Tim Canterbury. The Canterbury Tales of Chaucer and Shakespeare. This monologue delivered by David Brent during Tim’s appraisal is probably the first and only time you hear Tim’s full name being mentioned in the series.
Tim Canterbury is the most affable character in The Office. In many respects, he is the antithesis to David Brent. Brent’s arrogance and egoism make him detestable to most. By contrast Tim is a rather popular chap in the office due largely to his kindness, self deprecation and carefree approach to his job.
Outside Of Work
As he tells it, Tim leads a fairly boring life outside of work. At 30 years old he still lives with his parents. His self esteem is a little low having dropped out of university.
During the series he plans on returning to uni to study psychology but this never transpires. Once of the reasons for this could be the fact that he was promoted to “Senior Sales Clerk” at the end of the first series.
As Tim furnishes Dawn with the news, he begins speaking in a distinctly Brent-esque style, using vague syllogisms and empty phrases with no clarity of meaning behind them.
When Dawn questions him on his decision in reference to advice he had given her in a previous episode he suggests that his new title has set him upon a more desirable path.
Tim and Gareth
Gareth is the bane of Tim’s existence. They share the same desk bank and as a result are constantly bickering. Tim thinks Gareth is an absolute bell-end, and even tells him this over one of his many phone pranks.
Gareth rocks up to the office with a mobile phone in a shoulder holster, as one might carry a gun. Tim immediately takes the piss out of Gareth for this.
Gareth then asks Tim to swap places with Donna and Tim refuses. Gareth then pulls rank to no avail and calls Tim an immature little tosser. Tim Canterbury then phones Gareth on his mobile and calls him a cock.
Tim’s superior level of intellect and wit compared to Gareth means that he outfoxes him on many occasions through both pranks and arguments. When he tells Gareth he is planning on going back to university to study psychology, Gareth confuses psychologists with psychiatrists saying they’re all mad themselves.
One of Tim’s best pranks is putting Gareth’s stapler in jelly. Gareth has told him before that he doesn’t like jelly. He doesn’t “trust the way it moves”. David happens to be passing by with Ricky the intern when Gareth discovers his stapler is set in custard.
After the initial commotion a pun slinging match ensues with David struggling to come up with a jelly related pun to match that of Tim and Ricky.
Tim explains that Gareth drives him to the point of insanity. The only way Tim can deal with Gareth is to wind him up. Tim calls Gareth the “most annoying man on gods earth”. He complains about how Gareth laughs out loud when he’s reading the newspaper. Worst of all for Tim is the fact that his favourite band is Mike and The Mechanics.
Tim and Dawn
One of the best love stories to underpin any comedy show. Tim and dawn are colleagues, close friends, but they also have feelings for one another. The fact that Dawn is dating Lee prevents them from getting together until the very end.
Up until this time, they flirt with each other on a regular basis. Tim decides to go all in during the Training Day episode, as Dawn and Lee argue several times during this episode, with Dawn ending up in tears.
Tim consoles her throughout the episode, but erroneously assumes all the arguing has resulted in Lee and Dawn breaking up. As a result he asks Dawn out on a date in front of everyone.
She calmly tells him that she and Lee are still together. Embarrassed by this, Tim insists he was only asking her out as a friend.
During the second series, Tim and Dawn remain friends, but do not seem to be as close as before. In his new role as Senior Sales Clerk, Tim starts to take his job more seriously and therefore formalises most of chats with Dawn.
Tim also starts dating Rachel, who transferred from the Swindon Branch, Dawn grows jealous of this and tries in vain to join in with Tim’s tomfoolery and pranking of Gareth that he now shares with Rachel.
In the fifth episode of the second series, Dawn is sells kisses for Red Nose Day. After Tim makes a contribution, and they end up sharing a kiss for a little longer than the standard “friends” kiss.
This marks a turning point in the series and indicates to Tim that Dawn does still have feelings for him. Shortly after this he breaks up with Rachel.
Tim soon discovers that Dawn is leaving Wernham Hogg to move to Florida with Lee. Initially Tim seems reluctant to comment on the news. However he changes his mind during an interview with the camera crew and runs to tell Dawn how he feels.
He removes his mic before talking to her and so their interaction remains private. However when he emerges looking dejected he admits Dawn said no.
Three years go by, with Tim remaining unmotivated in his job at Wernham Hogg and Dawn with Lee in Florida also rather unhappy. Dawn and Lee are flown back to the UK for an office reunion and to join Christmas party. Dawn and Tim reconnect momentarily when she first arrives back in the office, and the energy between them is warm if a little awkward.
The watershed arrives when Dawn receives a set of oil paints as a “secret Santa” gift from Tim. With it is a note imploring Dawn to never give up on her dream of becoming an illustrator.
After opening the present and reading the note in the taxi ride home from the party Dawn returns to the Christmas party without Lee. She walks up to Tim and kisses him in front of everyone whilst Yazoo’s “Only you” plays in the background. Gareth comments that Dawn has a fiancé and she promptly replies, “not anymore”.
Who Plays Tim Canterbury?
Martin Freeman is the actor who plays Tim Canterbury. We was born in Aldershot, Hampshire, and is the youngest of five children. A graduate of the Central School of Speech and Drama, Freeman’s breakthrough moment in his acting career came when he was cast as Tim in The Office.
Shortly after starring in The Office, Freeman was cast film, Ali G Indahouse and blockbuster, Love Actually. After Love Actually went onto become one of the of most watched movies of the early 2000’s, many other acting roles began to come his way.
Notable TV and film appearances include Dr John Watson in Sherlock, Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit, Milton Fruchtman in the television film The Eichmann Show and most recently Everett K. Ross in Black Panther.
Freeman has two children from his ex-girlfriend Amanda Abbington whom he separated from in 2016. Freeman is a vegetarian and an avid follower of Mod fashion citing Paul Weller as one of his fashion icons.