“The Office” officially moved from Netflix to Peacock on Jan. 1, and the NBC streaming service celebrated the debut by posting a never-before-seen cold open from the series on Twitter. In the clip, Pam (Jenna Fischer) and Jim (John Krasinski) prank Dwight (Rainn Wilson), who believes he’s entered the Matrix.
The clip starts off innocently enough — Dwight is working at his desk when he notices a black cat run across the floor at the Dunder Mifflin office. A few seconds later, a second black cat runs across the floor. Dwight’s desktop screen is then taken over by an unknown user, who prompts, “Have you ever felt that something was not right in the world?”
This mirrors the plot of the 1999 sci-fi hit “The Matrix” where ordinary office worker Thomas Anderson (Keanu Reeves) learns that his reality is a construct by machines that have enslaved the human race.
In one of the show’s trademark confessionals, Jim explains “in the original ‘Matrix’ movie, seeing the same cat twice was a glitch in the system. It proved that the Matrix was real.”
“Training the cat was both easier and more boring than I thought it would be. It basically involved putting down little piles of treats,” Pam deadpans.
Dwight is instructed to go to the warehouse to meet security guard Hank (Hugh Dane), aka Dorpheus, the supposed brother of the movie’s Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne). We won’t spoil the rest of the clip for you, so watch it to see if Dwight ends up taking the red pill or blue pill.
The clip ends with a tribute to Dane, who died in May 2018. Watch it below:
🚨 This is not a drill. 🚨 Presenting a never-before-seen cold open from #TheOffice!
— Dunder Mifflin Peacock (@peacockTV) January 1, 2021
Even before Peacock was given a name, NBCUniversal said it would pull “The Office” from Netflix as an exclusive for its new streaming service, which launched last April. The show is one of its most popular sitcoms and NBCUniversal is banking on its success to drive subscribers to its new platform in 2021.
Fans who migrate over there to watch will get the first two seasons for no extra charge with the free version of the NBCUniversal streamer. However, seasons 3-9 of the show will be available only on Peacock Premium, the streaming service’s paid subscription offering. To access the remainder of “The Office” after season 2, viewers will have to pay at least $5 per month, or $10 for the ad-free version of Peacock Premium.
Peacock is working hard to create a home for “The Office” that will make fans want to pay for later seasons — subscribing to Peacock Premium will also give you access to extra content Peacock is calling “Superfan Episodes,” which are essentially compilations of deleted scenes, extended cuts and “never-before-seen footage” from the original series that began in 2005. It is also creating a 24/7 noise channel called “The Office Zen,” which is a “channel of ambient noise devoted to the sights and sounds of the office for anyone working at home” for anyone who feels they’re missing out on background chatter between cubicles or the drone of the copier.
Peacock even changed its Twitter handle to reflect the move, renaming itself Dunder Mifflin Peacock on New Year’s Day.