"Judgement" was the sixth episode of the first series of the British Office. It aired on August 20, 2001 and was written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant.


It is the day of judgement at Wernham Hogg.

David Brent fires a warehouse worker and is accused of positive discrimination because he fired an able bodied worker instead of a disabled one. As he takes his new secretary Karen around the office, attempting to lighten the mood to no avail, he is asked by one of his employees, Malcolm, what will happen to the branch, and why he is hiring new staff when existing workers are being cut. Unsurprisingly, David gives an unsatisfactory answer for neither, and attempts to play off the situation with offensive bald jokes. David also holds a brief meeting with Tim in which he ridicules his desire to quit Wernham Hogg to pursue his education, despite his Karen agreeing with Tim.

Dawn Tinsley gives Tim an invitation to a party which is taking place later, and reveals that she hopes to be made redundant, since it means that she can pursue an actual job.

Gareth Keenan is loudly shredding paper, and ignores Tim when he asks him to lower the noise. When Donna asks Gareth the same thing, he listens to her and proceed to rip the paper up manually before placing each individual strip in the shredder.

Jennifer Taylor-Clarke arrives in Slough and immediately asks David who Karen is, but tells her that he doesn't know. She informs David of an opening in her old position, as she has just been given partnership, and that the board has approved him to be promoted by a vote of 5 to 2 over Swindon manager Neil Godwin. If David takes the promotion, the Slough branch will be shut down and be absorbed by the Swindon branch. Naturally, Brent immediately chooses to take the promotion, calling it a "landslide" in his favor. Expecting the office to be excited for him, he breaks the news to his "troops" with poor reception, as he attempts to portray his good fortune as a "silver lining" to the coming dark days. Glumly, everyone seems prepared for redundancy as personal dislike of David reaches an all-time high. Interviews with David's staff go between calling him a liar, or simply hurling personal insults at him. Gareth also bids a tearful farewell to David in his office.

At the party that night, nobody is in the celebratory mood. Gareth emotionally conveys his frustrations to Tim and Ricky, suggesting he will land on his feet and that hard working people like him are victims of political correctness. David goes onstage and announces that he rejected the promotion ("I told them to shove their job up their arses!") at corporate and that Slough will now absorb Swindon, securing everyone's job at his branch. This noticeably lightens the mood at the celebration, and the upbeat and grateful employees begin to enjoy the festivities. Malcolm confronts Brent with rumors that he didn't receive the promotion because he failed the medical examination, rather than actually caring about his employees. Brent awkwardly attempts to convince the employee that he raised his blood pressure in order to deliberately fail the test. Back at the party, Brent offers a promotion to Tim in exchange for staying. As Tim explains the promotion and his decision to stay to Dawn with avid use of business buzz words, she seems disappointed and disillusioned with Tim giving up his dreams of University for the drudgery of Slough.


  • The forklift driver David fires at the start of the episode is the same one he hire in Downsize.


Main Cast

Supporting Cast

  • Joel Beckett as Lee
  • Stirling Gallacher as Jennifer Taylor-Clarke
  • Sally Bretton as Donna
  • Oliver Chris as Ricky Howard
  • Robin Hooper as Malcolm
  • Neil Fitzmaurice as Alex
  • Nicola Cotter as Karen Roper
  • Ewan MacIntosh as Keith Bishop
  • Yvonne D'Alpra as Joan
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