The Office Characters

Tuesday, July 26 by Travis Petersen

The original British version of "The Office" was a massive commercial and critical success and set the stage for the American version, and versions throughout the world, based on the original The Office characters. Ricky Gervais' David Brent became Steven Carell's Michael Scott, and so on. The Office characters in the original British version were definitely more nuanced, and had complete story arcs as the show only ran two seasons and a holiday special knowing to quit while it was ahead. Here are the Office characters from the original series.

  1. David Brent. The humorous but sad center of the show is Ricky Gervais' boss, David Brent, whom the rest of the Office characters must interact with in their day-to-day duties at the paper-selling company in Slough, a desolate outer suburb of London. Brent is a bad boss, not only because he is inept, but because he fancies himself a comedian, and his gags are unfunny and often offensive. David is the key to all the other The Office characters.
  2. Tim Canterbury. The equivalent to Jim in the Office characters in their American incarnations is Tim, a sympathetic, wryly humorous guy who's obviously too smart for his job selling paper, but made a wrong turn along the way, perhaps too lazy to succeed elsewhere or just too unfortunate. He is played by Martin Freeman, who is utterly charming in the role, especially in the plot involving his unrequited love and flirtation with the lovely secretary, Dawn.
  3. Dawn Tinsley. Dawn is the equivalent of Pam in the Office characters in their American incarnations. She is the cute receptionist who gets through the day only by her office relationship with Tim, joking and flirting and keeping themselves from getting sucked into the dreariness of the office's inner workings. She's in a relationship that's not working out, but she's sticking it out, much to Tim's dismay. Dawn is played by Lucy Davis, most familiar to American audiences for her role in "Shaun of the Dead."
  4. Gareth Keenan. The basis for Dwight rounds out the Office characters list. He is a suck-up to David, finds himself to be far more intelligent and cunning than he is, and brags often about his military past while looking too scrawny to have even dug a latrine in the armed forces. He is perhaps the funniest character, in his delusions, and is played perfectly by Mackenzie Crook, in a career-defining role.

-Travis Petersen