Help dress the set for the next season of The IT Crowd

Graham Linehan just delivered the season three scripts for The IT Crowd, the hilarious, ultra-geeky Channel 4 sitcom about sysadmins. He's shaved the script-delivery a little close and is looking for your help in coming up with set-dressing ideas:

How would you like to help in designing the look of series 3? Specifically, you’d be helping us choose the stuff that litters the main set. I’m talking about posters, comics, fanzines, T-shirts… anything you’ve seen in the last few months that you think is pretty cool or captures the spirit of the show or a particular character. By now, most of you know the kind of things I like…weird toys, indie comics, sci-fi, geek references, internet memes, boardgames…normally I’d delight in tracking down the stuff myself, but as I say, it’s just not going to happen this time round.

In the very first draft of the show I described the set as looking like “a cross between a comics shop and the batcave”. I wanted it to feel like a geek Shangri-La, and in each series I’ve felt we nearly got there. Maybe this time, with you guys involved, we’ll finally nail it.

Please send your suggestions to

I vote for the XKCD Map. Be my hive brain!


  1. Ben’s email address isn’t set-up on Freemantle Media’s Domino (ugh!) server yet, so anything you send him is going to bounce. I daren’t email their postmaster – it’s usually set-up wrong with these media companies.

    God, why do production companies always choose REALLY rubbish email systems? I used to work for a well known post-house/VFX company in Soho, London and I managed their Linux mail system for years without issue until they decided to get Exchange. Then the problems started.


  2. Since the email is bouncing harder than US Treasury checks, I will post my idea here:

    They should take one of the funnier user-generated mash-ups and make it into a full size print to subtly adorn some spare wall space on the IT Crowd set. Maybe something from the LOLCats meme or the four popped collars dude.

  3. As long as Rickrolling is mentionned, I’ll be happy.
    Maybe some stuff taken from BoingBoing! That could be fun.

  4. How about clothes that fit and look good? And maybe not portraying geeks as poorly dressed schmucks incapable of understanding fashion and lacking in any and all sartorial sense. No?

  5. IT Crowd DVDs on someone’s desk (yes IT offices really have these).

    Whiteboards which are either full or empty.

    A poster saying “Have you tried turning it off and on again”.

    A table of cables (ideally which then try and trip you up).

    A poster on the door that says “Do not feed”.

    A monitor so big it dwarfs a human being.

    A monitor that looks like a TV.

    A NeXT cube.

  6. @14 Took the words off the tips of my fingers.

    People need to learn that just because you get the references in a show or recognise the EFF poster on the wall, that does not mean you have to find it funny.

    While the occasional line in the show is good–and Chris Morris always provides good value–I have never come across a show that people have such trouble justifying their enjoyment of.

  7. @ obeyken:

    @8 Metlin: then they wouldn’t really be geeks then, would they?

    And why not? I know several geeks (men and women) with excellent fashion sense. It’s one of those punitive conformisms enforced by society – if you are in IT, you’ve to dress like an idiot and a slob; if you’re a geek, you’re supposed to look like the 70s nerd personified etc.


  8. The IT crowd ought to have…
    XKCD stuff! Actual-size stickers? A Domo-kun maybe? Some steampunkery? or zombies perhaps?

  9. I love the show, but there’s really not much geek humor to it.

    The show is mainly based on physical comedy – man fall down go boom. The references are icing on the cake. Well written, solid story arcs for each episode: easy to enjoy.

  10. Jesse @18: Nice try, but what Sebflyte really wants is someone who can explain their enjoyment in such a way that he will find it funny. Since this is akin to explaining the difference between red and green to one born colourblind, it would be an exercise in frustration.

    You find funny what you feel is funny; what you don’t find funny, isn’t. If you don’t find something funny, don’t look for explanations; if you do, don’t try to explain. We’ll all be happier that way.

  11. No geekery? I agree that it veers very far away at times, but there’s some Grade-A material as well.

    Moss and Roy confronted by the Soccer Ball Of Doom in the park. I just paid a pound not to go to the toilet. You do know how a button works? So not an *actual* cradle of filth, then? Great stuff.

  12. mooninites! a dethklok poster! an apple 11e lyin around. i can haz cheezborger? hah! i pawn u!

  13. goatse w/ a unicorn chaser…
    home made flamethrower &/or potato canon…
    LED Throwies…
    a radioshack Color Computer with 4k of RAM!!!
    a Wil Wheaton says “Don’t Be A Dick” Poster
    Anything with the FreakAngels on it
    Spray Tan Guys from NJ
    Gama Go Stuff

  14. What’s not funny about it? I don’t think I’ve ever shown it to someone and had them describe it as “not funny”.

    Also, @metlin: I think some people are confusing “IT worker” with “geek”. They’re not the same thing. Sure, you can work in IT and have good fasion sense and not have a house full of comics and computer games. You can also be a geek and not work in IT. But if you’re going to make a TV show about a couple of geeks who work in IT, they’re going to look like Roy and Moss. Otherwise, you’re making The Office and setting it in an IT department instead of a paper company.

    If you can’t TELL someone’s a geek, they’re not a geek. They’re just an enthusiast.

  15. Oh, and they NEED to have a Watchmen poster or sticker of some sort. Preferably a bloody happy face.


    Sorry. It’s just that I paid for my geek heritage in blood, sweat, and tears (literally. I was beat up quite a bit as a kid). I was a geek back when people hated geeks. Geeks were picked on, put down, and beat up. Now, it’s cool to be a geek. Everyone who has ever added text to a photo and uploaded it to their myspace page thinks they’re a geek. So, suddenly, every “joke of the week” internet meme must be “geek culture”. Everyone who’s ever read a wikipedia article about Richard Stallman because they wanted to know what the latest XKCD meant thinks they’re a nerd. Anyone who managed to download a Linux distro and get it working on their PC is automatically a h4x0r. Well, guess what? You’re not. You want in our club? You have to take the initiation. Which means you have to have someone who plays a sport take your comics from you and throw them in the gutter.

    (The proceeding rant does not apply to people who still have 15 year old comic books in their parents’ garage. Offer valid except where otherwise prohibited. Not available to residents of Florida.)

  16. They need a boatload of plastic instruments, the Ion drum kit, the Logitech stuff, everything (just to check that there are no differences ;) ) Also some self-made plastic instruments! I also like the Map of the Internet (with a “you are here” sign of course). I’d also liek some reference to “The website is down” ;)

  17. I think the USB Dancing Robot or the USB nerf missile launcer could both be hilarious.

    Don’t forget a mini fridge with soft drinks.

    Or the hat that holds two soda’s with a straw to the mouth. ( I know that was designed for beer but what geek wouldn’t use it on an all night coding binge?)

    Maybe change the red door to look like the front of an old IBM mainframe?

    Add a life size cutout of Iron Man to the corner?

    Too many idea’s, not enough time.

  18. 3º Season?! w00t!111!111!0xa98ac7!!!

    Geek Fail* Eduardo!


    ..unless, maybe you meant the first series because you haven’t seen it yet. Enjoy, my friend, ’cause it’s a goody! (hoho)

    *In English/Mathematics at least, but by your name I guess you speak Spanish, Italian or Portuguese, and therefore correctly used 3º. But I’m not gonna let my hilarious geek-catch go unjoked :)

  19. +1 lolcats, maybe an inadvertent goatse or two.

    There is nothing inadvertent about goatse, let alone two!

  20. SAMF – I hear you. All the same the anti-geek laughter goes back a long way indeed; look up the story of Thales and the slave girl. Fact is we probably hit the anti-nerd prejudice at a high (or low?) point. The mainstreaming of geekdom is a real plus for the genuinely nerdly kids coming up today. Every little bit that takes the edge off of the abuse is worthwhile, but of course the price is the presence of posers or the simply misinformed. Still, real geeks will always know one another.

  21. Given that it’s a British show, a few Open Rights Group stickers to go alongside the EFF ones? :)

  22. I’d suggest a Zero Punctuation t-shirt. Roy seems like the type who sees the world a bit like Yahtzee does.

  23. I vote for some b3ta stuff:

    How about the classic furtive icon blown up hugely on a back wall, grossly pixellated?

  24. How about having the HD-DVD key visible somewhere? And I second the idea for XKCD posters.

    And in response to SamF:

    If you’ve ever run a Linux OS even if just from the live-CD (and if you even know what a .iso is); If you get any of XKCD’s jokes (or even know what XKCD is); If you have a MySpace page; If you use (let alone edit) Wikipedia… then chances are that most of your relatives think you’re a computer genius and call you for tech support on a regular basis, because you can help them with things that are simple to you but complicated to them, whether or not you’re teh h4x0rz. I try to show my mom how to un-DRM iTunes songs and DVDs, or even trivial things like how to copy files over to a USB device for back-up, and from her reaction you’d think I was trying to describe how to make a hydrogen fuel cell out of the espresso machine. I guess this gets to some people’s heads; “Everyone says ‘You’re amazing with computers’ so it must be true”. On the other hand, not everyone who went through the kind of dork initiation you mention, not everyone who was a bullying victim or a teenage social outcast, is teh h4x0r either.

  25. What you need is a Gigantic Frankenstein model on the set…Big Franky as he is also known is a plastic model from the 60’s and is just being re popped now by a company called Moebius It would very cool on your show stands about 2 feet tall, you’d find the cast would be talking to it, people would really relate to this ‘born to be a TV star’ prop

  26. if anyone feels like they’re lacking in geek cred, and would like me to mock them, destroy their comic books, or beat them up, please drop me a line.

  27. -I second the big monitor LCD screens even if they don’t work.

    -A barrage of USB connected items from most useless to the itty-bit useful.

    -A bit weird but yes, blue light or anything that has an aura of blue light on gigantic speakers/ancient lava lamps/wifi detectors.

    -Google, random software, or any programming language of choice, on anything.

    -a silly mock up of an iPod/any ad and place in dinosaur/ IT crowd actors. Of course, photoshopped.

    -Cradle of Filth poster

    -sticker on a door, ‘n00b’/’733T’

    -Robots/Action Figures still in boxes.

    -Jen’s office can have aromatic candles and flower art. I also think she should have a huge poster of what/who is not allowed in her office which includes everybody else’s name.

  28. “What’s your IP Address?” sticker
    Lonely hearts club sticker
    any star wars/ star trek reference.

  29. I don’t CARE what’s on the set, I’m just glad there’s going to be a 3rd season!!


    p.s. Is it possible for a BBC show that I like to have more than 6 episodes in a season?

  30. Just general stuff:

    Any gaming handheld/console, put anywhere
    (Bonus points if the console is notably outdated)

    Megatokyo books/swag

    Figures from ’80s shows, possibly NRFB

    Disassembled computer parts

    Almost anything sold on ThinkGeek

    Lego Mindstorms robots

    L337speak or programming language mixed in with regular speech on notes/markerboards

    English/Japanese translation dictionary

    DVDs/Games released only in Japan

    Any reference to Homestar Runner or H2G2

    Duct tape, anywhere

    As for those of you debating over fashion, remember that it’s television. It plays off of social stereotypes on purpose.

  31. Just put some towels around, and a “DON’T PANIC” sticker in big and friendly letters somewhere. Maybe a “Share and enjoy” mug too.

  32. I like Mcdees idea!! I remember these models from when I was a kid and that Gigantic Frankenstein model would really fit in with what you’re after!!
    Great idea!!!

  33. The “Don’t Panic” sticker would be great! Or maybe a
    Marvin the Android action figure.

    I like the Gigantic Frankenstein model too! He’s big enough he could probably have a geek shirt or button of his own (and maybe they could change?). And Moss seems like a model builder (maybe a very bad model builder but still).

  34. A small sign:
    There are 10 kinds of people in this world: Those who understand binary, and those who do not.

  35. I agree with the Amiga concept.

    It should even be spoken of in the show.

    I am not currently an Amiga user or advocate but it was definitely a milestone of computing.

  36. I think a dissertation on the parallel of life with object oriented code would also be brilliant for Moss.

  37. 3º/3rd… Yep, I speak Portuguese, but anyway, shame on me

    No problem. Eu nem tinha percebido.

    By the way, “Padoan” e’ seu sobrenome mesmo, ou voce e’ aprendiz de Jedi? ;]

  38. The “special chair” in the office that still has all the working functions. Has yet to be been broken. But constantly stolen by fellow co-workers.

    Network cable closet jungle.

    The candy/snack drawer.

    Huge piles of manuals, power cables and extras that never make to desks after a distribution.

    Old monitor tower of babel.

    Equipment dust bunny death.

    iPhone iTunes remote.

    Bluetooth zombies.

    Have the Energizer bunny run across a row of computer screens. (old 90’s ref)

    So much more, but I gotta start dayend…


  39. Quote: #59 posted by Finn_W , August 12, 2008 8:09 PM
    I like the Gigantic Frankenstein model too! He’s big enough he could probably have a geek shirt or button of his own (and maybe they could change?). And Moss seems like a model builder (maybe a very bad model builder but still).{End Quote}
    Yeah Finn_W…I could see Moss now conversing wit old Franky…I like the idea of a different T-shirt or Button as a running thread from show to show…man good ideas here…

  40. Ben just wrote in for a couple of my shirts– I am PSYCHED. There was another pixel shirt on the show last year and my heart skipped a beat when I thought it was mine for a sec.

    The coolest part: I Googled him to check and see if he was for real, and it led me straight to BB.

  41. You forgot to mention that your missus (If I remember rightly) has something to do with the programme Cory. If we’re going to help with the 3rd series can we get a credit? At least a “Thanks to BoingBoing readers”

    FWIW I suggest:
    A laughing Squid sticker on a ‘puter.
    A Photo shopped poster of Xeni, A la Rule 34 :)
    Mentioning Rule 34.
    A Goatse reference.
    An “All your base” reference.
    LOLCats for sure.
    WOW in some way.
    XKCD for sure.

    The list goes on (and on and on and on)

  42. Anyone else think that the Big Franky model would fit right in? It’s large enough that it wouldn’t get lost or unnoticed like smaller items do on TV

  43. Stuff for the set…

    -A copy of OS/2 Warp sitting somewhere
    -An SGI Indy Workstation (the cool blue pizza box) and matching monitor
    -An 80’s sony MSX computer
    -A NeXTCube! (someone said that earlier, but i second it!)
    -A Be Box! (again, i second it)
    -An Altair 8800
    -Commander Keen hidden in every episode haha
    -SuperFrog (from the Amiga Days)

    Need the guys having a Doom deathmatch raving about how killa the graphics are n stuff hahaha

  44. Such GREAT ideas!

    Don’t know if these will play in the UK, but I’ve been immersed in IT in the U.S. for so long…

    Graphic novels, something odd like Death Note (popular with pre-teen girls). Do they have tech job fairs in the UK? The California fairs have the BEST toys – a portable hand-held massager, binoculars, a Disney Wile-E-Coyote stuffed toy with Wile-E and an anvil, with a sound unit inside that makes the falling, crashing, and roadrunner meepmeep sound when you drop it (job fair toy, I swear)…

    A BIG sign about L-Users…the Unix VI cheat sheet with the tips all printed within the shape of a V….phone lists about two years out of date…really ugly cat kitsch, and ancient technology – some 4″ floppy disks, dissected and pinned up on the wall with push-pins, at least one held to a metal shelving unit with a magnet and the note – “Disk Storage System”…

    Old clothes – really nasty, dark t-shirts balled up by the leg of the desk…

    A couple of ancient kinetic toys, the type with fluid inside that you turn over and the fluid runs through a bottleneck.

    Broken coffee mugs, with extinct company logos, chipped, that they still use. At least one dead or nearly dead plant in a clay pot. (Richmond should have a veritable greenhouse of plants behind his door, thriving on the fluorescent lighting, his own private happy place, with of course some ‘tomato plants’ – some that bear fruit, some that, um, don’t.

    You want realisitic, right?

    A Peterson Projection map of the world. BIG. On the wall. It highlights their altered view of reality. And a huge HP World poster. Doesn’t matter if they don’t use HP :). A Linux convention laptop bag, some Oracle or Informix or Ingres paraphernalia, or all three…

    I’ve been confused that there’s no photo of Einstein somewhere in the lab, or Hawking or Tesla. It’s trite, but there’s always at least one of these somewhere. And a few Dilbert comics stuck on a computer. No way they don’t have a single friend who’s sent them a few of Dogbert’s choice comments.

    That obnoxious t-shirt, “Information is abundant, Wisdom is scarce” (can you burn it for me?) and a picture of Spock on a mug, that someone sometime left in the basement office.

    Good luck! Thanks for asking >:).

  45. There is these great action figures that seem to be popular with the IT crowd.”Einstein the action figure” and “Nun Chucks”. Its a figure of a nun with a sling shot packed with her to “Chuck” her.

    Old, broken memory chips push pin tacked to a cork board with memos about “Workplace Cleanliness” tacked underneath them.

    Dog eared copies of “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy” “The Watchmen” “V for Vendetta” and “The Dark Knight graphic Novels, and “Novell made simple” Administrators manual.

    Torn movie posters of “Hackers” “War Games” “Star Wars” or “Tron” held up with either push pins or masking tape.

    A BatMan Pez dispenser inside a coffee mug that says “I don’t do Mondays”

    A broken CRT Monitor holding up a bookshelf full of outdated manuals like “Windows 3.11 made easy” and floppy disks holding up one of the legs.

    A broken back up tape strung from the wall by the tape like garland,Labeled “Company Financial back ups 2002”

    A broken PC with the CD Drive open an a coffee mug sitting on top of the open drive.

    Broken Keyboard Keys taped to the desk spelling out various words “NO” “Reboot” “Go Away” and one just using the number keys with the numbers scratched off “#%^$*^$#@!”

    A rather large cart full of broken PC’s, monitors, printers, and cables, labeled “Spare Parts”.

    A Very small, ancient looking PC in a corner with mounds of dust on it, the side panel torn off, and wires hanging out of it with a label on one side saying “DO NOT REBOOT” and a label on the front saying “COMPANY FILE STORAGE SERVER” Or “Company Email Server”

    An ancient looking answering machine, labeled “Company Voice Mail”

    A Broken Fax machine with a label “Company Fax Server”
    Several Penguins littered throughout the set (Linix)

    Hope this helps. Looking forward to the new season.

  46. I don’t understand anything you people are talking about.
    I suppose I’m just not geeky enough.
    *sob* *sob*
    But I DO looove the it crowd

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