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4.7 out of 5 stars
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4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 18 December 2010
It never ceases to amaze me how the British writers can take almost any subject and make a sitcom out of it. Here we have two former antique shop partners, who separate and set up shops in opposition to each other. Both are divorced, one who considers himself upper-class and has a handsome son, whilst the other from a working class Welsh background has a stunningly beautiful daughter. Needless to say, romance blossoms by Ep 2 and a wedding follows. Meanwhile the two protagonists, Peel and Smallbridge, continually spar verbally, each one trying to score points off the other and yet without any real malice.
Once again, it is very well written with strong story lines and the casting is superb. The one-liners come thick and fast and are among the best I have heard. Whilst they are business rivals and from opposite ends of the social scale, there is a deep respect between them and a bond mainly caused by the union of their children. A couple of characters are introduced during series one and this enhances the struggle for supremacy between the two fathers. Windsor Davies (It ain't half hot, Mum) and Donald Sinden (Two's Company) are brilliant in their roles, once again cementing Britain's place as the home of great comedy.
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I bought this, like so many of my impulse buys, in pursuit of a fragment of my childhood. Well, I say 'childhood'... this show ran from 1981 until 1991, finally running out of steam just after I turned 21. That dates us both, no doubt - although I think it has probably aged better. The theme tune is a classic, the humour is timeless and the casting of Windsor Davies and Donald Sinden as Smallbridge and Peel (the antique world's equivalent of chalk and cheese) was inspired. From the very first scenes in the very first episode, you know precisely what the relationship between these two characters is going to be like - and that's all without a single world of dialogue! He certainly knew a thing or two about comedy, Johnnie Mortimer.

Only these first two series are currently available, which is a shame. On the other hand, these were the only two series that were completely written by Mr Mortimer. In that first episode, we meet these neighbouring antique dealers and quickly surmise that they get on each other's wick something chronic. How delicious it is when we then learn that the daughter of one and the son of the other have a bit of a thing going. How very difficult that's going to be on so many levels - which is, after all, the essence of wonderful comedy. When you chuck in an ongoing territorial battle for the hand of Honor Blackman it becomes even more interesting.

Series Two is set after the two children marry and the bickering, plotting and insults continue with gusto. Not between the two characters who have just got married: no, no - I was talking about Peel and Smallbridge. Mind you, they are newlyweds here, aren't they? The gloves won't have come off quite yet.

These twelve episodes have been packaged really well as a 2 disc collection complete with Special Features on each of those discs. These range from clips of the 'Top Ten Insults' in each series to an Image Gallery. Quite why someone somewhere thought folk might appreciate a montage of photographs of Messrs Sinden and Davies I really can't imagine, and it isn't even as though there are that many of them. As an 'Extra', I really couldn't see the point. The day I take a freeze frame of a photo of Donald Sinden and attempt to make it my new desktop background is the day I would expect to be taken away for psychiatric tests of some description. I suppose maybe I'm just bitter that there aren't dozens of pictures of Honor Blackman instead. Yes, alright, I admit it.

My favourite episode is 'If You Knew Susan', for no other reason than that it features a quite stunning performance by Prunella Scales as Simon Peel's sister. I wish I knew what conditioner she put on her hair that made it look that gorgeous. Knowing my luck, it's something they discontinued in 1983. Oh well.

As if two series of this fine sitcom are not enough to tempt you, there is also a quiz on each disc, which gives you a very light grilling on the goings-on of that particular series. You can't get the answers wrong, hence the fact I did so well. As a reward though, you get a bonus episode of 'The Labours of Erica' and the opening episode of 'Tripper's Day'. Now, I gave Brenda Blethyn's comedy a look but, after due consideration, I can't really say it is my cup of tea. If it's a comedy, I don't think it's a very funny one. I was much more impressed with 'Tripper's Day' though, which I remembered very fondly from 1984. Leonard Rossiter's performance as the manager of a supermarket is still funny, which is just as well really because he is virtually the only funny thing in it.

This show reminds me of my childhood. And the bickering reminds me of my marriage. Ah, you can't beat a bit of nostalgia... .
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on 29 May 2011
I loved this series in the 1980s, but have been let down 30 years later buying series I remembered loving, but not this time. Never the Twain is as hilariously funny as I remembered with Windsor Davies, Donald Sinden and Honor Blackman (a regular guest star as she was with Donald Sinden in Robin's Nest) all at their marvellous best. This set is a bargain for the price, but it comes with a bonus sitcom episode on each disc. You have to go into the extras and do the quizz first, then as a reward, on disc 1 you get an episode of The Labours of Erica, and on Disc 2 Tripper's Day. Both entertaining, with Tripper's Day by Johnny Mortimer the better of the two. So you get 12 episodes of Never the Twain, plus 2 other sitcom episodes. Great value for the money! Buy it, you won't regret it!Never the Twain - Complete Series 1 [DVD]
Never The Twain - Series 3 & 4 [DVD]
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 6 September 2011
This boxset contains the first twelve episodes (the whole of series 1 and 2) of Never The Twain. Made by Thames Television this successful sitcom ran on ITV from 1981 until 1991.
Rival antique dealers Oliver Smallbridge (Windsor Davies) and Simon Peel (Donsld Sinden) are the two grumpy fellows who create hours of comedy on this two disc set. The series were originally screened on ITV in September/October 1981 and the same months in 1982.
Extras on the set include
Top Ten Insults
Quiz
Image Gallery.
One of the early guest stars in the series is Honor Blackman who fits very well into the goings on.

Episodes of Series 1
Families At War
Of Meissen Men
A Night At The Opera
A Matched Pair
Nothing But The Truth
Father Of The Groom

Episodes of Series 2
Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed?
As Young As You Feel
A Woman's Place
Blood Brothers
If You Knew Susan
The More We Are Together

Enjoy the boxset. Series 3 and 4 are now available. Series 5 and 6 on sale later in 2011.
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on 14 October 2010
It's been more than 20 years since I saw this program on television in New Zealand and I still remembered how great it was. When I saw the first two series were available on DVD I just had to have it. Well I wasn't dissapointed - IT IS STILL FABULOUS! Well worth the money to be enjoyed again and again. Good old fashioned fun and laughter - you just can't beat it. I would recomend buying this series to anyone with a sense of humour!
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I never understood why this popular comedy series did not have a longer run, although 11 years is considered a great success on British TV. I believe only 67 x 30min. episodes were ever produced between 1981 - 1991 but only 2 series were ever publish on DVD. What about the remaining series?

I was a big fan of Windsor Davies and Don Estelle and the other key players in the 'It Ain't Half Hot Mum' series and to my mind 'Never The Twain' was equally as funny. Needless to say I have purchased both these comedies on DVD to enjoy forever.
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on 23 February 2014
This is an old TV programme, and the humour reflects this.
In fairness, I have only watched a couple of the programmes, which I did enjoy, but not really as much as I expected. Sometimes dated programmes really are dated, and these perhaps come in this category.
I will watch the rest, although I am in no hurry!
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on 9 December 2011
Initially i watched this comedy series when i was a kid,during 80's.It was a rerun on Cyprus tv two years ago.I enjoyed watching it again.Very funny script and clever English humour.I was looking for a DVD release, previously it wasn't available,i was wondering why.Now it is,i purchased it and i'm very pleased.This is a diamond of the English comedies.The only negative is the lack of English subtitles.Now i'm looking forward for the release of the next two seasons.That 'll be on December 31 2012!Some late! I'll be waiting :)
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on 26 December 2010
NEVER THE TWAIN RUN FROM 1981-1991 IT STARRED DONALD SINDEN AND WINDSOR DAVIES AS SIMON PEEEL AND OLIVER SMALLBRIDGE WHO BOTH RUN ANTIQUES SHOPS NEXT DOOR TO EACH OTHER THESE TWO NEVER LIKED EACH OTHER ALWAYS PLAYED PRANKS BUT STILL THEY WERE THE BEST OF FRIENDS THERE WER ALOT OF FAMOUS FACES IN THE SHOW TEDDY TAYLOR MARIA CHARLES DEREK DEADMAN ZARA NUTLEY ETC THERE WHERE ALSO CHRISTMAS SHOWS TO THIS WAS WITTTEN BY THE LEGENDARY JOHNNNIE MORTIMER WHO WROTE RUMPOLE OF THE BAILEY ALSO OTHER WRITERS INCLUDE VINCE POWELL WHOS CREDITS INCLUDE BLESS THIS HOUSE ETC OTHE APPEARANCES INCLUDE DORIS HARE FROM ON THE BUSES TO I ALWAYS USE TO WATCH THIS ON ITV WHEN THERE WAS NOTHING ELSE ON STIILL AS IT IS ON DVD NOW I SHALL BE ABLE TO WATCH IT AT MY OWN LESIURE I ORDERED SERIES 1/2 3/4 5/6 WILL BE NOT BE OUT TILL JUNE /OCTOBER 2011 I HAVE PRE ORDERED BOTH OF THESE I WOULD HIGHLY RECOMMEND THESE FOR I WAS THE BIGGEST FAN OF THIS SHOW I HAVE WATCHED EVERY EPISODE STILL BE WOULD BE GOOD TO WATCH THIS AGAIN OR AS THEY SAY NEVER THE TWAIN SHALL MEET. 5 STAR RATING FOR THIS DVD
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on 5 November 2010
i found this dvd very good for the money. it brought back so many memories of when i was younger. if you liked this sitcom then buy this complete collection you wont be dissapointed.go on go for it spoil your self.
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