeps a heap of inhalers in his desk.
  • Jen Barber - Katherine Parkinson: Jen enters the department in episode one as a new starter, placed there seemingly at random by boss Denholm, despite her lack of technical or technology management experience. Although originally intended to be the Head of Department, her role was changed to that of "Relationship Manager" due to her ability to converse with other employees within the company. She has admitted to a propensity for telling lies in order to further her own goals, as evidenced by her current occupation as a member of the IT support team despite little to no knowledge of computers. She is easily excited by stereotypical female pursuits such as shoes and men. During the second series we learn that she had been quite a heavy smoker several years previously; she took this habit up again, but quit when she realised that due to anti-smoking laws, she was facing social isolation. She drives a Ford Ka in Pepper Red, first shown in The Haunting of Bill Crouse. Unlike Maurice, her mother has only been mentioned, in 'Moss and the German'. In the third season she declares "ich bin ein Nerd," referencing the Ich bin ein Berliner speech by John F. Kennedy

[edit] Recurring

  • Denholm Reynholm - Chris Morris: Denholm was a director of Reynholm Industries, and a parody of modern earnest upper management, always ready with new and often ridiculous initiatives, such as mixed-gender lavatories in the office, stress-busting seminars and other equally ludicrous ideas, which are all intended to boost performance in a company he openly boasts as employing attractive people who do very little work and all engage in adulterous relationships. In his office, he has a picture of himself on the wall, and of the A-Team on the desk. Denholm was also very easily distracted, and often paid little attention to the people he happened to be having discussions with. When he gets a new member of staff, he likes to give them a long, hard stare. He committed suicide by walking out of a window after being informed the police wanted to interview him about a scandal involving the company's pension accounts. However, the character returns in the third series; when his son has a near-death experience, Denholm is shown to have gone to hell.
  • Douglas Reynholm - Matt Berry: The son of Denholm, Douglas takes over Reynholm Industries after his father's death. He disappeared for seven years after a court case, but returned to attend Denholm's funeral. He speaks in a very dramatic manner, is something of a libertine and has a history of sexual harassment and transphobia. He attempts to flirt with Jen during his own father's funeral. He shares several of his father's behaviours, including his arrogance and thus appears to be unable to remember any of his employees other than those he finds attractive. He had supposedly killed his wife by setting the house on fire.
  • Richmond Avenal - Noel Fielding: A goth whose new-found love for the extreme metal band Cradle of Filth instigated his downfall from being Denholm's second-in-command to his current position in the IT Department. He works in the server room behind "the Red Door" all on his own, shunned by the rest of the department, who find his affected sense of gloom annoying, even though he personally describes himself as "cheerful". When Richmond tells stories, he tends to pause and look off into space dramatically, puzzling those around him. He is shown to read Heat, moments after a comment Roy had made that he did not know any heterosexual men who read Heat. It is later implied that Richmond may be bisexual, being shown at the end of the sixth episode of series one waking up with Denholm Reynholm after a drunken party, but also being shown in series two episode four leaving with and later sleeping with Jessica from Jen's dinner party. Richmond's absence from series three is due to him having scurvy, or so Moss explains.

[edit] Guest appearances

  • Daniel Carey - Oliver Chris: Daniel is the security guard that Jen falls for, but unfortunately her plans for romance go pear-shaped after she fails to help him as a "phone a friend" on Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. While he is charismatic and good-looking, he is shown to be quite violent after he brutally beats up a clown with the clown's own shoe for mocking his failure on TV.
  • Patricia - Alice Lowe: A woman who goes on a date with Roy. The date ends badly because Roy somehow winds up with a smear of chocolate on his forehead, which is perceived by Patricia to be feces. She works as a receptionist.
  • Paul - Danny Wallace: Fired by Denholm from his position as cultural adviser for his choice of gift to a Japanese company, but regains his position after a quick hand on the "Profanity Buzzer" - never shown to actually speak.
  • Bill Crouse - Adam Buxton: Goes on a date with Jen and after being told by Moss that she'd subsequently died, told the entire office that he was the last person to sleep with her. Nicknamed "The News" because of his propensity to announce those who he has slept with. When Jen found out what Bill was saying about her and him, she inadvertently, and unknowingly scared him by making him think she was a ghost.
  • Dr. Julian Holmes - Toby Longworth: A stress expert who visits the company to give a presentation, and ends up very stressed himself due to Roy and Moss's behaviour.
  • Dr. Mendall - Frances Barber: The company psychiatrist who has a crush on Moss, and the feeling is mutual. Roy claims that she looks exactly like his mother. A drunken Roy sleeps with her after a staff party.
  • Judy - Cheryl Fergison: A horribly ugly woman that Roy gets entangled with while trying to meet a woman named Julie. Roy claims she has hair on her eyes and three rows of teeth.
  • Derek Pippen - Silas Carson: One of Denholm's top employees, who becomes the head of Reynholm Industries after Denholm commits suicide. He hates the IT department, and says he wants to use the basement for something a lot more useful, like "a big toilet", but is fired by Douglas Reynholm when he takes over the company.
  • Johann - Philip Rham: A German man, who Moss intends to learn to cook from, however he turns out to be a cannibal (cf. Armin Meiwes).
  • Margaret - Sarah Hadland: Margaret is a divorced friend of Jen's who tends to become "friendlier" to men after she has had a few drinks. She is partnered with Moss at Jen's Dinner party the two end up squabbling in a way that would make them seem like a couple with marriage problems.
  • Jessica - Catherine Shepherd: Another of Jen's friends who attends the dinner party. She talks very quickly in short bursts and is considered annoying by the rest of the characters due to her speech patterns and constant use of air quotes. Richmond, however, finds her attractive, especially her skull. She and Richmond have sexual intercourse at least twice. This happens once at Jen's party and again in Richmond's "office" behind the red door in the Reynholm Industries IT basement. The couple is so loud that Roy and Moss have to play extremely loud music to drown them out, but when Jen turns the volume down, Jessica can be heard to say "Oh, look at me - having an orgasm!"
  • Paula - Dolly Wells: A Model friend of Jen's who was in a very bad car accident. She had major reconstructive surgery done, and now has her face obstructed by bandages. She is partnered with Roy during the dinner party, but he spends the whole of the evening trying to figure out what she would look like underneath the bandages. She has a large and flashy apartment and multiple video game consoles, making her the perfect girl for Roy. She turns down Roy's invitation for a second date because he isn't her type physically, and she feels she can do better.
  • Helen Buley - Amelia Bullmore: The head of BHDR Industries, who are "the top makers of that product that has something to do with our company", according to Jen.
  • Peter File - Orlando Seale: A former boyfriend of Jen's with whom she hosted a dinner party with several friends of theirs. A gag made in the episode is that his name is a play on the word "paedophile". At the end of the episode when he and Jen are at the airport waiting for a flight to Paris for a minibreak, his name is called several times over the intercom, other people interpreting it as 'paedophile', and Jen is seen outside calling a taxi. This character name originates from Brass Eye, a faux-news programme co-written by Graham Linehan and his writing partner Arthur Matthews, as well as others. It was created by IT Crowd actor Chris Morris. This joke is somewhat lost on many American viewers, as the word pedophile is commonly pronounced "pEd-ah-'fI-el, rather than "peed-ah-'fIl in the United States (as mentioned by Moss at the dinner party).
  • Jeff Holcorn - James Bachman: A fellow film fanatic, he calls Roy in "Moss and the German" to inform him of the twist in "the new Tarantino film". He changed his name by deed poll to "Dominator"; however, Roy always refers to him by his given name.
  • Philip - Jamie Michie: A former boyfriend of Jen's whom Roy suspected was gay after learning he wanted to borrow Jen's copy of Heat. Suspicions were increased throughout the episode, as Philip took Roy, Moss, and Jen to a musical called "Gay, A Gay Musical", and was revealed to be friends with a number of gay men. He denied being gay at first, but came out in tears when Jen mentioned the copy of Heat he borrowed. He speaks with a Scottish accent.
  • Brandy and Crystal - Two prostitutes Moss and Roy hired when drunk, when they arrived Moss and Roy were too scared to do anything so instead they went to a funfair. They are shown only in the closing credit slideshow of the first episode, the clips are of them at the funfair.

[edit] Episodes

[edit] Broadcasting

[edit] Online

In a first for Channel 4, each episode of the first series was available for download via the station's web site for the seven days preceding its initial TV broadcast. Downloads were only available for UK and Ireland viewers and were supplied in Windows Media Video format. All but the first two episodes were encoded with DRM restrictions.

[edit] List of broadcasters

  • In Australia the first series of The IT Crowd was broadcast on ABC1 in 2006 and the second series began on the 16th of April 2008, moving to ABC2. Both the first and second series have also been run on UK.TV, a pay channel on the Foxtel platform.
  • In Bulgaria, the show is broadcast by GTV Bulgaria with title Компютърджии since 30 July 2008.
  • In Canada, the series made its North American debut on July 16, 2007 on G4techTV Canada.
  • In the Czech Republic, the show was broadcast in spring 2008 by the public TV Česká televize with the title Ajťáci (The I.T. Guys). Contrary to common practice with foreign language series, it was not dubbed, but only subtitled.
  • In Denmark, the show is broadcast by TV 2 Zulu.
  • In Hungary, the show's first season was broadcast by Cool Tv, in 2007.
  • In Iceland, the show is broadcast by Skjár 1 since June 2008.
  • In India, the show is broadcast by STAR World since May 27, 2008.
  • In Israel, the show is broadcast by Channel 23, The Educational Channel.
  • In Japan, the show is broadcast by digital satellite channel wowow
  • In Latin America, the show is broadcast on Canal Sony.
  • In the Netherlands, the show is broadcast by Comedy Central
  • In New Zealand, the show is broadcast by TVNZ on TV ONE since 2007. Series 2 has just finished airing.
  • In Norway, the show is broadcast by TV 2 once a week.
  • In Philippines, the show is broadcast by MAXXX.
  • In Poland, the show had been broadcast by TVP 2 and Comedy Central channels with the title Technicy-magicy (Technicians-Magicians).
  • In Spain the show has been broadcast since November 24, 2007, on Canal+ with the title Los informáticos.
  • In Sweden, the show is broadcast by TV4 Komedi.
  • In the United States, past seasons are broadcast on the Independent Film Channel as part of their "Automat" block.
  • In Wales the show is broadcast on S4C with a one week delay during the popular Friday night line-up.

[edit] DVD

One of the Series 1 DVD menus showing a parody of the many isometric adventure games such as Knight Lore and Head Over Heels.

[edit] Series 1

The first series was released in the UK as "The IT Crowd - Version 1.0" on November 13, 2006 by 2 Entertain Video Ltd. The DVD start-up sequence and subsequent menus are designed to resemble a ZX Spectrum.

The DVD also included a short film written and directed by Linehan called Hello Friend, which starred Martin Savage in a silent role, and also has appearances from Ayoade and Little Britain's David Walliams.

The first series DVD was also released in Australia on December 6, 2006.

An American version of the DVD was slated for a September 4, 2007 release, but on August 14, 2007 it was announced that since the American version of the show has been pushed back to an early 2008 start, the DVD would be released on February 18, 2008.[7] For unknown reasons, the release date was delayed again. In early 2009, created a listing for a Region 1 edition, set to release March 31st.[8]

[edit] Series 2

"The IT Crowd - Version 2.0" DVD was released on October 1, 2007, together with a box set containing both the first and second series. Initial plans to release series two without region encoding did not go ahead.[9] Retail chain HMV sold an exclusive limited edition version featuring a set of four postcards in the style of popular viral photos such as Ceiling Cat — here replicated as Ceiling Goth.

The disc contains a commentary track, outtakes and "Recording The IT Crowd" featurette. Whereas the first series DVD menus parodied 8-bit games, the Series 2 DVD menus parody 16-bit games and make reference to Zero Wing (all your base meme), Mortal Kombat, Tetris and Lemmings. They were animated by London animation studio, CHASE. There are also several 'hidden' extras encoded into the subtitles.[10] These are done in much the same way as the base64 subtitles from Series 1, and include two JPG images and a text adventure game file. Episode 4 has a BBC BASIC listing, and Episode 6 has light bars in the corner of the screen which can be decoded using a light reader. [11][12]

[edit] Series 3

A box-set containing all three series was released 16 March 2009 under the 2ENTERTAIN label.

[edit] Cultural references

The show features a large number of references to geek culture, mostly in set dressing and props. Dialogue (both technical and cultural) is usually authentic and any technobabble used often contains in-jokes for viewers knowledgeable in such subjects. Some of the more obvious references include:

[edit] Foreign remakes

The IT Crowd (US Version)
Genre Situation comedy
Created by Graham Linehan
Country of origin USA
Language(s) English
No. of episodes 5 (4 Unproduced)
Camera setup Multi-camera
Running time 22 min.
Original channel NBC
Picture format 16:9
Audio format Stereo
Original airing Never Aired
  • A pilot for an American version of The IT Crowd was filmed by NBC before an audience on February 16, 2007.[13] Jessica St. Clair played Jen, Joel McHale played Roy and Richard Ayoade reprised his role as Moss.[14] The show was originally reported to have a midseries debut in 2007–08.[15] However, the remake was canceled in 2008.[16]
  • A German version of the programme has been in production since June 2007, starring Sky du Mont, Sebastian Münster, Stefan Puntigam and Britta Horn.[17] Originally titled Das iTeam - Die Jungs mit der Maus (The iTeam - The Boys with the Mouse, where "Maus" is also a slang term for a young woman), the title was changed to Das iTeam - Die Jungs an der Maus (The iTeam - The Boys at the Mouse) at the last minute. The premiere episode was aired on January 4, 2008 on Sat.1. After the first episode was broadcast online, the adaptation received a mainly negative response from Internet forum users and blog writers. It was criticised for the quality of its translation and direction, and the poor performance of Stefan Puntigam as Gabriel (German version's name for Moss). The show was dropped by Sat.1 in January 2008 after the second episode due to low ratings.[18]

[edit] Awards

The series won the Best Sitcom prize at the 2008 Rose d'Or ceremony.[19] The website "The British Sitcom Guide" voted The IT Crowd to be the "Best New British Sitcom of 2006",[20] and it won the "The BSG Readers' Award" in 2007.[21] In November 2008, it was awarded with an International Emmy.[22].In 2009 Graham Linehan won best script television actor at the Irish Film and Television Awards for his work on the IT Crowd.

[edit] References

  1. ^ Linehan, Graham "While I'm At It".  8 February 2006
  2. ^ Graham Linehan. The IT Crowd version 1.0 (commentary track) [DVD]. 2 Entertain Video Ltd.
  3. ^ "IT Crowd and Peep Show get new series orders". Den of Geek. 2009-03-19. Retrieved on 2009-03-30. 
  4. ^ Standard Nerds
  5. ^ — TV Listings: What's on TV tonight
  6. ^ — Chris O'Dowd - IT Crowd writer Linehan hopes for fourth series
  7. ^ "IT Crowd DVD News". 
  8. ^ " listing for IT Crowd Series 1 DVD (Region 1)". 
  9. ^ Linehan, Graham "Please! My cheeldren need wine!".  25 September 2007
  10. ^ Linehan, Graham "Good luck!".  22 July 2008
  11. ^ "Hacking the IT Crowd Series 2 DVD". 
  12. ^ "The IT Crowd Series 2 DVD Easter Eggs". 
  13. ^ "Richard Ayoade to star in U.S. IT Crowd too". 
  14. ^ "IMDB: The IT Crowd (2007)(TV)". 
  15. ^ "NBC Fall Preview". 
  16. ^ "NBC May Unplug 'IT Crowd'".,0,7647371.story. 
  17. ^ "German version". 
  18. ^ - Schluss mit lustig: Sat.1 wirft «Das iTeam» raus
  19. ^ "Rose d'Or Winners 2008" (PDF). Rose d'Or AG. 2008-05-06. Retrieved on 2008-05-07. 
  20. ^ "The British Sitcom Guide Awards 2006". British Sitcom Guide. Retrieved on 2008-09-08. 
  21. ^ "The British Sitcom Guide Awards 2007". British Sitcom Guide. Retrieved on 2008-09-08. 
  22. ^ Linehan wins an Emmy for sitcom on the IT set Shane Hegarty, Irish Times, 26 November 2008

[edit] External links

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