Quick DVD Review – ‘Sink or Swim’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

This is what I gave my Mum on her birthday this year!

My parents and I have finished seeing ‘Sink or Swim’, the BBC sitcom series starring Peter Davison and Robert Glenister. This was made in the early 1980s during the time Peter Davison did ‘Doctor Who’. He starred in ‘Sink or Swim’ and ‘Holding the Fort’ whilst also playing the Fifth Doctor.

I’ve enjoyed ‘Sink or Swim’ very much. This series went by so quickly whilst my parents and I watched it on DVD. We ‘swam’ through it instead of ‘sank’ in it. 😀 I shared with Peter Davison at the ‘Carlisle Comic Con’ how much I was enjoying ‘Sink or Swim’. My parents and I were on Series 3 by this point.

‘Sink or Swim’ is a three seasons series spread across a four-disc DVD set. Peter Davison stars as Brian Webber and Robert Glenister stars as his brother Steve. The series starts in London where Steve goes to see his brother Brian. They eventually live in a flat, struggling to get a working life in London.

This is a similar situation where Peter Davison played a brother role in ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ opposite Robert Hardy. Except this roles are reversed as Peter Davison plays the responsible brother whereas Robert Glenister plays the lazy, childish brother. It also had a ‘Likely Lads’ atmosphere to it.

I enjoyed both Peter Davison and Robert Glenister as the two brothers in the series. Robert Glenister would later guest star in ‘The Caves of Androzani’ with Peter Davison in ‘Doctor Who’ after ‘Sink or Swim’. It was very surreal to see Robert Glenister in a different character role compared ‘Androzani’.

Like I said, the series starts in London. It takes place in London for most of Series 1 and 2 before moving to Newcastle in Series 3 where Brian studies a computers university course there. I enjoyed the antics of some of the situations where Steve caused trouble in Brian’s life in many of the episodes.

The series also features Sara Corper as Sonia, Brian’s girlfriend. I enjoyed Sonia, although she is pretty serious-minded and has focused interests on vegetarianism and ecology. I’m surprised Brian didn’t dump Sonia in the series, especially when she was wide-eyed and used long-winded words. 😀

There are a number of episodes I enjoyed watching from the series, including the Christmas episode from Series 1 and the episodes where Brian gets a run-down boat in Bristol. The series also featured guest stars like Nicholas Courtney, John Abineri, Dinah Sheridan and Tenniel Evans who were a joy.

The series concludes on an episode where Steve is on a ferry to France and Brian and Sonia get left behind. I got a feeling of “Is that it?” when the series ended. I felt there should have been more after that. But Peter Davison only did three seasons since that is his acting rule: ‘three seasons and leave’.

‘Sink or Swim’ has been great to watch. I’m glad I saw Peter Davison in something different other than ‘Doctor Who’ and starring alongside Robert Glenister in it. My Mum enjoyed her birthday present as well as Dad and me. I will have to get onto re-watching ‘Sink or Swim’ again sometime.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

6 thoughts on “Quick DVD Review – ‘Sink or Swim’

  1. darrowby85

    Hello Tim, thank you for this review. I had been wondering what this series was like, so I was very happy to see a link to your review of it via the Peter Davison Hub fan-page on Facebook. It sounds as if this DVD box set is worth getting and should go on my wish-list, along with Campion and a whole lot of other things with Peter in them 🙂

    It’s interesting to see the comparison with Peter Davison’s role in “All Creatures Great and Small”, which is one of my favourite series. Have you seen it? His portrayal of his character, Tristan, is really great. Tristan is mainly a comic character but has some tragic aspects too, and he portrays both sides of the character in such a way that he is very loveable, despite being pretty badly behaved some of the time!

    (If you want to get a taste for All Creatures, you can have a look at the blog I’ve just started, where I’m working my way through the series with a commentary on each episode.)

    Best wishes, Vicky

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Vicky.

      Very pleased you enjoyed my review on ‘Sink or Swim’. My parents and I enjoyed this series and surprisingly went through it rather quickly. I’m sure you’ll enjoy this series should you purchase it on DVD. Peter Davison and Robert Glenister are very good in it.

      I have seen ‘All Creatures’ yes. In fact it was the first thing I saw Peter Davison in before seeing him in ‘Doctor Who’. I would like to review ‘All Creatures Great and Small’ on my blog. I’ve seen and started following your blog dedicated to the series. I hope to comment on your reviews on the series sometime soon. It looks very impressive.

      Thanks Vicky.

      Tim. 🙂


  2. Williams Fan 92

    Evening Tim.

    I’ve just finished watching series 1 of ‘Sink or Swim’ on DVD. I have enjoyed the show so far. The comedy put into it made me laugh so many times. Peter Davison and Robert Glenister both put in stellar performances as Brian and Steve. I always enjoy brothers as main characters. I’ve also seen this with Siegfried and Tristan. I can see Steve/Tristan as Niles to Brian/Siegfried’s Frasier.

    I’m also impressed with the amount of location work used for the series. It might be worth Network releasing the series on Blu-Ray. I’m looking forward to the other two series including the guest appearance of Nicholas Courtney. I’ll hopefully bring the DVD with me to the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ for Peter Davison to sign (assuming they are doing signings).

    Two unrelated things. Firstly, you’ll notice that I have mentioned ‘Frasier’ in my comment. I therefore wanted to ask you if you have finished ‘Cheers’ and if so, have you been watching ‘Frasier’.

    Secondly, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on ‘Full Circle’ tomorrow.

    Take care, WF92. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you’re currently enjoying ‘Sink or Swim’ on DVD. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the series so far. I hope I’ll get a chance to revisit ‘Sink or Swim’ in more depth sometime for my blog. Peter Davison and Robert Glenister are very good in this series.

      Oh I’m sure you’ll enjoy Nick Courtney’s guest star appearance in the series and how he acts opposite Peter Davison before reuniting with him in ‘Mawdryn Undead’. I believe they are doing autograph signings for the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’. You’ll have to check the Covid guidance and regulations on the ‘Bedford Who Charity Con’ Facebook page to be sure.

      I haven’t seen ‘Cheers’ in a long while. I have seen the first two seasons and half of Series 3, so I’ve seen Kelsey Grammer as Frasier in that. I don’t know if I’ll be checking out ‘Cheers’ again. I often found the episodes repetitive, especially when they took place in the Cheers bar. I might have an open-mind should I get around to revisiting the series.

      Looking forward to your thoughts on ‘Full Circle’ tomorrow.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Williams Fan 92

        Hello again Tim.

        When I said have you been watching ‘Frasier’, I was actually referring to the spin-off of the same name, not just the character. If you do get around to revisiting ‘Cheers’, be sure to check out ‘Fraiser’ afterwards. It’s a barrel of laughs and my second favourite tv show behind ‘Doctor Who’.


        Liked by 1 person

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