Douglas Reynholm is the Head and owner of the multi-billion pound business empire, Reynholm Industries. Douglas took over the company when his predecessor and father, Denholm Reynholm, committed suicide in 2007. Despite being an extremely rich and successful businessman, Douglas is often prone to taking advantage of his power by wasting the company's pension fund on such ridiculous things as putting gold leaf in the water coolers and covering the walls of his office in erotic art.
- 1 Biography
- 2 Characteristics
- 3 Relationships
- 4 Physical description
- 5 Behind the scenes
- 6 Name etymology
- 7 External links
Early life and disappearance
Douglas was born to Denholm Reynholm and his first wife. Denholm later divorced this wife and was remarried to Barbara Reynholm. In his adulthood, Douglas married Melissa Reynholm, however, the relationship came to a halt when Douglas murdered his wife, possibly due to setting their house on fire. It is unknown how Douglas managed to escape imprisonment, or how the incident was hushed up.
Later, in 2000, Douglas was involved in a sexual harassment case and somehow managed to escape prosecution again. It is said that Douglas traveled the world, using his father's money to fuel his excessive need for copious amounts of sex.
Reappearance and ownership of Reynholm Industries
On one morning in 2007, Denholm, who was then the owner of the multi-billion pound company Reynholm Industries, was having a conference with the heads of all departments, when his PA informed him that the police were requesting an interview with him after irregularities were found in the pension scheme. Denholm sent the worker away, and, knowing that his scandal had been found out, opened a window and walked out of it, falling over 30 stories to his death.
On May 3, 2007, during his father's funeral, Douglas came out of hiding and declared himself the successor of Reynholm Industries. Denholm had prepared a videotape to be played during his funeral in the case of Douglas's sudden reappearance, suggesting that he had predicted his son's return. The video informed Douglas on how he pulled off the scandal which helped him become a multi-billionaire, however, Douglas made sure that the video was stopped before any major details had been revealed.
Management of Reynholm Industries
Douglas was a noticeably more laid-back boss than his father and often spent money on much less important things like gold flakes in the water coolers and erotic art displayed on the walls of his office. He often didn't care about the welfare of his company and lived off the wealth he inherited from his father. It was his employees and advisers, particularly Nolan, who kept the business going, rather than Douglas. Douglas also had little knowledge of the departments that made up Reynholm Industries, and, when asked what the IT Department was, he replied 'some sort of homosexual department'.
Although Douglas had many sexual partners during the beginning of his role of Head of Reynholm Industries, the woman he was most attracted to was Relationships Manager and Head of the IT Department, Jen Barber. After trying to seduce Jen by offering her the role of his PA and asking her to dress as his dead wife, Douglas tried to drug Jen by use of Rohypnol concealed in a cup of tea. However, Douglas was tricked into drinking the tea himself and became very sexually aroused. Douglas was then sued by Jen and her colleagues Maurice Moss and Roy, who was also involved in the incident, however, neither managed to gain more than £560.
In 2008, Douglas accidentally shot himself in the leg after finding his grandfather's old service revolver. This caused him to endure a near-death experience, in which he met his father in what seemed like a place similar to heaven if it was not for the sudden appearance of Adolf Hitler. Douglas decided not to follow his father and returned to the land of the living.
In 2010, Douglas was criticised for his views on women by a feminist committee and awarded the Shithead of the Year Award three years in a row. Douglas then learns that Jen Barber has in fact been recording his behavior for several months and nominated him for the award in the first place. In a fit of rage, Douglas threw the award out of a window, which shattered the windshield of Jen's car. Thinking that Douglas had purposely tried to kill her, Jen ran away in fear.
In the same year, Douglas became a Spaceologist after meeting the founder of Spaceology Beth Gaga Shaggy on holiday. Spaceology, or spacestar ordering, is the belief that anything can be achieved by "the twin scientific principles of star maths and wishy thinking," or in layman's terms wishing to the stars and planets. Douglas encouraged all his employees to follow suit and paid Roy 50 quid to set up a webpage advertising his beliefs. Douglas received a helicopter and became a tattoo artist because of spacestar ordering, and promised that he would eventually get a robotic hand. Moss, who was very much against Spaceology, vowed that he would be the first to have a robotic hand thanks to real science, and was shocked when Douglas came in a few days later and announced that his self-administered tattoo had become infected and that it would have to be amputated, meaning that he would receive a robotic hand. Upon getting said robotic hand we see him smashing things with the new appendage in his office. Moss looking in from the doorway sulks with but one line, "I would have used my robotic hand for good!"
In the same year, Douglas was stunned to discover that his second wife, Victoria Reynholm, had reappeared after several years of hiding. Victoria told Douglas that she wanted them to get back together and continue their marriage. Douglas, however, did not seem so keen, until he remembered that Victoria could give him sexual pleasure using only her foot. After two weeks of being back together, Douglas filed for a divorce and told Jen Barber to break the news to his wife. She did so, and Victoria agreed to go ahead with the divorce. However, Douglas took the matter to court after Victoria demanded over £200 million from him. Douglas hired Jen as his lawyer, and after two days of ridiculously unnecessary interviews and questioning, Douglas's defence looked like it was going to have to pay Victoria millions of pounds until they came to an agreement and Douglas only had to pay her £70 million.
Douglas' management of the company was cast into jeopardy after he was accused of providing alcohol to minors. In a bid to escape prosecution, he installed himself in the basement, promoting the rest of the IT department in the process. After his self-imposed exile, he occasionally made appearances upstairs disguised as a food trolley worker.
- "Women are a kind of savage animal who men have civilised with their insatiable sexuality. Women are essentially no different from radiators. I like my women like I like my toast. Hot, and consumable with butter"
- —Douglas's views on women
Douglas has always taken a very laid-back and
uncaring approach to the running of his company, and it is the employees of Reynholm Industries that are the real driving force of the business. Although Douglas was far from up his father's standards, the company seemed not to suffer from the sudden change of leader. Douglas also had little knowledge of the departments that make up Reynholm Industries, and when asked what purpose the high-tech laboratories hidden inside the building was, he simply replied 'I dunno'.
Douglas Reynholm was an incredibly arrogant, self-righteous, pompous, cruel and elitist egomaniac who considered himself to be somewhat above everybody else. He viewed women as objects to feel and manipulate to his incredible sexual mania. He always blamed people for things they didn't do simply because it meant that he himself wouldn't take the blame. Douglas thought everybody loved him when his egomania only ever made people loathe him even more.
Interestingly, whenever somebody says there's a rumour about him, he openly and frightfully assumes it is the rumour that he killed his wife. This shows that Douglas is terrified of being convicted of murdering his own wife.
Douglas also has very little respect for his employees, and often refers to them by such names as 'computer man'. He often seems to treat the more attractive female members of his company better than his male employees. He has little knowledge of his company and often spends the business's hard-earned money on such unnecessary things as golden flakes in the water coolers and erotic art which he displays on the walls of his office.
Douglas is also very blunt and honest with people and is nearly childlike in his treatment to strangers, once told a man suffering from boss-eyedness that he had 'mad eyes', which indicates incredibly poor interpersonal skills. Douglas is also extremely sexist and sees women as mere sex objects. He has been the target of many feminist campaigns for his views and has been awarded the Shithead of the Year Award three years running. He often seduces and takes advantage of his female employees and has been charged with sexual harassment at least twice.
'I'm still trying to figure out your role in Reynholm Industries...' 'Well, I'm the boss! Olupro uno! Mr Big! The godfather! Lord of the Rings! The Bourne Identity! Jaws...I forgot the question quite a while back! Who are you, again?' Douglas on his attention to his role in Reynholm Industries.
Douglas doesn't think much of his job, as shown on the occasion when, after being asked about his role in Reynholm Industries, he simply says 'I'm the boss!' and doesn't go into any further detail. He also randomly chooses the name of Employee of the Month from a box, as opposed to judging them by working efficiency and competence.
Douglas Reynholm is also annoyingly, incredibly, extraordinarily forgetful, and always gets Roy and Moss's names wrong. He labels women to the point of complete indifference, as shown when, during his criminal trial, he mistakes his wife for April Shephard, who used to be a man.
However, in the last episode, he appears to have matured. He is more serious than usual at the best of times and actually regards other people's feelings. He becomes close to Moss, and even gives him advice when it comes to confidence issues. One factor that played a part in the episode that was quite large is when he sells a van with breasts to a fellow businessman, resulting in a small barista's death.
Quite simply; he's the British version of Zapp Brannigan from Futurama.
Douglas is heterosexual and has very prominent sexual tendencies which are the main distraction between him and his job. In 2000, Douglas was arrested and put on trial for sexual harassment case and as a result, went into hiding for seven years. At his father's funeral, he swore in front of all of his new employees that he would never make the same mistake again (though he winked at Jen Barber implying he would), however, he was sued in 2007 by Maurice Moss, Jen Barber and Roy for sexual harassment and was fined a combined total of £1610 and forced to wear electric pants which gave him an electric shock whenever he became aroused.
He has also had brief sexual relationships with his employees, and even claims to have 'had every last one' of his accounting team, however, the woman he truly wanted, Jen Barber, was not interested in him. Douglas, used to getting his own way with women, pursued a relationship with Jen and asked her up to his office continually for no real reason. Douglas eventually hired Jen as his PA and tried seducing her by use of bringing her for walks and asking her to dress in provocative clothing, however, she resisted his seductions. Douglas refused to give up and traveled to a far-off land to receive what he thought was a magic love potion from a sorcerer, but was actually the drug Rohypnol. Douglas concealed the Rohypnol in a cup of tea and gave it to Jen while she was watching a video presentation in which a naked photo of him appeared. Fortunately, Jen did not consume the Rohypnol and did not become aroused. However, Douglas accidentally drank the tea and became extremely sexually aroused and violated Moss and Roy. All three sued Douglas, however, neither managed to gain more than £560.
However, Douglas has managed to keep one successful relationship going with a column writer by the name of April Shephard, who came to interview him as he was to be featured as Richest Magazine's Man of the Year. After being interviewed by April, Douglas asked her to join him for dinner in Paris, a restaurant in Hull. There, April revealed that she was born a man and that she has had a sex change to make her female. Douglas, who thought that she had said that she was from Iran, allowed the relationship to continue, and only realised the truth about April after several weeks of being with her. Douglas could not bear the thought of being with a transsexual, ended the relationship with a violent confrontation in Reynholm Industries's laboratories. Douglas missed April dearly as it is one of the few times that he has held a relationship together.
Skills and abilities
- Fighting Ability: Douglas displayed some fighting skill when his then-girlfriend April Shephard, became violent towards him after he attempted to end their relationship. As April was transgender, Douglas felt that he had the right to defend himself and became involved in a fearsome brawl against her, damaging a wall in the process. Despite suffering several injuries and bloody wounds and having a conical flask smashed over his head, he managed to overpower his girlfriend and ended the fight by throwing her through a window, destroying the internet.
Not much is known about Douglas's relationship with his father, Denholm, as Douglas only appears after Denholm's death. Denholm knew about Douglas's sexual harassment charges and was clearly ashamed of him in his video will. Douglas did seem overly dramatic emotional at his father's funeral, probably to gain sympathy from his new employees. However, when Denholm left a letter for Douglas along with his father's service revolver, he signed it 'Your affectionate father, Mr. Reynholm', suggesting that Denholm truly loved his son even after the shame he had cursed the family with.
Douglas is the Head of Reynholm Industries and hence is Roy Trenneman's boss. At first, Roy had little respect for Douglas, and once played a prank on him with Moss by giving him a mobile phone with an extremely strong vibration setting. However, over time Roy seemed to gain respect for his new boss. Douglas's relationship with Roy seems to be better than his relationship with other employees. This was shown when Douglas invited Roy to come over to his house to watch a DVD together, however, Roy left as he felt Douglas was spoiling the film by trying to guess the surprise ending. Also, Douglas calls Roy by his first name, which he does not do with some other male employees.
However, like Jen and Moss, Roy claims that Douglas sexually harassed him after consuming Rohypnol concealed in a cup of tea, and successfully sued him gaining £550. Despite this, the pair's relationship didn't seem to suffer. Roy is often Douglas's technology expert of choice and Roy is often called to his office to deal with Douglas's many computer problems. However, Douglas doesn't have a lot of respect for Roy, and when told both Roy and Moss were at the door he replied 'Not these idiots.'
Douglas is the Head of Reynholm Industries and hence is Moss's boss and superior. At first, Moss had little respect for Douglas, and once played a prank on him by giving him a mobile phone with an extremely strong vibration setting. However, over time Moss seemed to gain respect for his new boss. Douglas does not have much contact with Moss, and may not even know his real name as he simply refers to him as 'computer man'. Douglas has trusted Moss with machinery and computers in the past, and once asked him to call the ambulance for him after he shot himself in the leg, however, Moss failed to carry out these orders. Douglas doesn't have a lot of respect for Moss, though not as little respect as for Roy, and when told both Moss and Roy were at the door he replied 'Not these idiots.'
As soon as Douglas caught sight of Jen at his father's funeral, he was instantly attracted to her. After he became her boss, Douglas, used to getting his own way with women, pursued a relationship with Jen and asked her up to his office continually for no real reason. Douglas eventually hired Jen as his PA and tried seducing her by use of bringing her for walks and asking her to dress in provocative clothing, however, she resisted his seductions. Douglas refused to give up and traveled to a far-off land to receive what he thought was a magic love potion from a sorcerer, but was actually the drug Rohypnol.
Douglas concealed the Rohypnol in a cup of tea and gave it to Jen while she was watching a video presentation in which a naked photo of him appeared. Fortunately, Jen did not consume the Rohypnol and did not become aroused. However, Douglas accidentally drank the tea and became extremely sexually aroused and violated Moss and Roy. All three sued Douglas, however, neither managed to gain more than £560.
Douglas met April Shepard after she interviewed him for a Richest Magazine's Man of the Month column, in which he featured. Douglas, trying to charm the young writer, asked her out to Paris, a restaurant in Hull. Once there, Douglas immediately brought up the subject of sex and informed her that he had ensured that there was a condom machine in the toilet. April, trying to bring the subject back on safer ground, admitted to Douglas that she was a transsexual and had had several operations to change her gender from male to female. Douglas, who was too busy eating, misheard her and thought that she had said that she was from Iran. Once the meal had finished, Douglas brought April back to his home and had sexual intercourse with her.
Douglas's relationship with April seemed to be thriving, as the pair shared many interests and pastimes with each other. However, Douglas eventually found out about April's secret and ended the relationship, and, unable to bear the thought of being with a transsexual, ended the relationship with a violent confrontation in Reynholm Industries's laboratories. Douglas missed April dearly as it is one of the few times that he has held a relationship together.
Douglas is of medium build and is quite tall. He has short brown hair and is usually seen with a lot of rough stubble growing around his face and neck, although he has never been seen sporting a full mustache and beard. He has brown eyes and usually wears a shirt, tie and blazer while at work but is usually seen in casual clothes while at home.
Since Douglas had his right hand amputated after his amateur tattoo got infected, Douglas now wears an animatronic hand which looks and functions just like a real hand.
Behind the scenes
- Douglas Reynholm was played by British actor and comedian, Matt Berry.
- As of June 2010, Douglas is the fourth most popular character in the show according to a poll conducted by Channel 4, receiving 9%.
- Douglas is a masculine given name of Scottish and Gaelic origin and translates to "black river".
- Reynholm is not a real surname and was presumably made up by Graham Linehan to rhyme with the Christian name of Douglas's father, Denholm.