Love him or loathe him there's no denying that Ricky Gervais (The Office, Extras, Life's Too Short) gets people talking, and more importantly watching.
His latest venture aired last night on Channel 4 and was a one-off half-hour comedy drama, (why it wasn't called a pilot I'll never know!) called Derek which was an idea Ricky Gervais had long before he dreamt up The Office, so it's fair to say that for Gervais at least this show has been a long time coming. Not content with just writing the episode, Gervais decided to star as the main character Derek, a 49 year old man who works in a care home.
The third wheel in Ricky and Stephen Merchant's relationship, Karl Pilkington, appears in his debut acting role, as Dougie the landlord/caretaker of the care home and best mate of Derek. Also starring in Derek is Kerri Godliman in the role of Hannah, who runs the home and always puts others first.
Gervais once again adopts the documentary style he made famous with The Office and more recently Life's Too Short. Despite enjoying Life's Too Short yet noticing its flaws I watched Derek last night wanting it to be good, and for me, it was. I had my reservations on how they could market a pilot as a 'one-off comedy drama' but in fact it seemed to work very well.The first half of the episode was far more comical than the second, and served to establish the characters and the tone of the piece. The episode begins with Derek introducing us to the care home and the various characters within it and in particular Hannah, who as we mentioned earlier is the care-worker who runs the home.