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British Comedy: Ever Decreasing Circles

TV Show list created by Onion Jack Avatar

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Decade: Rating: List Type:
People who added this item 10 Average listal rating (6 ratings) 7 IMDB Rating 7.3
Years: 1984-1989
Broadcaster: BBC
Genre: Sitcom
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Stars: Richard Briers, Penelope Wilton
Episodes: 27
Episode Average: 7.444
BEST EPISODES:
Housework (1984), The Tea Party (1984)
Rate:
Watched Wanted Custom

SERIES ONE

(1984)
5 episodes
Series Score: 37
Episode Average: 7.40
Perfect 10's: 0
S1E1

THE NEW NEIGHBOUR

Originally broadcast: 29 January 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin's far from impressed when a hairdresser moves in next door, talk of a new cricket captain at the wrong table doesn't go down well, and a campaign to stop a lorry parking in The Close proves to be ineffective.

"I'll tell you what. I'll not only add my surname, address and telephone number to this. I will also write the word 'folder' on this folder. So anyone coming near it will know what it is. How's that?"
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 3
TOTAL: 6

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S1E2

TAKING OVER

Originally broadcast: 5 February 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Ann pays a visit to the hairdressers in the hope of a change of image, Paul's interfering with Motor Club matters doesn't go down well, and Martin loses his committee duties after complaining about the workload.

"Yes, I'm growing cannabis. It needs a high temperature."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 3
TOTAL: 7

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S1E3

A STRANGE WOMAN

Originally broadcast: 12 February 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Ann's annoyed at not being asked about who she went to a concert with, Martin gets an eyeful when a topless sunbather appears next door, and imaginations run wild when police visit Paul in the middle of the night.

"No, no. You shouted something as you left fairly angrily, and I'm sure I heard you mention the word 'scallops'."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 7

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S1E4

HOLIDAY PLANS

Originally broadcast: 19 February 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
The four jolly glockenspielers prepare to book an eighth trip to Bavaria, Martin thinks that Ann's complaints are because of forgotten eggs, and an offer from Paul persuades Howard and Hilda to make their own plans.

"Well, how else do you expect me to take it? A faw hours ago you were enthusing about Bavaria, now you walk in here as bold as brass and stab me in the back with a Spanish villa."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S1E5

VICARS AND TARTS

Originally broadcast: 26 February 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin discovers that he's been elected chairman of a new subcomittee, Howard confesses that an idea for a Vicars & Tarts Ball wasn't his own, and Paul uses his connections to arrange the whole evening for free.

"I know. Let's have another of those bedstead races. I loved sitting up in bed being pushed about by four husky men."
HOLY GODIVA 5 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 9
Rate:
Owned Wanted Custom

SERIES TWO

(1984)
7 episodes
Series Score: 58*
Episode Average: 8.29
Perfect 10's: 2
*not including special
S2E1

THE TEA PARTY

Originally broadcast: 21 October 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Ann's horrified when a dormobile full of pensioners arrives at the house, Martin tries to gather parts to build a homemade bingo machine, and Paul makes his presence felt by organising a sing-song in the garden.

"Oh, do simmer down, put your fan on and give yourself a blow."
HOLY GODIVA 5 - ONION JACK 5
TOTAL: 10

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S2E2

THE CRICKET MATCH

Originally broadcast: 28 October 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Ann's unhappy about the kitchen being turned into a sports department, Martin realises that he might have to pick Paul for the cricket team, and Howard volunteers his place to save having to kick anybody else out.

"Well, I'm sorry. If I'd known it was out of bounds, I'd have clubbed him senseless before he reached the door."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S2E3

A MARRIED MAN

Originally broadcast: 4 November 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Ann suggests breaking from routine by inviting different guests to dinner, Martin finds himself answering the door to Paul's estranged wife, and Howard and Hilda are persuaded to take the scenic route home.

"Paul, would you like to come upstairs and look at my duplicator?"
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S2E4

HOUSEWORK

Originally broadcast: 11 November 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin has to look after himself when Ann goes into hospital for surgery, Paul's interference with the food preparation means a trip to the chippy, and organisational skills prove to be no match for spring cleaning.

"She won't, because this is what we're going to do. You and I together we're going to pitch into this lot. We'll finish your spring-cleaning and you will go to the ball, Cinders."
HOLY GODIVA 5 - ONION JACK 5
TOTAL: 10

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S2E5

SNOOKER

Originally broadcast: 18 November 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin needs to find another player for the pub snooker tournament, Howard's told to be more positive about his promotion interview, and an inevitable first round matchup sees Ann asking Paul for a huge favour.

"Even so, what you're asking me simply goes against the grain. And what makes it even worse is that you're asking me with all your clothes on."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S2E6

BOREDOM

Originally broadcast: 2 December 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin gets a shock when he gets a call about the weather in Boulogne, Paul offers a frustrated Ann the receptionist's job at the hairdressing salon, and Hilda pops by to demonstrate a variety of available hobbies.

"Don't try and regain ground. I've made you look an utter fool. And how? By bring you down to my level."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S2E7

THE PSYCHIATRIST

Originally broadcast: 9 December 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Paul invites his friends and neighbours around for a few drinks, Martin finds himself enjoying a stimulating conversation with a psychiatrist, and Ann can't help but fear the worst when she's handed a business card

"Yes, you see, moles cannot stand the sound of the Javanese ear flute."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 3
TOTAL: 6


SPECIAL

(1984)




SPECIAL

THE PARTY

Originally broadcast: 23 December 1984
Directed by: Sydney Lotterby
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin falls foul of his colleagues when he tries to stop an office party, Ann attends a Christmas party at Paul's despite being told not to, and Martin's horrified to wake up next to someone other than his wife.

"Yeah, see, the thing about a spontaneous sort of Christmas like this, is the amount of organisation it requires."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 7
Rate:
Owned Wanted Custom

SERIES THREE

(1986)
6 episodes
Series Score: 43
Episode Average: 7.17
Perfect 10's: 0
S3E1

MANURE

Originally broadcast: 31 August 1986
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin's not too pleased when he finds Paul lurking in his workshop, Ann announces that she'e been accepted for an Open University course, and Hilda tries her best to help with a manure problem by ordering a skip.

"I don't know. Here I am with a disgusting drill and improper trousers. There's no hope for me, is there?"
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 5
TOTAL: 9

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S3E2

ONE NIGHT STAND

Originally broadcast: 7 September 1986
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin gets everything packed for a two-day business trip to Belgium, Ann struggles to believe that her husband is capable of cheating on her, and Howard insists that it's time for him to pull up his drawbridge.

"What else could it have been? Never once in our marriage have I ever entertained thoughts of a carnal nature."
HOLY GODIVA 5 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 9

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S3E3

HOUSE TO LET

Originally broadcast: 14 September 1986
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin loses his whistle during an argument at a football match, Paul announces his intention to invest in another house in The Close, and Howard and Hilda have nothing to report about the new neighbours.

"Testicle."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 3
TOTAL: 6

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S3E4

LOCAL HERO

Originally broadcast: 21 September 1986
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Hilda's convinced that an insect is flying around inside her ear, Martin's disappointed when his act of heroism only gets a tiny newspaper article, and constant talk about saving a child's life sends everyone into hiding.

"All right, Ann, it's not Page 3."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 7

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S3E5

THE CAMPAIGN

Originally broadcast: 28 September 1986
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin's delighted to be accepted as a member of the Egremont Club, Ann decides to campaign for the Open University Students' Association, and Paul causes trouble by trying to win support from the local MP.

"So I forced you onto the table, and tapped you repeatedly with my spectacles."
HOLY GODIVA 2 - ONION JACK 2
TOTAL: 4

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S3E6

CAVALIERS AND ROUNDHEADS

Originally broadcast: 5 October 1986
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin organises an English Civil War event to raise funds for the RSPCA, Paul manages to take over when he turns up dressed as a Cavalier, and the reluctant Roundhead leader insists on making his own costume.

"So this is what you do when you're alone in the bedroom."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8
Rate:
Owned Wanted Custom

SERIES FOUR

(1987)
7 episodes
Series Score: 48*
Episode Average: 6.86
Perfect 10's: 0
*not including special
S4E1

RELAXATION

Originally broadcast: 25 October 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin's inability to switch off at night takes it's toll on Ann's sleep, Howard and Hilda look forward to visiting their friends in Edinburgh, and Paul devises a relaxation plan that involves clearing out the cubbyholes.

"Yeah, well, I had a book on how to relax once, it drove me mad, all the pages stuck together."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 3
TOTAL: 6

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S4E2

GOODBYE, PAUL?

Originally broadcast: 1 November 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Paul announces plans to close the salon so he can open a health studio, Martin explains why the flag at Mole Valley Valves is flying at half-mast, and a lack of available premises threatens to end a beautiful friendship.

"Hilda, if you can guess how many bottles of shampoo I've got in my left hand, I'll give you the pair of them."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S4E3

STUCK IN A LOFT

Originally broadcast: 8 November 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Paul's out of his depth when the friends head for a break in the country, Howard and Hilda are warned about the dangers of falling down holes, and Martin gets stuck when he heads into the loft to fix the cottage roof.

"Do you remember that course I took at evening classes to give myself a dynamic personality?"
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S4E4

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH

Originally broadcast: 15 November 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin becomes the coordinator of the Neighbourhood Watch group, Howard and Hilda make an arrest at the back of the jewellers shop, and a detective inspector delivers invitations for a special party at The Ritz.

"Well, to tell you the honest truth, Martin, I'm being a little tinker."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S4E5

THE FOOTPATH

Originally broadcast: 22 November 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Howard and Hilda are challenged by a farmer for using a public footpath, Martin insists on doing the right thing by having it out with the man, and Paul notices something interesting when he takes a look at the map.

"Touch your weapon and I take a photograph."
HOLY GODIVA 3 - ONION JACK 3
TOTAL: 6

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S4E6

JUMPING TO CONCLUSIONS

Originally broadcast: 29 November 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
A disappointing exam result shows Ann that she's no good at working alone, Paul's offer of help is accepted on the basis that he keeps it secret, and Hilda insists on speaking to Martin after witnessing the unforgivable.

"You're like that little beast in the World Cup who scored with his hand and thinks it's a joke."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


S4E7

HALF AN OFFICE

Originally broadcast: 6 December 1987
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Martin's appalled when he learns that his office is to be made smaller, Howard's accusation of being a doormat leads to a threat of resignation, and Paul suggests sleeping on an offer of a job at the health studio.

"Mrs. Ripper, nothing's been done about this telephone yet, you know. I'm still tinkling in here."
HOLY GODIVA 2 - ONION JACK 2
TOTAL: 4


SPECIAL

(1989)




SPECIAL

MOVING ON

Originally broadcast: 24 December 1989
Directed by: Harold Snoad
Written by: John Esmonde, Bob Larbey
Paul tries to get himself involved with the organisation of the fête, Martin's learns that his new promotion will mean moving to Oswestry, and Ann insists on pastures new after an announcement of her own.

"I'm sorry, Howard. It's just that I've got a rice pudding hanging over my head."
HOLY GODIVA 4 - ONION JACK 4
TOTAL: 8
Rate:
Owned Wanted Custom



Characters

People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0


MARTIN
BRYCE

Played by Richard Briers
in... The Cricket Match (S2E2)


Rate:
Rated Custom
People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0


ANN
BRYCE

Played by Penelope Wilton
in... Relaxation (S4E1)


Rate:
Rated Custom
People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 9 IMDB Rating 0


PAUL
RYMAN

Played by Peter Egan
in... Cavaliers and Roundheads (S3E6)


PAUL'S WOMEN


CAROLINE
Played by Suzan Crowley
in... A Strange Woman (S1E3)


HARRIET
Played by Amanda Murray
in... A Married Man (S2E3)


SUE
Played by Pamela Salem
in... A Married Man (S2E3)


ALISON
Played by Lucy Fleming
in... One Night Stand (S3E2)


FIRST AID LADY
Played by Fiona Curzon
in... Cavaliers and Roundheads (S3E6)


SARAH
Played by Victoria Burgoyne
in... Stuck in a Loft (S4E3)

Rate:
Rated Custom


HOWARD
HUGHES

Played by Stanley Lebor
in... Snooker (S2E5)


Rate:
Rated Custom
People who added this item 0 Average listal rating (1 ratings) 10 IMDB Rating 0


HILDA
HUGHES

Played by Geraldine Newman
in... Snooker (S2E5)


Rate:
Rated Custom

Part of the
British Comedy Collection
Martin Bryce is a stock control manager who gets through life with the help of strict organisation. He insists on everything being just so, both in his own life, and on the various committees that he's responsible for. His responsibilities give him a purpose in life, a reason to exist.

The new neighbour, Paul Ryman, is the exact opposite. He wings his way through life succeeding with everything he touches, and moving onto other things when things go too well. He is popular with the ladies, including Martin's wife, Ann. He doesn't need to try, he just is.

Martin dislikes Paul from the off.

Paul can only smile.

SERIES SCORES

Series 1: 7.40
Series 2: 8.29
Series 3: 7.17
Series 4: 6.86

FAVOURITE EPISODES

HOLY GODIVA
1. Housework
(Series 2, Episode 4 - 1984)

2. The Tea Party
(Series 2, Episode 1 - 1984)

3. One Night Stand
(Series 3, Episode 2 - 1986)

4. Vicars & Tarts
(Series 1, Episode 5 - 1984)

5. Manure
(Series 3, Episode 1 - 1986)
ONION JACK
1. Housework
(Series 2, Episode 4 - 1984)

2. Manure
(Series 3, Episode 1 - 1986)

3. The Tea Party
(Series 2, Episode 1 - 1984)

4. One Night Stand
(Series 3, Episode 2 - 1986))

5. Goodbye, Paul?
(Series 4, Episode 2 - 1987)

Added to




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