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Ever Decreasing Circles (1984-87)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Episode originally transmitted on BBC1, 29th January 1984
Directed by Sidney Lotterby, written by John Esmonde and Bob Larbey.

Martin drives home the boys' football team in his dorm-mobile. The team have lost 13-1. Removal men are bringing furniture into the house next door. Martin enters his house and meets his new neighbour, Paul Ryman. Martin's wife Ann laughs at all of Paul's jokes. Martin gives Paul a folder of literature about the close's activities.

Martin is printing in his study, when he is visited by Howard. Martin asks Howard his opinion of Paul. At lunchtime, Martin concentrates on his community work. Ann wishes to go to the cinema but Martin has to run an errand in Brighton. He asks her if anything is wrong. She tries to explain but catches him looking at his watch. Martin visits Mrs Beardsmore at a rest home. He tells her about Paul; she talks about a coalhole.

Martin arrives at the pub to prepare for a neighbourhood demonstration. The others are not sitting at their usual table. Paul buys Martin a drink. While Paul is at the bar, Martin insults Hilda. Paul returns to a silent table. Martin wants to move to the usual one, but as he tries to move over, a couple sit there, so everyone remains at the table Paul has chosen. Howard announces that Paul will join the cricket team. Martin is less than thrilled. Paul remains in the pub while the group leave to conduct their demonstration.

Martin, Ann, Howard, Hilda and the residents sit in the middle of the road to prevent a lorry from parking. Back in the pub, everyone congratulates Martin for a successful protest, but it's short-lived as the lorry nips around the block to park in the close. Martin attempts to galvanise the troops but they begin to leave. Paul and Howard suggest trying a solicitor.

Martin camps out on the road with his portable television. Paul fixes the picture. Martin sleeps in front of the lorry all night. The lorry driver tries to leave in the morning, but Martin refuses to move. As the driver slowly drives towards Martin, Ann comes running out of the house screaming for Martin to move out of the way. The lorry passes straight over him and drives away. Exasperated, Martin throws his hat away.