Mackenzie Crook's career has enjoyed many strands - children's author, big screen outings - since Gareth and his haircut entered the TV canon, yet the 'Detectorists' had sufficient 'Office' DNA to feel familiar - the confidence in the slow burn, the creation of a complete world and its characters, the delight in the specific, spot-on reference.
In addition, 'Detectorists' - penned and directed by Mackenzie, who also co-stars as Andy with the ever-more-versatile Toby Jones as wingman Lance - had a charm all of its own, as this hapless pair tousled with sitting through a lecture on buttons, persuading a suspected murderer to let them inspect his land.
But never mind the detectoring that's given the show its title, this series is a glorious, unhurried celebration of comradeship in nerdsville, of sharing the burden of not daring to say the answers out loud on 'University Challenge' - even when you're watching on your own (admit it, who's not been there?) - on being relieved when 'QI' comes on, of mistaking the Google Earth watermark for a Saxon stone circle.
The best classical reference so far… Howard Carter's "wonderful things" on entering Tutankhamen's tomb borrowed for Andy's inspection of his girlfriend's cleavage. And the best in-joke… Toby Jones' pride and joy, his bright yellow TR7, which just happens to be the same vehicle as that of Purdey, fellow Avenger of Diana Rigg, mother of Rachael Stirling, owner of aforementioned cleavage. How satisfying that the 'Detectorists' are the bearers of such hidden gems.
Check out 'The Detectorists' on BBCiPlayer. The series continues next week.