The IT Crowd final episode (4 stars)

The IT Crowd final episode

Graham Linehan delivers a perfect ending to the warmly-received sitcom

You sometimes have to wonder whether Graham Linehan isn’t getting the praise that he deserves. Now that the grand finale of The IT Crowd is here, that’s three fantastic sitcoms he’s now masterminded with Black Books and Father Ted beyond dispute as among the finest UK TV comedy achievements of the last 20 years. There are plenty similarities to be drawn between his triptych, but of curious intrigue is that none of them were immediately received warmly by the critics or viewing public, but by their ultimate demise were lauded by those same constituencies.

With plans shelved for a fifth series to round off proceedings in the basement of Reynholm Industries, a one-hour special has done the trick very nicely as the tragic threesome of Roy, Jen and Moss appear to be finally trying the patience of the big boss (a confused and overly sexualised Douglas played as ever with exquisite bombast by Matt Berry). Matters aren’t helped when a media-fuelled misunderstanding leaves Jen accused of arch misogyny while Roy has been publicly outed as a ‘small-person racist’. Their calls to Moss for help are unlikely to be heeded given that he has developed an obsession with women’s slacks and is working hard on making his niche board games website an über-nerdy hit.

Like every sitcom Linehan has created so far (yes, even the largely ignored Hippies), the mix of surreal daftness and characters whose DNA comprises 100% buffoon doesn’t fail to produce a high dosage of belly laughs. When the lights finally go out on the techy trio’s bunker, it only leaves us in the dark over one thing: what setting will Graham Linehan take his sharp comedy mind into next?

Channel 4, Fri 27 Sep, 9pm.