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Ever Decreasing Circles: The Complete Second Series [VHS]

Richard Briers , Penelope Wilton    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Briers, Penelope Wilton, Peter Egan, Stanley Lebor, Geraldine Newman
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • VHS Release Date: 17 Jun 2002
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000066NSF
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 204,152 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

The complete first series of the popular British television comedy. Richard Briers plays Martin Bryce, well-meaning local busybody and enthusiastic convener of his suburban residents' association, and Penelope Wilton stars as Ann, his long-suffering wife. The only threat to Martin's settled existence is the presence of his new neighbour Paul (Peter Egan), a younger man who might just be paying too much attention to Martin's wife, and who always seems to get the better of him in any exchange. Episodes are: 'The Tea Party', 'The Cricket Match', 'A Married Man', 'Housework', 'Snooker', 'Boredom', 'The Psychiatrist' and 'The Party'.

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Increasing Laughs 5 July 2004
The recent purchase of the 'Complete Works'of Martin Bryce brought back to me just how superb this oft forgotten series actually was. The characters are brilliantly written by surely one of the best writing pairings ever of John Esmonde and Bob Larbey( The Good Life, Please Sir! etc.)and the acting comic genius.Richard Briers plays Martin, a man so in tune with his life that Stradovarius could have fashioned him. Ablely assisted by his long suffering but ultimatly loving wife Ann, played with great ability by Penelope Wilton, his life bounces from one catastrophe, in small letters, to the next. His misdoings usually involve his nemisis - the next door neighbour,Paul, a man who gets so far up Martins nose that a surgeon couldn't remove him. Peter Egan plays Paul with great gusto and you can tell he enjoys the part. Incidentally, Peter was actually recommended for the role by Richard Briers - excellent as a casting agent as well. The other strings on Martins fiddle are Howard and Hilda - Tweedledum and Tweedledee in pullovers - who aid and/or disrupt Martins way of life to his delight/disgust in the 26 episodes( plus a final heart-tugging finale)on four DVDs - A must buy item.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
The Main Feature: A delicious situation comedy – one of the earliest, one of the most oft-forgotten, but unquestionably one of the best. Richard Briers plays the pedantic, officious, but well-meaning Martin Bryce. He lives life in a Quiet English Way, personifies pieces of wood and nails, and views filing as art form. Actually, not art – that’d be a little too left wing - more a necessary accompaniment to life. Martin runs every society in The Close – from the Neighbourhood Watch Scheme to the Cricket Club – keeping him busy, in control and the centre of attention. That is, until Paul Ryman moves in next door. Paul is the original Neil Godwin to Martin’s David Brent; he’s everything Martin isn’t - a Cambridge Cricket Blue, effortlessly charming and has a seemingly infinite number of ‘mates’. It is around these unlikely neighbours that the series is based – with Martin’s long-suffering wife, Anne, somewhere in the middle. This is a wonderfully observed sitcom that’s as good the first time you curl up with it on a Friday night, as it is when you’re laughing at it for the twenty-third time on a drizzly Sunday afternoon. As with other great comedies, the premise is a simple one; a glimpse of ordinary people and the way they live their lives together. And that is largely from where Ever Decreasing Circles derives its power and timeless appeal; we all know a Martin, a Paul or an Anne – we may even have a little bit of them inside of us. Although naturally, Martins will do as Martin would, and not even think of admitting it.
Highlights: Writing that deftly shows how the boring bits in life can be funny too.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful warm comedy from superb performers 28 Feb 2002
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've been waiting for this literally for years! This DVD has the first 5 episodes of Ever Decreasing Circles. It is gentle and sometimes hilarious comedy from a cast that includes Richard Briers(The Good Life etc)as Martin Bryce. It works so well because we are all like the central character at times- pedantic, petty and fighting for recognition but also loyal, warm and keen to do the right thing.
The series is a wonderful view of middle-class England in the 1980s and was actually made around Billingshurst and Wisborough Green in Sussex.
The stories revolve around Martin Bryce who runs all the societies in his neighbourhood until a handsome and talented new neighbour (Cambridge and brilliant at everything) moves in next door.
I heartily recommend this DVD which comes with an interview with Richard Briers. I understand the second DVD is due out soon.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An under-rated gem of a series 19 Jun 2004
This series tends to get forgotten about, mainly being overshadowed by The Good Life - same writers, same lead actor. However, I think as a parody of suburban life in England and also as a comedic study of someone who is obsessive, it can't be beaten.
The characters are all very well rounded and the actors playing them are very good, particularly Richard Briers as Martin, Peter Egan as the suave sophisticated neighbour who flirts with Martin's wife Ann, and the dotty and dim Howard and Hilda.
Some jokes are overplayed, and while some episodes may not cover partcularly sophisticated plotlines, the acting and the spirit really raise this to a higher level of quality than people seem to remember.
The quality of the episode of the DVD are excellent, with fantastic pictures and sound. Also, the extras are well worth a look - especially the Did You See feature on Series Four.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
The long-awaited second series of Ever Decreasing Circles, which contains seven episodes of this classic comedy.
Martin is still the only person in the close who does not think that his next-door-neighbour, Paul, is wonderful, and he fights a valiant but losing battle to try to convert the others to his way of thinking!
There is something very touching about Martin - he could come across as a bumptious, interfering busybody, but he is a kind man at heart, and his problems with Paul arise because he feels inferior.
In the first episode, Martin invites an old lady to tea, but turns up with a Dormobile full of them! Howard and Hilda pitch in to help prepare tea and entertain the visitors, but needless to say, it is Paul who is the biggest hit, providing them with a sing song and a free hairdo!
In other episodes, we see Martin desperately trying to win the snooker tournament, trying to find ways of not picking Paul for the cricket team, and dealing with Paul's Christmas house-guests who end up sleeping in Martin's house. There is an hilarious episode where a psychiatrist takes a professional interest in Martin - who thinks that Ann has the problem! Perhaps the biggest surprise in the series, though, is that it is Martin who comes up with the ideal solution when Ann needs more than housework to inspire her!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 quid here, 14 quid on BBC store
It is a genius series - no idea why it's so pricey on here. Get your clogs on and get over to the BBC!
Published 1 month ago by B. R.
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Decreasing Circles - First series
It is wonderful, clean humour and the 5 main actors in it are brilliantly cast. It is as watchable now as when it was first released.
Published 4 months ago by John Formston
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Decreasing Circles - Fourth Series
This wonderful, clean humour combined with brilliant acting from all the 5 main members of the cast. It is still just as watchable now as when it was first released.
Published 4 months ago by John Formston
5.0 out of 5 stars great
this dvd is one of ther best that we watch after watching the series on tv what a team of actors
Published 5 months ago by fluffy
5.0 out of 5 stars great comedy
We. really enjoy this series as we no longer get sit-coms like this on T.V.any more.Wellworth themoney. I would to all.
Published 10 months ago by bobby
5.0 out of 5 stars An old Favourite
Just lovely to have this old series on DVD. It is Richard Briars at his funniest . It was a present for my husband who loves it
Published 11 months ago by anne harries
5.0 out of 5 stars An other England!!.
They say that the Good Life was good , and it was ,Ever Decreasing Circles show an other good life in England of old.
Published 11 months ago by Top class
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant to have copy of Richard Briers at his best.
I thoroughly recommend this CD (and all the others in the series) if you like to have a good laugh. The scenes look a bit dated (obviously) but the humour is still excellent.
Published 13 months ago by A. C. Bryson
5.0 out of 5 stars Ever Decreasing Circles Box set
Brilliant series with Richard Briars at his best. One of the few comedy series that can stand the test of time and is still funny now. Read more
Published on 9 April 2012 by Rich, Chesterfield UK
3.0 out of 5 stars NOT A COMEDY BUT GOOD DRAMA
There are so many reviews already for this product and the majority of people think this is the best comedy the BBC ever made. However I have an alternative opinion. Read more
Published on 16 Aug 2011 by Miss M. Potter
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