Gervais plays Andy Millman, an actor whose roster of jobs seems to consistently consist of extras work. Each episode follows him on a different production, and also brings in a notable guest star. Lining up throughout the series are the likes of Samuel L Jackson, Kate Winslet and Ben Stiller. And while their presence undoubtedly adds something to each carefully crafted episode, its perhaps those with the lesser names that show the programme on top form--certainly the appearance of Les Dennis makes for an excellent half hour of comedy-drama.
At the core though is Gervais Millman--a far easier character to warm to than David Brent--and Ashley Jensens marvellous Maggie Jacobs. Its these two who consistently provide the shows highlights, and while the headlines have been generated by the all-star roster of names attracted to appear in Extras, its the two less showy characters who work the best.
Extras isnt a show full of belly laughs, and its fanbase is likely to be smaller than that of The Office. But its still a quality creation, properly crafted, with an awful lot to it to enjoy and appreciated.--Simon Brew
What is new is that real stars have been persuaded to appear, as themselves, and get ripped to shreds in the process. Only Gervais's huge credibility could have made this possible.
Gervais plays Andy Millman, a theatrical extra in desperate search of a speaking part. He comes close several times but his political incorrectness always trips him up.
Also new is the touching and very credible friendship between Andy and Maggie, a sort of female alter-ego of Gervais's character.
If you caught it on BBC2 you'll be ordering the DVD 'like a rat up a drain-pipe'.
TV comedy perfection.
So, thank goodness for this DVD, because now I know. I'm not disappointed.
Aspiring actor Andy Millman (Gervais) is desperate to become a credible actor, or at least see his screenplay garner some success (a reference to Gervais' pre-"Office" struggles perhaps?) but is continually pushed into non-speaking roles by his inept agent (Merchant). His sweet natured but incredibly naive companion Maggie (Ashley Jensen) provides moments of hilarity and non-belief in equal measure.
A simple enough format, but the central foundation of the show, and it's brilliance, is not the plot (which develops slowly and predictably) but the relationships between the principle characters and the variety of people that they encounter.
There are some high profile celebrity guest stars that merit mention here - Samuel L Jackson, Kate Winslet, Les Dennis, Ben Stiller, Patrick Stewart and Ross Kemp. All bring unique parodies of their "real-life" characters to the screen, Les Dennis standing out especially for his excellent performance of himself, all washed up and full of pent up sex and depression.
There's the usual Gervais material under the surface of this well produced and cleverly written sitcom - race, disability and machismo are all given smart treatment through Millman's eyes.
Andy Millman is effectively a slight extension of Gervais himself. This is a pleasure or a pain, depending upon your opinion of the man.Read more ›