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  • Ever Decreasing Circles - Series 1 [DVD]
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Ever Decreasing Circles - Series 1 [DVD]

45 customer reviews

Price: £6.69
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Ever Decreasing Circles - Series 1 [DVD] + Ever Decreasing Circles- The Complete Third Series [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Briers, Penelope Wilton, Peter Egan, Stanley Lebor, Geraldine Newman
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Feb. 2002
  • Run Time: 140 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005UOGQ
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 82,517 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

The complete first series of the domestic rivalry sitcom. In 'The New Neighbour', we are introduced to the life of Martin Bryce (Richard Briers), in which everything has its place and there is a place for everything. But this pillar of local community has his well-ordered life disrupted by the arrival of flashy new neighbour Paul Ryman (Peter Egan) whose dapper looks and unmarried status set local curtains twitching. In 'Taking Over' newcomer Paul attempts a take-over of the running of the local motorclub, currently under Martin's stewardship. Meanwhile Martin's wife Ann (Penelope Wilton) hopes that Paul's arrival signals a more exciting social circle. In 'A Strange Woman' Martin's fears about Paul's flashy ways upsetting the nest he has built for himself in the Close start to solidify. In 'Holiday Plans', Howard and Hilda, the meek and mild other neighbours of the Bryce's break with a 7 year holidaymaking tradition when Paul offers them and the Bryce's the use of his villa in Spain. This leads Martin to wonder what strings are attached... In 'Vicars and Tarts with Martin temporarily out of the picture, the ever-more-popular Paul is voted to organise the charity Vicars and Tarts party. But busybody Martin can't face being out of the limelight and resorts to a little blackmail in order to receive a share of the glory.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

46 of 47 people found the following review helpful By keith livingstone on 5 July 2004
Format: DVD
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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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By sharkspeed007 on 3 Jan. 2006
Format: DVD
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.
Read more ›
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Feb. 2002
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 By antony baker on 19 Jun. 2004
Format: DVD
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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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Jun. 2002
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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