Thursday, 14 February 2013

Derek Episode 3 Review

Gervais admits it himself, he had reservations about Derek episode 3 being a bit too heavy but from the feedback from fans last night and today – it seems to be everyone’s favourite episode to date, mine included.

Each episode of Derek has underlying mini-themes within the broader story and this week we were treated to Derek’s discovery of an ailing bird before calling an ambulance as he couldn’t get hold of Bill Oddie or Rolf. And just when Derek was about to tell the truth to the paramedics – that he called them out for a baby bird - one of the residents pipes up that the ambulance was for him, much to Derek’s surprise and happiness.

A resident helps Derek escape 'jail'
Gervais performed his character marvellously last night with many touching moments, especially after Marge’s passing when Derek says: “I’d rather be sad than anyone else.” With Derek’s tear-filled eyes and croaky voice, Gervais showed his acting prowess. With Brent, Millman and now with Derek under his belt, Ricky keeps challenging himself as an actor, and each time it’s proving to be a success.

The show also focussed in on Hannah’s relationship with a clearly frustrated Tom. With her busy, overworked life as the manager of the care home taking its toll, she cancels on Tom and then cancels again.

Stood up again
The second time she is all dolled up and ready to go but Marge needs her. She makes the right decision and stays with the dying resident who she’s cared for but just when we thought Hannah and Tom were over, he sweetly turns up with a McDonalds.

“I can smell McDonalds,” says Derek – hilariously changing the tone of the moment, but that’s what Derek does so well.

The fine blend of humour and warmth worked a treat in episode 3, but it can only work if the acting is up to scratch. Thankfully it is. Kerry Godliman’s portrayal of Hannah was top notch once again – believable, sweet and caring as ever, drawing you into the character’s emotional state. David Earl did another fine job with Kev with a number of comedy gold moments to note – hand pump after hand pump after hand pump, as well as the 8oz of pure blood sausage we’ve been teased with all week!

"8oz of pure blood sausage"
But I did feel a little sorry for Kev at the end when he admits he can’t get a ‘normal woman’ – was I meant to?

Tom told Kev a few home truths
But who stole the show? It was of course Karl Pilkington’s Dougie. From being irate at Derek for buying back the pottery frog, to the perfectly scripted “Waddya tell 'im t' lick a toad for, y' dick?” line to Kev – Pilkington was on top form.

Kev tricks Derek into licking a toad
Telling Derek ‘not to ask any  questions’ about Kev’s sexual intercourse and walking around the care home showing us all the shit that was lying around – these comic gems – is why Pilkington is proving to be the star of the show. “Are they really going to miss that?" asked Dougie as he holds up a plastic Prince Charles.

Shit everywhere
If you saw the show, we all know the best in-story – Dougie and Shelley – Marge’s despicable daughter who couldn’t wait for her mam to die so she could get her hands on that ring.

The despicable Shelley and husband
Dougie is a sweetheart as he tells the camera: "I want to tell Marge, ‘Go to bingo, buy gin, piss it up the wall, anything just so Shelley can't have it.’” Inevitably, Marge does die and when Shelley starts questioning Hannah about the ring, and then why somebody such as Derek is allowed to work in the care home, the super hero egg with sideburns steps in to save the day in one of the most honest, angry performances I’ve seen on screen.

“You’re like a fucking magpie coming in here getting anything that’s shiny. You didn’t give a shit about your mam; it’s been Hannah who’s been looking after all this time.”

“I’ve been very busy actually.”

“Oh you’ve been busy? Well is doesn’t matter anymore does it, your mam’s dead. Well you’ve got the ring haven’t you? Have you got the ring? Does it fit alright? Does it fit? Well you’ve got the ring so fuck off then. Fuck off!”

“Fucking hell as if she needs jewellery… Mr fucking T!”

Look at the intensity on Karl's face!
So how did an untrained actor play such a particular scene so well? As Ricky pointed out on Twitter this morning, ‘Karl claims he wasn’t acting – he was actually angry.’ That I can believe! We all love Karl. Every week he has great lines and he is consistently delivering them so well – proving himself as an effective actor with real screen presence. His mannerisms and facial expressions are also telling the story.

As the series continues, the characters are all getting their moment in the spotlight. No one character seems to be taking the lead like Brent did in The Office but that’s the beauty of the show as we all wait to see how it comes together for the series climax. Episode 3 was a triumph – hats off to Ricky and all the cast, but a special well done to Karl – you’re a star!


  1. On point review!

  2. This show just gets better and better!

  3. I cannot get enough of this show!! All I do is scan the internet & youtube for any little snippet about the show that I might not have seen yet. The characters are awesome, the writing is A1, the humor is top notch, & Ricky doesn't overdo the tearjerker stuff. I have never laughed & cried so many times in any episode of any show, ever. When it seems like everything is about computer graphics, Ricky proves the best stories are about interesting characters & good writing. I wish I could thank him personally for reviving my faith in humanity!