Richard Briers is perfect as the over the top annoying Martin Bryce, Penelope Wilton is his always suffering wife Ann and Peter Egan is their neighbor Paul Ryman. Very funny show as Martin tries to organize absolutely everything and everybody in the neighborhood. He and Martin are at odds because Paul doesn’t take life so seriously and Martin objects to that attitude.
Opening episode:January 29,1984 – “The New Neighbor” – Martin comes home after his team of neighborhood kids lose a football match. Sitting in the kitchen is his new neighbor Paul. He’s a nice guy with a relaxed attitude, everything Martin is not. Ann keeps getting embarrassed but Paul tosses everything off.
Martin runs upstairs to get him all the literature he can on neighborhood activities. Their one sided rivalry starts when Martin writes Paul’s name on the folder. Paul says he knows who he is. Martin questions him and points out what if there weren’t signs pointing out radioactivity and unexploded bombs. Paul then writes his address on the folder and even the word folder. He’s just having fun but Martin gets very upset.
Ann wants to tell Martin why she’s upset. She catches him glancing at his watch. He says he has to make his weekly visit to an old age home. He gives Ann twenty minutes. She says forget it.
Martin returns from his visit to the pub. His group isn’t at their usual table because Paul suggested a larger one. Martin gets upset again. Paul laughs it off. He stays behind while Martin leads everyone to a stage a demonstration against a neighborhood man who parks his large lorry in the Close.
Everyone lies down on the road. Martin is upset because they’re aren’t sitting in the strict order he has on his list. He goes in front of everyone and lies down. The lorry approaches. The driver leaves. Martin and company go back to the pub fresh with victory. That’s until they see the lorry drive by.
Martin is on his own. He lays down in front of the parked lorry. He has a sleeping bag and a TV. Paul walks by and helps him adjust the set so he can get a picture. Martin is fuming again. He stays all night. The next morning it’s a showdown.
Penelope Wilton plays Isobel Crawley in “Downton Abbey.”