Derek (TV series)

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Derek (TV series)
Derek TV series logo.png
GenreComedy-drama
FormatMockumentary
Created byRicky Gervais
Written byRicky Gervais
Directed byRicky Gervais
StarringRicky Gervais
Karl Pilkington
Kerry Godliman
David Earl
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes7 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Ricky Gervais
Producer(s)Charlie Hanson
Editor(s)Valerio Bonelli
CinematographyMartin Hawkins
Running time24 mins[1]
Production company(s)Derek Productions Ltd.
Broadcast
Original channelChannel 4
Netflix
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original run12 April 2012 (2012-04-12) – present
External links
Website
 
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Derek (TV series)
Derek TV series logo.png
GenreComedy-drama
FormatMockumentary
Created byRicky Gervais
Written byRicky Gervais
Directed byRicky Gervais
StarringRicky Gervais
Karl Pilkington
Kerry Godliman
David Earl
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original language(s)English
No. of series1
No. of episodes7 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Ricky Gervais
Producer(s)Charlie Hanson
Editor(s)Valerio Bonelli
CinematographyMartin Hawkins
Running time24 mins[1]
Production company(s)Derek Productions Ltd.
Broadcast
Original channelChannel 4
Netflix
Picture format1080i (HDTV)
Original run12 April 2012 (2012-04-12) – present
External links
Website

Derek is a British television comedy-drama written, directed by and starring Ricky Gervais.[2] The pilot produced by Derek Productions Ltd.[3][4] for Channel 4, first aired on 12 April 2012.

On 9 May 2012, Channel 4 announced that it had commissioned a full series, which began airing on 30 January 2013.[5] On 19 September 2012, Netflix picked up the series for US distribution.[6]

Contents

Overview

The pilot episode first aired on 12 April 2012 on Channel 4. Filmed in a mockumentary style, it stars and was written and directed by Ricky Gervais. It is set in an old people's home and centres on a helper at the home, Derek, played by Gervais.[7] The titular character is based on one that first appeared in Gervais' stand-up show "Rubbernecker" at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2001.[8] The show portrays the home's workers and residents as unhappy outsiders who struggle in life due to being disadvantaged, excluded from and unwanted by mainstream society.

Derek goes beyond his job description to help residents, including buying a lottery scratchcard for a resident. It wins £10, but she dies shortly before he returns to tell her.

The majority of the show takes place in the home. One scene takes place on a bus and another is in a local pub. The latter scene involves three girls taunting Derek causing his friend and co-worker Hannah to become angry and headbutt one of them.

Ricky Gervais revealed, on his blog, just after the pilot aired that he was halfway through writing a series of 6 more episodes.

Gervais has said that the programme was inspired by his relatives who work in care homes, saying, "Half my family are care workers. My sister works with kids with learning difficulties. My sister-in-law works in a care home for people with Alzheimer's. And four or five of my nieces work in old people's homes. I always write about what I know."[9]

Protagonist

Gervais plays 49-year-old Derek Noakes, a care worker in a home for the elderly; he began working there three years ago. He likes watching reality television shows and game shows and is interested in celebrities, fame and YouTube. He is a kind, helpful, selfless man with good intentions. He is vulnerable because of his childlike naiveté and lack of intelligence. He is ridiculed and ostracised, as well as being marginalised by mainstream society because of his social awkwardness, unattractiveness and lack of inhibitions. Derek says it is more important to be kind than to be clever or good-looking. Many media sources describe him as autistic,[8] although Gervais himself has always stated that he sees Derek as not being mentally handicapped. The exterior of the care home is the old officers mess at RAF Uxbridge.

Supporting characters

Kerry Godliman plays his colleague and friend Hannah; she has worked in the home for fifteen years. Karl Pilkington plays Dougie, the home's caretaker and bus driver who considers taking unwanted possessions for himself from residents who have recently died as a perk of his job. Derek and Dougie live in Dougie's council flat. David Earl plays Kev, a friend of Derek who does not work in the home; Kev collects autographs from celebrities.

Episodes

Series 1

No.TitleUK viewers[10]Original air date
"Pilot"2.59 million12 April 2012 (2012-04-12)
A documentary crew films the activities of the workers in a nursing home. Derek, a 49 year old worker who loves his job and the people he cares for, introduces the crew to some of the workers and residents. Hannah, who runs the nursing home, is interviewed on how she got to where she is and her relationship history. Derek and Hannah walk around outside in a grassy field and around a pond. Derek, thinking he sees a spider, gets scared and falls into the pond. Later, Hannah attempts to get Derek to discreetly find out of Tom, a relative of a resident that Hannah is interested in, is gay, but the plan backfires. Hannah later takes Derek to the pub, where three nearby women make fun of Derek's looks. Hannah and Derek leave, but not before Hannah quickly headbutts one of the women. Later in the day, one of the residents dies, which greatly upsets Derek. After a memorial service, Hannah and Tom leave for a pub. 
01"Episode 1"2.32 million30 January 2013 (2013-01-30)
02"Episode 2"1.98 million6 February 2013 (2013-02-06)
03"Episode 3"1.79 million13 February 2013 (2013-02-13)
04"Episode 4"20 February 2013 (2013-02-20)
05"Episode 5"27 February 2013 (2013-02-27)
06"Episode 6 (final episode)"6 March 2013 (2013-03-06)

Cast

Music

Reception

The show attracted controversy—most of it before it was aired—due to a perception by some that it mocks mentally disabled people.[11] Tanya Gold, writing for The Guardian, dismissed Gervais' claims that in Derek he was satirising prejudice against the disabled, instead saying it "feels more like lazy cruelty than satire".[8] Jack Seale addressed this in his review for the Radio Times, noting that Derek "is uncynically presented as a hero who is, in Gervais’s words, “better than us” because he lacks ego and guile and merely wants to be nice. Those seeking to take offence at Gervais’s portrayal of Derek will have to look hard".[1] Seale went on to criticise the show for relying too heavily on elements and characterisations from previous programmes made by Gervais, but also praised the emotional final scene as "truly superb work from Gervais as actor, writer and director" and Kerry Godliman's performance, stating that "every moment she’s on screen is sigh-inducing magic."[1] The Guardian's Sam Wollaston also found the programme uncontroversial but was less positive on the show as a whole, finding it just "not very good" also feeling that "the whole mockumentary thing feels tired now".[12] It was watched by just over two million viewers, over ten percent of people watching TV at that time.[13]

References

  1. ^ a b c Seale, Jack (2012-03-28). "Ricky Gervais in Derek - review". Radio Times. http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2012-03-28/ricky-gervais-in-derek---review. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
  2. ^ "Channel 4 launches Ricky Gervais’s Derek | News | Comedy Central UK and Ireland". Comedycentral.co.uk. 2012-04-03. http://www.comedycentral.co.uk/news/channel-4-launches-ricky-gervais-derek/. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  3. ^ "Derek - C4 Comedy Drama - British Comedy Guide". Comedy.co.uk. http://www.comedy.co.uk/guide/tv/derek/. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  4. ^ company check ltd. "Free company financial check on DEREK PRODUCTIONS LIMITED. Registered number 07453009. Free company accounts. Companies House information". Company Check. http://companycheck.co.uk/company/07453009. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  5. ^ "commissions series of Derek by Ricky Gervais - Channel 4 - Info - Press". Channel 4. 2012-05-09. http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/channel-4-commissions-series-of-derek-by-ricky-gervais. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  6. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (September 19, 2012). "Netflix Picks Up New Ricky Gervais Series ‘Derek’". nytimes.com. http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/netflix-picks-up-new-ricky-gervais-series-derek/. Retrieved September 19, 2012.
  7. ^ Holly Thomas. "'Who'd win between a suicide bomber and a shark?'". Dailymail.co.uk. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2125793/Teaser-Ricky-Gervaiss-new-Derek-shows-comic-irreverent-best.html. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
  8. ^ a b c Tanya Gold (2012-02-09). "No justification for this lazy comedy". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/apr/10/ricky-gervais-no-justification-lazy-cruelty. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
  9. ^ "Ricky Gervais interview for Derek". Channel 4. http://www.channel4.com/info/press/news/ricky-gervais-interview-for-derek.
  10. ^ "Weekly Top 30 Programmes". Barb.co.uk. http://www.barb.co.uk/viewing/weekly-top-30. Retrieved 16 February 2013. (No permanent link available. Search for relevant dates.)
  11. ^ BBC (2012-4-9). "Ricky Gervais defends comedy show Derek". BBC.co.uk. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17656633. Retrieved 2012-12-09.
  12. ^ Sam Wollaston (2012-04-12). "TV review: Derek; Long Lost Family | Television & radio". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/tv-and-radio/2012/apr/12/derek-long-lost-family-review. Retrieved 2013-01-18.
  13. ^ John Plunkett. "Ricky Gervais' Derek attracts 2m viewers". Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/apr/13/ricky-gervais-derek-viewers?newsfeed=true. Retrieved 2012-11-24.

External links