BBC’s The Office: A 21st Century Pilgrim’s Progress

The Slough of Despond, uh, Trading Estates
“Now I saw in my dream, that just as they had ended this talk, they drew nigh to a very miry slough that was in the midst of the plain: and they being heedless, did both fall suddenly into the bog. The name of the slough was Despond. Here, therefore, they wallowed for a time, being grievously bedaubed with the dirt; and Christian, because of the burden that was on his back, began to sink in the mire…. [Christian, speaking to Help said,]

“Sir, wherefore, since over this place is the way from the city of Destruction to yonder gate, is it, that this plat is not mended, that poor travellers might go thither with more security?” And he [Help] said unto me, “This miry slough is such a place as cannot be mended: it is the descent whither the scum and filth that attends conviction for sin doth continually run, and therefore it is called the Slough of Despond; for still, as the sinner is awakened about his lost condition, there arise in his soul many fears and doubts, and discouraging apprehensions, which all of them get together, and settle in this place: and this is the reason of the badness of this ground.

I believe I heard that Brent based the setting on the poem by John Betjeman named, “Slough.” “Come friendly bombs and fall on Slough!/It isn’t fit for humans now,/There isn’t grass to graze a cow./Swarm over, Death!”
Wernham and Hogg, “a place that cannot be mended.” Will David Brent find salvation as travails the journey to blessedness or will he succumb to redundancy and self-destruction? Will he find success and love or will he sell himself for the approval of the crowd and of the lunk-headed ‘Finchy’?

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