Extras: Season 1 (2005)


Season 1
Extras

Critics Consensus

Nothing is off-limits when it comes to Extras, as Andy, Darren, and Maggie touch on every taboo in the book with the help of each episode's featured celebrity.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 43

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 40

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Episodes

Air date: Oct 2, 2005

On the set of a very serious film about atrocities in Bonia, directed by Ben Stiller, Maggie (Ashley Jensen) expresses an interest in Goran (Boris Boskovic), the on-set advisor whose tragic story is being told in the film. Andy (Ricky Gervais) helpfully warns her, "Never get involved with a man whose wife has been murdered." Luckily for Maggie, she's told that her brutal death in the film counts as a "supplemental performance," for which she is due additional pay, and when she goes to the production office to look into it (fake bullet hole still oozing on her forehead), she meets Jon (Steve Jackson). Maggie and Andy are invited to a birthday celebration by Jackie (Liza Sadovy), and while neither wants to go, only Andy is quick enough on his feet to come up with a plausible excuse. But Maggie is delighted when she learns that Jon will also be there, and Andy decides to go after all when Jon tells him that Martin (Jay Villiers), one of the film's producers, will also be in attendance. Andy is desperate to be given a line in the film, and plans to ingratiate himself in any way he can. He also approaches Goran, unfortunately interrupting the man while he is looking at photos of his dead family. Undeterred, he later gives Goran a book of coupons to thank him for asking Stiller about getting him a line. He tells the perplexed Goran that he might not remember promising to do so because "you were crying about your dead family." This was the premiere episode of the program's run on the BBC, but was the second episode shown on HBO.

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Air date: Oct 9, 2005

Andy (Ricky Gervais) is an extra in a period film that stars Ross Kemp from EastEnders. His efforts to get more camera time, let alone a line, seem to be fruitless, as usual. "Cut it before the fat bloke gets his face in the shot," is typical of the things one hears on one of his sets. Andy takes some razzing from fellow struggling actor Greg (Shaun Pye), who is working on a film with Vinnie Jones (Snatch) on the same lot. Greg, much to Andy's chagrin, has a line. Andy attempts to talk to Kemp about getting a line in the TV program they're shooting, but Kemp seems obsessed with talking about what a "hard man" he is, claiming to have been in the SAS (though he doesn't seem to know what the acronym stands for). "You best not get into a fight with me," he warns Andy. "Sure, Andy mutters to himself, "or a conversation." When Kemp finds out that Jones is shooting a film across the way, he's disgusted, and dismisses Jones as "a bloody footballer," disparaging his acting talent and his presumed toughness. Later Andy bickers with Greg again, and relays Kemp's comments, inadvertently bringing on a showdown between the two stars. Andy also visits his inept agent (Stephen Merchant), and learns that he also represents Shaun Williamson, also formerly of EastEnders, who is now doing odd jobs. Meanwhile, Maggie (Ashley Jensen) engages in her usual pursuit of on-set romance, this time with Mark (Raymond Coulthard), though she's a bit intimidated by his apparent intellect, explaining that he "reads the big papers."

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Air date: Sep 25, 2005

This episode of Extras, the first aired on HBO, opens on the set of a WWII melodrama. Kate Winslet stars as a saintly nun protecting a group of Jews, among them Maggie (Ashley Jensen), while Andy (Ricky Gervais) plays a Nazi soldier. Suzanne (Charlotte Palmer), another extra, mentions to Andy that he looks "quite dapper" in his uniform, to which he responds, "You should see me with a white sheet over my head setting fire to a cross." In response to Maggie's concerns about "all these people walking around pretending to be nuns," Andy professes his own atheism. Maggie's on-set romance with prop guy Mike (John Kirk), meanwhile, is challenged by his propensity for phone sex, which leaves Maggie at a loss, as she embarrassedly confesses to Andy. Winslet overhears their conversation and interjects, suggesting Maggie start out with something "light" like, "I'd love it if you stuck your Willy Wonka between my Oompa-Loompas." Winslet later tells the startled extras that she's doing this film, not to "keep the message alive about the Holocaust," as Andy suggests, but because doing a film about the Holocaust virtually guarantees her an Oscar. Suzanne's sister, Fran (Francesca Martinez), who has cerebral palsy, visits the set, and when Fran asks Andy, who is smitten with Suzanne, about his religious beliefs, he claims to be a Catholic, which gets him into a spot when Suzanne invites him to a "get-together with some friends" that turns out to be a religious meeting. Andy also has a pointless meeting with his agent (Stephen Merchant), who lets him know that "nothing's come in."

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Air date: Oct 30, 2005

Andy's (Ricky Gervais) incompetent agent (Stephen Merchant) seems to think the reason Andy's not getting any offers is his shape. "If you insist on remaining a blob, could you at least get a tan?" he helpfully suggests. He does land Andy a role as a gay genie in a doomed stage production of Aladdin, starring down-on-his-luck British television comedian Les Dennis (the former host of Family Fortunes, the British version of Family Feud). Les introduces Andy to his pretty young blonde fiancée, Simone (Nicky Ladanowski). Later, he tells Andy, "It's about time I had a bit of luck," laments having reached the point where he has to share a dressing room with Andy, and confesses that he considered suicide during his recent stint on Celebrity Big Brother. During rehearsals, Andy spies Simone backstage making out with a stagehand, and on opening night, when Les tells Andy he's decided to break up with her, Andy ill-advisedly mentions what he's seen. When Maggie (Ashley Jensen) drops in for a visit, she recognizes an old schoolmate in the production. Lizzie (Rebecca Gethings) turns out to be the daughter of the musical's foppish choreographer/director, Bunny (Gerard Kelly), who proves to be an exacting and overbearing stage parent.

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Air date: Oct 16, 2005

Andy (Ricky Gervais) and Maggie (Ashley Jensen) are extras in a Samuel L. Jackson movie. Maggie's on-set crush this time is Dan (Michael Wildman), a black actor with a small role in the film. When Dan tells Maggie that there aren't a lot of roles available for black actors, she suggests he try Crimewatch. "They always need black actors for the crime re-enactments" Maggie tells him, before realizing how she sounds, and adding, "Or white actors." Maggie continues to pursue Dan, though she worries that he thinks she's a racist. She asks Andy, "What if I subconsciously am a little bit racist?" Andy helpfully administers what he claims is some kind of "official" racism test. When tested, Maggie would rather come home to Johnny Depp than OJ Simpson, among other indicators of her alleged racist proclivities. Andy tells her she's scored a "hate rating of 9.8, one more than Hitler." Andy's own hatred of awkward social situations comes into play when another extra (Steve Speirs) tries to befriend him. The dullard tells Andy several tragic tales of friends who have lost eyes or limbs. But when he recommends Andy for a small speaking role in the film, Andy tells him he owes him one, and the other extra asks Andy to take him out for a meal in return. Andy decides to do "the only honorable thing," and "add him to the long list of people that I have to avoid for the rest of my life." This proves easier said than done.

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Air date: Nov 6, 2005

Andy (Ricky Gervais) and Maggie (Ashley Jensen) are extras on the set of a very serious Patrick Stewart film. Andy's nemesis, Greg (Shaun Pye), is also there, and he has a line, much to Andy's chagrin. Andy drops by Patrick Stewart's trailer in a desperate effort to further his career. Stewart understands the challenge faced by struggling actors and is quite welcoming. When Andy tells Stewart about his sitcom script, Stewart goes into great detail about the screenplay he's working on, about a man (to be played by Stewart) who can control the world with his mind, and mainly uses that power to make women's clothes fall off. Later, Andy's agent (Stephen Merchant) calls him in, and tells him that the BBC is interested in his sitcom. The agent tries to get Andy to consider his client Shaun Williamson, now working as a handyman at the agency, for the lead role, instead of Andy playing it himself as intended. Despite the agent's ineptitude, Andy's meeting with producer Iain (Guy Henry) and flamboyantly gay script editor Damon (Martin Savage) goes quite well, and Andy starts working with Damon to tighten up the pilot script. First, of course, he has to drop by the set to tell Maggie the good news, and rub it in the faces of his fellow extras, particularly Greg. While Damon is out on a coffee break, Maggie visits, and Andy jokingly complains about his writing partner. "No one needs to be that gay." Maggie runs into Damon on her way out, and suggests he "might want to tone it down a bit," which leads to all kinds of problems.

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Tv Season Info

Series 1 sees Andy and Maggie starring as extras in various television series' with stars that include; Ben Stiller, Ross Kemo, Vinnie Jones, Kate Winslet, Les Dennis, Samuel L. Jackson and Patrick Stewart. Late in the series, Andy sells his script for a sitcom to the BBC.

Critic Reviews for Extras Season 1

Audience Reviews for Extras: Season 1

  • Jan 27, 2021
    There is no sharper, more hilarious piece of social commentary on the Hollywood film industry than Extras —— the most undervalued work of Ricky Gervais' career. Iroh's grade: A+
  • Jan 08, 2018
    Ricky Gervais has to be the absolute master of 'awkward comedy' and is able to relate to his audience on a personal level. Extras is a 2 season tv series. In the first season, Gervais plays the character of a background extra being paid next to nothing and is able to break through with a screenplay where he then becomes a 'somebody' in the business during season 2. A very funny series that is smothered in great comedy and is also relatable on a human level at the same time (something Gervais is able to do time and time again). Highly recommended.
  • Dec 30, 2017
    (both seasons) The masters of cringe comedy strike back. Each episode has at least one guest star attracting the attention and some of these appearances (e.g. Kate Winslet) are brilliant, but the high point of "Extras" ends up being the recurring characters. The show slowly but surely invests in them, culminating in the excellent special. There may be a couple of weaker (still good) episodes throughout but the show can be great at combining humour, stupidity, drama, affection and biting social commentary.
  • Jul 16, 2017
    These kind of humor makes you think about the world. It shows how can one live outside of the expectation of the society. I never laughed so hard on a TV show.

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