Writer Brian Dooley has created a rich pageant of life in the tiny Petri dish of the Smoking Room.
Big on witty dialogue, short on plot, the Smoking Room ran for two series and a Christmas special. It was understated and gentle, but not in a mumsy billowy way – the show definitely had edges. And then sometimes it went beyond them.
The cast of The Smoking Room are introduced as they try to remember the theme tune to, 'Little House On The Prairie'. Barry has an interview, he thinks it's between him and 'Alky Malky'. However, there's an external candidate to be considered - Monique...
Death visits the regulars of The Smoking Room. Martin [a colleague] has dropped dead in Asda and more importantly (to Annie), so has her pet rabbit. No reason to close the office ealry though, according to Sharon.
There is a distinct lack of enthusiasm amongst the smokers for Sharon's paintballing trip. Janet doesn't seem that keen either, maybe that's why she's written 'pantball' on the posters. Lilian finds out that her night in the Nags' was caught on camera.
To the annoyance of a Japanese client, nobody in the smoking room has a lighter. To the annoyance of Janet, the Japanese client is annoyed! She's not too impressed with Clint's Yoda impression either. Worse still for Sally, Annie has come to work wearing the same top.
It's Valentines Day and a box of chocolates has been left in the smoking room, but an ambiguous and badly spelt note left with them makes the identity of the recipient unclear. Clint thinks they are for him, Robin hopes they are for him. Meanwhile Heidi has returned from maternity leave, trouble is, nobody seemed to notice she had gone.
It's lunch-hour and it's raining. Janet is supposed to be getting Sharon's lunch, but she's more concerned about keeping her hair dry. A magazine questionnaire reveals more about the smokers than they want to know. While Janet considers rebelling against Sharon, Annie is trying to get Barry's lunch. Then their peace is disturbed by Gordon - a non-smoker.
A new temp has arrived and she has already managed to get Barry out of his trousers. Barry is smitten with her, but Len dreams only of Mickey Mouse. Lilian is back from her holiday, with cheap cigarettes and tales of 'Aristotle'.
It's Lilian's birthday: Yvonne and Lois are organising nibbles, Annie is trying to chat Robin up and Sharon's attempts to mix with her workforce succeed only in driving Gordon to drink. Robin is hoping Ben from the post room will finally turn up.