Derek (2012–2014)
22 user 1 critic


When a documentary team visits the retirement home where he works,kindly,simple, middle-aged Derek is delighted as he loves reality TV - especially Secret Millionaire - and has 35,000 ... See full summary »


Ricky Gervais


Ricky Gervais, Ricky Gervais (creator)




Episode complete credited cast:
Ricky Gervais ... Derek Noakes
Kerry Godliman ... Hannah
Karl Pilkington ... Dougie
David Earl David Earl ... Kev
Brett Goldstein ... Tom
Ruth Bratt Ruth Bratt ... Mary
Joan Linder Joan Linder ... Joan
Kay Noone Kay Noone ... Lizzie (as Kaye Noone)
Vilma Hollingbery Vilma Hollingbery ... Elsie
Tim Barlow ... Jack
Arthur Nightingale Arthur Nightingale ... Arthur
Grace Willis Grace Willis ... Chav in Pub
Hana Minett Hana Minett ... Chav in Pub


When a documentary team visits the retirement home where he works,kindly,simple, middle-aged Derek is delighted as he loves reality TV - especially Secret Millionaire - and has 35,000 autographs. Douglas,his co-worker and landlord,is less impressed. In the course of the day Derek falls into a pond,sets up his friend Hannah with a date with a handsome visitor and takes the death of a resident to heart. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy | Drama


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References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

User Reviews

A work of art that's hard to swallow.
25 January 2014 | by b5636060See all my reviews

It often seems the present-day landscape of TV and film is one of desolation where the most effort is in serving the lowest common denominator.

In comes Derek, a series that seems to embody mental illness itself though mental illness is said by the creator not to be a factor.

This show deals with loss, self-realization, and the lives of caregivers and those receiving care in a way perhaps never before seen in this medium. Anyone who has been in these real life environment may be stunned to a degree by just how realistic these characters and situations seem to be.

The viewer is best left to take in the series without attempting to confine it to a category. Though the cast contains players we have grown accustomed to making us laugh, I myself cried more than I laughed.

Ricky's character of Derek is hard for me to understand and represents what I find most difficult to accept and what may be to me a fundamental flaw in this production. Ricky claims the character is not meant to be mentally ill in any fashion but nearly every aspect of the character implies a cognitive, even physical faculty that is not operating at 100%. What makes this show particularly peculiar in this regard is that we are subject to monologues in the form of retrospective video interviews in each episode that expound upon the virtues of Derek. We are constantly told of how capable he is, how kind, giving and ideal a person he is. The problem is we never actually see this. There is no on-screen depiction of a capable man running a retirement care home. Most of his behavior is odd and much of his speech and thought processes seem indecipherable. The character of Hannah seems to carry the most load of work. She seems to be the one running the place and with the big heart, not Derek. We see Hannah in every episode demonstrating self-sacrifice and empathy. Yet Derek fuddles about barely able to walk himself across the room or comprehend the simplest thing in the world. Much of the time he behaves as a child. There is a difference between childish and child-like, and much of Derek's representation is the former. We are occasionally given some insight that Derek knows more or is keener than he lets on but this isn't enough to equal the endless praise he is lauded with in every episode.

In the end it feels very strange to me to be constantly told outright about the virtues of a character, but see no basis for those assertions when the character himself is featured.

Karl's character of Dougie is my favorite and always good for a laugh for me. Then, Karl P is one of the wittiest men in comedy. When Ricky said Karl was his gift to the world I am inclined to agree. However, not because he's an idiot, he's brilliant in such a practical, simple way that his common sense and instantaneous rational logic at all the little things we take for granted without question is the mark of a true genius. His character in Derek is Karl as we know and love him pure and simple with the addition of a wig.

Despite the glaring flaw I perceive with the character and representation of Derek himself, the show has heart and is simply unlike anything else I've ever seen. For laughs it's worth it just for Karl's time on screen. I could do without the dramatics, and like others have said it can come off as contrived at times. Yet the tears that fell from my eyes were real. It deals with love and death in realistic ways we rarely see in popular media.

I don't recommend Derek as a comedy, nor as a drama, but as a work of art. A real work of art has an emotional impact and gets people debating, discussing, thinking about the work and themselves and the world around. Derek does that, the proof is here in the reviews and forums of IMDb. It's not the sort of show I would marathon on Netflix, but take in slowly a bit at a time. It's worth a look.

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Release Date:

12 April 2012 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Pilot See more »

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