Extras

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Extras
Extras.jpg
[l-r] Kate Winslet, Ben Stiller, Ashley Jensen, Samuel L. Jackson, Ricky Gervais, Ross Kemp
Genre Comedy (sitcom)
Running time 28 mins.
Creator(s) Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
Writer(s) Ricky Gervais & Stephen Merchant
Starring Ricky Gervais, Ashley Jensen, Stephen Merchant, Shaun Williamson
Country UK
Network BBC, HBO
Original runs 21 July 2005 (UK), 25 September 2005 (US) – 17 December 2007 (US), 27 December 2007 (UK)
No. of episodes 13
IMDB Profile

Extras is a sitcom about two friends who work together as background actors in films. It is written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. The series is filmed in a more traditional sitcom style than The Office. The show is perhaps most notable for its reliance on celebrity guest stars who play exaggerated or nasty versions of themselves. It has been nominated for several awards, and in 2007 Ricky won both an Emmy and a BAFTA for his performance of Andy Millman.

Contents

Premise

The series follows two friends, Andy Millman and Maggie Jacobs, who are barely scraping a living as lowly film extras. Andy is a bit more ambitious than Maggie, and is constantly trying to finagle his way into getting a speaking part. He also hires an agent, the ineffectual Darren Lamb, to help him find serious acting work. Maggie, on the other hand, merely sees every new film set as a chance to find a boyfriend.

In addition to his acting aspirations, Andy is also developing a sitcom script. He manages to pass it along to the BBC, and in the second series it not only gets made but becomes a huge hit. But the BBC waters it down significantly, making it very broad and catchphrase-driven. Andy regrets giving up his artistic integrity for commercial success, while at the same time relishing his newfound fame.

Cast/Characters

Main Cast

Andy used to work in a bank, but left to pursue his life-long dream of becoming an actor. Sadly, he hasn't made it yet, and he is forced to scrape a living as an extra on the sets of various film and television productions. Being around far more successful performers has, not unnaturally, made him rather cynical and bitter about the whole process. Still, he gives it his best shot, though he usually fails in his attempts to improve his lot - partly due to his agent's utter incompetence, partly due to events and people beyond his control, but mostly due to his own ability to step right in it and then dig a hole for himself when trying to extricate himself.
Maggie is Andy's best friend and fellow extra. Maggie is a genuinely sweet, well-meaning Scottish soul, who only wants to help. Unfortunately, her general social incompetence and complete lack of any sort of internal censor means that she is more likely to say precisely the wrong thing to the wrong person at exactly the wrong time, despite her lack of malicious intent - which usually means that she is just as likely to humiliate Andy as help him. Maggie is constantly on the lookout for Mr. Right, but her frequent attempts are usually frustrated quite spectacularly.

Recurring Cast

Darren Lamb is literally the worst agent in the history of acting. Incapable of breaking an act, his usual negotiating tactic is to agree with whatever anyone else says, or, more likely, suggest someone other than his client for the part. He is very good at deducting his 12.5% commission, however. His skill at his profession can be summed up by the fact that he once left his office phone unplugged for two days without noticing.
Shaun Williamson plays himself as one of Darren's clients. He used to play Barry Evans on the soap opera EastEnders, but left to pursue a multi-million pound contract elsewhere. As Darren is his agent, this was a spectacular failure, and the most recent job his agent has managed to secure for him is changing a light bulb. It says a lot about Shaun's career prospects that even his own agent doesn't know his real name, but instead calls him "Barry from EastEnders" while Andy always calls him Shaun. He is very depressed about his life.
Greg is a fellow extra. Unlike Andy, he has often secured a line in various productions; as a result, he is extremely smug and condescending to his fellow extras. Underneath this, he is extremely petty, jealous and snide - probably because he wouldn't be doing so well if it weren't for the support given by his wealthy parents.

Guest Stars

Series One

Series Two

Series Two (cont.)

Christmas Special

  • Clive Owen
  • Gordon Ramsay
  • George Michael
  • Hale and Pace
  • Lionel Blair
  • Dean Gaffney
  • David Tennant
  • Vernon Kaye
  • Chico Slimani
  • June Sarpong

Episodes

Series 1

The first series of Extras was first broadcast in the UK between 21 July and 25 August 2005. The series ran for six episodes with a story arc about Andy's attempts to go from a lowly extra to a proper actor.

Title Series Original Airdate Guest Stars Buy #
BenStiller01.jpg Episode 1 Series 1 21 July 2005 (BBC 2) Ben Stiller Amazon 1
Andy and Maggie are extras on a film being directed by Ben Stiller about Goran, whose wife and son died in the Balkans War. Andy tries to get a speaking part by giving a topshop voucher to Goran.
RossKemp01.jpg Episode 2 Series 1 28 July 2005 (BBC 2) Ross Kemp, Vinnie Jones Amazon 2
Andy works on a period drama with Ross Kemp. Vinnie Jones who's working on a neighbouring set is looking for a fight with Kemp. Meanwhile, Maggie pursues a "dashing" actor on set.
KateWinslet01.jpg Episode 3 Series 1 4 August 2005 (BBC 2) Kate Winslet Amazon 3
Andy and Maggie work on film about the holocaust. Kate Winslet gives bad dating advice to Maggie, and Andy lies to a catholic that he's keen on.
LesDennis01.jpg Episode 4 Series 1 11 August 2005 (BBC 2) Les Dennis Amazon 4
Andy gets a role in a pantomime with Les Dennis who's on the verge of a mental breakdown. Meanwhile, Maggie bumps into an old friend whose father is directing the pantomime.
Sam Jackson01.jpg Episode 5 Series 1 18 August 2005 (BBC 2) Samuel L. Jackson Amazon 5
Andy gets a line on a Samuel L. Jackson film but is pestered by a dullard who Andy can't get rid of. Maggie dates a young black actor and tries to smooth over some racial misunderstanding by simulating sex with a gollywog doll and a Barbie.
PatrickStewart01.jpg Episode 6 Series 1 25 August 2005 (BBC 2) Patrick Stewart Amazon 6
Andy makes a successful pitch to the BBC with a sitcom he's written, but it's all put in jeopardy when Maggie relays an offensive comment to Andy's BBC colleague.

Series 2

The second series of Extras was originally broadcast in the UK between 14 September and 19 October 2006. Again, there were six episodes. This series deals with Andy's sudden rise to fame after his sitcom was picked up by the BBC.

Title Series Original Airdate Guest Stars Buy #
OrlandoBloom01.jpg Episode 7 Series 2 14 September 2006 (BBC 2) Keith Chegwin, Orlando Bloom Amazon 7
On the eve of the first recording of his sitcom, Andy has doubts about the show's quality. Meanwhile, Maggie fends off the advances of Orlando Bloom.
DavidBowie01.jpg Episode 8 Series 2 21 September 2006 (BBC 2) David Bowie Amazon 8
It's the night after his sitcom has aired. Andy goes out with friends Maggie, Darren and Barry and finds his first taste of fame to be a bittersweet experience.
DanielRadcliffe05.jpg Episode 9 Series 2 28 September 2006 (BBC 2) Daniel Radcliffe, Diana Rigg & Warwick Davis Amazon 9
Andy gets a proper role in a film, but things go sour when with an encounter with Warwick Davis. Meanwhile, Dan Radcliffe brings his A game on the set to pick up women.
ChrisMartin01.jpg Episode 10 Series 2 5 October 2006 (BBC 2) Richard Briers, Ronnie Corbett, Stephen Fry, Chris Martin, Davina McCall & Moira Stewart Amazon 10
Andy is nominated for a BAFTA. However, things go awry for him at the ceremony when he is caught with Ronnie Corbett in a men's room cubicle.
IanMcKellen01.jpg Episode 11 Series 2 12 October 2006 (BBC 2) Germaine Greer, Mark Kermode, Ian McKellen Amazon 11
Andy lands a role in the play "A Month of Summers" and hopes it will lend him some acting credibility. His insecurities get the best of him during the performance though, digging him deeper into critical disfavor.
RobertDeNiro01.jpg Episode 12 Series 2 19 October 2006 (BBC 2) Robert De Niro, Robert Lindsay, Jonathan Ross Amazon 12
Andy becomes best mates with Jonathan Ross in a true-to-life allegory. Backstage, he is shanghai'd into hanging out with a terminally ill child. Darren, on the ultimatum of being sacked, sets up a meeting for Andy with Robert De Niro. Andy is faced with choosing between meeting De Niro or staying true to his friends.

Christmas Special

A 90 minute special that first aired on the BBC on 27 December 2007. The show deals with the separate struggles of Andy and Maggie as they attempt to adjust to their lives after they've stopped extra work.

Title Series Original Airdate Guest Stars Buy #
Xmas01.jpg Christmas Special Special 27 December 2007 (BBC 1)
16 December (HBO)
George Michael, Clive Owen, Gordon Ramsay, David Tennant Amazon 13
After quitting his hit sitcom in search of greater fame, Andy learns a valuable lesson about the fickle nature of celebrity culture.

Awards

Extras is a BAFTA, Emmy, Golden Globe, and British Comedy Award winning show. The main actors of the show, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Ashley Jensen have all received awards and accolades for their work on Extras.

See Also

External Links


   
Extras
Series 1: Episode 1 | Episode 2 | Episode 3 | Episode 4 | Episode 5 | Episode 6
Series 2: Episode 7 | Episode 8 | Episode 9 | Episode 10 | Episode 11 | Episode 12
Specials: Extras Christmas Special
Main Characters: Andy Millman | Maggie Jacobs | Darren Lamb | Shaun Williamson
Guest Stars: Ben Stiller | Kate Winslet | Samuel L Jackson | Patrick Stewart | others...
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