Brian and Charles on Blu-ray – The DVDfever Review – David Earl, Chris Hayward

Brian and Charles

Brian and Charles centres around two unlikely leads, as the former (played by co-writer David Earl) creates a robot following a bout of depression during the winter, because he needs a companion.

I can understand that, because for example, my Mum died early in 2021, but after trying to get used to it as the year went on, it was the winter when the bad times kicked in, because it’s just ridiculously dark outside, just as is happening now. I didn’t build a robot, but when I learned about our old family house going up for sale, which we left almost 40 years ago, I did book a viewing, posing as a potential buyer. I even created a backstory about my fake family in case I was asked, but they never did.

No, I’m not going to buy it. They were asking way too much, and now, it needs far too much work doing to it, with some rooms even untouched after we left!

Brian and Charles

Brian (David Earl) and Hazel (Louise Brealey)

Back to this, though, and it’s told documentary-style, with Brian talking to the camera. He lives in a farmhouse which hasn’t been decorated in many decades, and you do reach a certain point in life where you get stuck in a rut and wonder if things will ever improve. His inventions are wide and varied, even including a belt in which you can put eggs to carry them about. He packs his fridge full of butter, and even made a flying cuckoo clock! WTF?! It reminds me of The Great Egg Race with Heinz Wolff! If this was real, then that’s a new TV show in the making. That said, he does come across as if not all his dogs are barking.

However, by chance one day, Charles (Chris Hayward) has come to life. Well, during a lightning storm, but as we know from Back to the Future, lightning solves everything. And he’s become self-aware, whilst wanting to get out and about on his own. Before long, he’ll also come across as an impatient child, always wanting attention, yet can even change his own clothes(!)

Along the way, Brian meets Hazel (Louise Brealey) in the village, and it’s clear they’re well-suited because they act very awkwardly around each other, with Ms Brealey absolutely cute as a button. Plus, there’s the local bully Eddie (Jamie Michie) who takes an unseemly interest in Charles and, quite frankly, I wanted to take a shotgun to him and his entire family following certain events!

About halfway through, I was left wondering where this is going, but it does pull it back and find its way including a bizarre ending, and especially, I love Charles’ sense of fun after becoming sentient, constantly referring to himself in an excited fashion, “I am Charles Petrescu!”

Brian and Charles

Brian and Charles (Chris Hayward)

The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio, in 1080p on a single disc, and the picture looks superb, as you’d expect for a modern film, and no issues with the image at all, so it gets across the mix of bright and rainy backdrops in Wales, all coming across just like it would in Manchester (well, for the weather, at least).

This isn’t a special effects movie, so is fine for what’s required.

There aren’t too many extras, but these are as follows:

  • Gag Reel (3:17): Lots of fluffing of lines due to plenty of corpsing on-set.

  • Twitter Q&A (0:52): Brian and Charles answer questions sent into the robot via this Twitter account, @charlespetrescu.

  • This Or That (1:52): A few bizarre questions for Brian and Charles to answer in a sort-of interview, such as “Plane or Train?”, in terms of which form of travel they prefer.

  • Trailer (2:26): In the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio.

The main menu features clips from the film set to a piece of the theme. There are subtitles in English only, but just EIGHT chapters? Come on, now, you’re not paying by the chapter!

Brian and Charles is out now on Blu-ray, DVD and to rent or buy from Amazon Video.

Brian and Charles – Official Trailer – Focus Features




Running time: 90 minutes
Year: 2022
Chapters: 8
Cat.No: FHEB3835
Distributor: Mediumware / Universal Pictures UK
Released: October 24th 2022
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Language: English
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD MA
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (ARRIRAW (2.8K))
Subtitles: English SDH
Disc Format: BD50

Director: Jim Archer
Producer: Rupert Majendie
Screenplay: David Earl, Chris Hayward
Music: Daniel Pemberton

Brian: David Earl
Charles: Chris Hayward
Hazel: Louise Brealey
Eddie: Jamie Michie
Pam: Nina Sosanya
Winnie: Lynn Hunter
Katrina: Lowri Izzard
Suki: Mari Izzard
June: Cara Chase
Phil: Sunil Patel
Stephen Alderton: Rishi Nair
Arthur: Colin Bennett
Toffee Apple Woman: Vivienne Soan
Oliver: David Edwards
Stu: Nicholas Asbury
Villager: Morgan Adler (uncredited)
Villager: Carys Ryan (uncredited)