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Ever Decreasing Circles 

Martin Bryce (Richard Briers) is a committee man. He has numerous schemes and committees organized around the neighborhood. He is so obsessive about every detail of everything he does, he ... See full summary »




5   4   3   2   1  
1989   1987   1986   1984  
2 nominations. See more awards »




Series cast summary:
Richard Briers ...  Martin Bryce 27 episodes, 1984-1989
Penelope Wilton ...  Ann Bryce 27 episodes, 1984-1989
Peter Egan ...  Paul Ryman 27 episodes, 1984-1989
Stanley Lebor ...  Howard Hughes 27 episodes, 1984-1989
Geraldine Newman ...  Hilda Hughes 27 episodes, 1984-1989


Martin Bryce (Richard Briers) is a committee man. He has numerous schemes and committees organized around the neighborhood. He is so obsessive about every detail of everything he does, he is driving his long-suffering wife, Anne (Dame Penelope Wilton), slowly crazy. Then the new neighbor Paul Ryman (Peter Egan) arrives. He has a more worldly outlook than those who live under Martin's organizational spell. There is an immediate clash of personalities because Martin treats everything so seriously, but to Paul, life is for enjoying and not to be taken so seriously. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Did You Know?


Ann Davies suggested Peter Egan to be cast, aware of how well he and her husband Richard Briers had got on together in the BBC's production of George Bernard Shaw's "Arms and the Man (1983)." Davies played Martin's Mole Valley Valves secretary Mrs Ripper in the final two episodes of the series. See more »


Martin's obsession with turning the telephone receiver s certain way changes from the cord being on the right in earlier episodes and on the left in later ones. See more »


Martin Bryce: [Everything is going wrong while he's attempting to spring clean the house in one day] It's not me, it's them.
Paul Ryman: Who?
Martin Bryce: [Stressed] Things! Everything in this house has ganged up on me today!
See more »


Featured in Comedy Connections: Ever Decreasing Circles (2006) See more »


Prelude No. 15
from "Twenty-four Preludes, Op. 34"
Composed by Dmitri Shostakovich (uncredited)
Performed by Ronnie Price
[series theme tune]
See more »

User Reviews

Simply Charming with Effortless Ease
28 August 2006 | by HertsmereSee all my reviews

What makes Ever Decreasing Circles so charming and fascinating ? Basically, it's the old world values of love and fidelity.

Martin, fastidiously played by Richard Briars, is a man struggling against his own mediocrity. We can all recognise his situation and the men whose lives mirror his, he tries so hard at everything but his best is never quite good enough, while the charmer Paul, oily played by Peter Egan, achieves everything with effortless ease.

It's a play and a counter-play of a man who struggles through life compared to a man who is gifted by nature.

What redeems Martin from a lifetime of ennui is that he is married to Anne, played by the simply gorgeous Penelope Wilton. Would be Hollywood actresses should note that Penelope Wilton manages to convey as much sex appeal through a smile as do many talentless actresses through heaving bosoms.

Anne is the rose in Martin's life and we are left with the feeling that Martin wakes up everyday thanking God for giving him such a wife.

What gives the show its appeal is that although Anne is undoubtedly attracted by Paul and his charm , she remains loyal to Martin.

Ever Decreasing Circles tells us that there is still a place for Fidelity in married life and the World.

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Release Date:

29 January 1984 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Szűkülő körök See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(27 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Mono | Stereo | DTS (2.1 Stereo)



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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