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The IT Crowd

Main Characters

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  • Maurice Moss aka Moss –moss_200Maurice Moss (“Moss”) is a stereotypical computer nerd. The humour in his character is derived from his socially ignorant comments and his intricate and detailed knowledge of specialised technical subjects, including chemistry and electronic engineering. He lives with his mother (in one episode, Moss enters her room while she is asleep, but her body is under the bedclothes, hence, she is not seen). Both Moss and Roy feel they never get the credit they deserve in the company. They also show little interest in anything related to sport; in “Fifty-Fifty” when asked about the previous night’s match, neither of them knew what had happened, while in “Smoke and Mirrors”, Moss’s interest wanders when Jen brings up football in conversation. This lack of sporting awareness drives the plot of “Are We Not Men?”, as Moss and Roy use the website bluffball.co.uk to seem knowledgeable about football, with unfortunate consequences. In “Smoke and Mirrors”, it is revealed that he wears his glasses in bed. In “Yesterday’s Jam”, it is revealed that he keeps several pairs of glasses in his desk, which he uses for planning and scheming. He keeps a spray bottle on his belt to cool his left ear down when it gets too hot. In “Calamity Jen”, it is revealed that he keeps a heap of inhalers in his desk. In “Men Without Women”, Moss is able to tell there is rohypnol in Jen’s drink just by smelling it. In the episode “Reynholm vs Reynholm”, Moss reveals that he was sued by his mother as a young boy because he put a ball through a window. He is apparently “still paying costs”. Moss has controlling characteristics, and has a habit of counting the number of staples in his stapler. He also chastises Roy for not keeping track of how many staples he has used while borrowing the stapler.

 

 

  • Roy Trennemanroy_200Roy is a laid back, lazy and unlucky Irish IT technician. He hates his job and avoids performing it at all, despite being more than capable at it. Instead, he spends most of his time playing video games, reading comics or just goofing off in their office. His work attire is very casual compared to his colleagues; choosing to wear jeans and t-shirts around instead of the more formal attire chosen by Moss and Jen. He’s scared of popping balloons. Before becoming an IT consultant, he held a job as a waiter, during which time he would carry the food of rude customers in his trousers until he served it to them.[1] In one episode he attempts to attract women by pretending to be a “bastard” because he believes that is what women want.[2] He has better social skills than Moss, but still finds himself in awkward situations where he gets more than he bargained for. When angry, upset or worried, his voice adopts a notably higher pitch and trembles significantly, as though he were about to cry. His usual answer to calls, and indeed his catchphrase, is “Hello, IT, have you tried turning it off and on again?”. His last name was never mentioned in the first three series, although O’Dowd and Linehan discussed the possibilities of it being either ‘Shepherd’ or ‘McGonagall.’ After the episode “The Speech”, Graham Linehan’s blog suggested that Roy’s last name is Tenneman,[3] but Linehan clarified that this was not canonical. In the third episode of the fourth season, it is confirmed that Roy’s last name is actually Trenneman, not Tenneman. The only member of Roy’s immediate family mentioned in the series is his mother, who has an uncanny resemblance to Moss’s psychiatrist from the first series. Roy finds this resemblance disturbing.

 

 

  • Jen Barberjen_200Jen enters the department in episode one as a new starter, placed there seemingly at random by boss Denholm, despite her lack of technical or technology management experience.[5] In fact, she does not even know what IT stands for.[6] It was mentioned in one episode that Jen deliberately infected her laptop to make it appear attractive, that she does not know that a browser is required to access the internet, and refuses to learn any IT skills whatsoever, even basic ones known to the general public and not simply IT experts, as she fears that to do so would cause her to become a geek. Although originally intended to be the Head of Department, her role was changed to that of “Relationship Manager” due to Moss and Roy’s need to have a non-geek as their representative within the company (although nobody else seems to realize the distinction and she is consistently referred to as the head of IT). She has admitted to a propensity for telling lies in order to further her own goals, as evidenced by her current occupation. She is easily excited by stereotypical female pursuits such as shoes and men. During the second series we learn that she had been quite a heavy smoker several years previously; she took this habit up again, but quit when she realized that due to anti-smoking laws, she was facing social isolation.[7] She drives a first-generation Ford Ka in Pepper Red, first shown in “The Haunting of Bill Crouse”. Unlike Maurice, her mother has only been mentioned, in ‘Moss and the German’. In the third season she declares, “Ich bin ein Nerd,” referencing the Ich bin ein Berliner speech by John F. Kennedy. She maintains a surprisingly good relationship with Roy and Moss, despite their apparent differences in personalities. They even went on a “big girls night out” in “Aunt Irma Visits”. She later goes on to decline a better job offer as she feels that Roy and Moss need her. At the end of their girl’s night out, it is implied she slept with Moss while drunk, though this is never spoken of again.

 

 

  • Douglas Reynholmdouglas_200The son of Denholm, Douglas takes over Reynholm Industries after his father’s death. He disappeared for seven years after a court case, but returned to attend Denholm’s funeral in a dramatic fashion. He speaks in a very dramatic manner, is something of a libertine, slightly aloof, seemingly violent and has a history of sexual harassment. He attempts to flirt with Jen during his own father’s funeral. He shares several of his father’s behaviours, including his impetuousness and arrogance, and he appears to be unable to remember any of his employees other than those he finds attractive (with the exception of Roy, whom he seems to remember for being Irish). He had supposedly killed his wife by setting their house on fire. Douglas is a member of and spokesman for the “religion” of spaceology (a parody of scientology); that claims believers can have their wishes granted by writing them down on paper and throwing them over their shoulder at night, and are opposed to masseuses. As a result of self-performed tattoo art that became infected, Douglas also has a bionic right hand, which has great strength and durability. In “Reynholm vs Reynholm”, Douglas reunites with his estranged wife, but their relationship falls apart after just two weeks and Jen has to handle their divorce. Douglas has been the subject of multiple sexual harassment lawsuits due to failed seduction attempts, most notably his clumsy attempt to seduce Jen by inviting her to become his Personal Assistant. He is eventually required by law to wear “electric sex pants” which deliver electric shocks to prevent him from becoming aroused at work, which last one episode before he has Moss remove them.[8] He is the only central character not to appear in every episode, having not been introduced until the second series.

 

 

  • Denholm Reynholmdeynholm_200Denholm was a director of Reynholm Industries. He was a parody of modern earnest upper management, always ready with new and often ridiculous initiatives, intended to boost performance in a company he openly boasted as employing attractive people who do very little work and all engage in adulterous relationships. In his office, he had a picture of himself on the wall, and of the A-Team on the desk. Denholm was also impetuous and frequently changeable, often paying little attention to the people he happened to be talking with. Whenever he hired a new member of staff, he liked to give them a long, hard stare to assess them. He committed suicide by walking out of a window after being informed the police wanted to interview him about irregularities in the company’s pension fund, which hints at Denholm’s more sinister side. However, the character returns in the third series; when his son has a near-death experience, Denholm is shown to have gone to a place resembling heaven, if not for the presence of Adolf Hitler. According to staff, he would frequently call meetings to discuss a new “threat” to morale which he would “declare war” on. He accompanied the workers during a party during “Aunt Irma Visits” where they all got incredibly drunk, and apparently slept with Richmond.

 

 

  • Richmond Felicity Avenalrichmond_200Richmond is a mild-mannered goth whose introduction to gothic metal band Cradle of Filth instigated his downfall from being Denholm’s second-in-command to his current position in the IT Department. He lives in the server room behind “the Red Door” all on his own, shunned by the rest of the department, who find his affected sense of gloom annoying. Due to the long periods of time Richmond has spent in “his room”, he has developed agoraphobia and an aversion to sunlight. He has also shown an ability to hang from the ceiling. When Richmond tells stories, he tends to pause and look off into space dramatically, puzzling those around him. He is shown to read Heat, moments after a comment Roy had made that he did not know any heterosexual men who read Heat (coincidentally, at the end of “Aunt Irma Visits” it is implied that Richmond and Denholm drunkenly slept together, though Richmond is later romantically involved with Jen’s friend Jessica). Richmond’s absence from series three is explained as him having scurvy, but it was Fielding’s busy schedule that prevented him from appearing. Linehan has expressed his disappointment in not being able to have him back for the third season. However, Richmond appeared testifying in court in Douglas Reynholm’s divorce case in the series 4 finale, ‘Reynholm vs Reynholm.’ It was revealed in this scene that his middle name is Felicity, and that he left Reynholm Industries to start up his own business (‘From Goth 2 Boss’). Richmond makes a last appearance in the final episode, this time back as a goth.

 

 

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