No. Brian’s isolation, and as we can see it’s not total, stems from the fact that he’s a bit of an odd one out with no established occupation in rural England. The itinerant handyman goes to his shed to figure things out. Like a pinecone bag. That’s a regular tote bag with a pinch of pinecones attached to it. Or an egg belt – a leather belt with a few pouches in which you put eggs. Not invented by Brian as such, but pointed out by the character that the unseen person operating the camera is his “coal bin,” a trash can exclusively for cabbage. He doesn’t say used or new.
You get the idea of the whimsy, yes? Moments later, Brian shows off a “flying cuckoo clock” that catches fire instead of flying.
Soon Brian starts making a robot because he is rather clumsy around real people. Using a washer for a torso and a mannequin head equipped with some sort of sensor in the right eye socket, it’s a clumsy creature. Plus, he won’t turn on whatever rudimentary form of artificial intelligence Brian has equipped him with. But one night the invention comes alive – during a thunderstorm, just like Frankenstein’s monster. Soon he is given the name Charles and flaunts knowledge he acquires by reading dictionaries at night. He also becomes an expert on cabbage. (Charles is played by Chris Hayward, who co-wrote the picture with Earl; the characters originated in a 2017 short film.)
Brian’s philosophy is simple: “You can try things. You can’t. You just have to keep trying.” The cumbersome Charles, he admits, was something that aspired to be a ‘Victorian sponge cake’ but instead became ‘a blancmange’. That’s good. Brian likes blancmange, and he loves Charles too. Finally, there is a montage of them walking together, laughing together, having a pillow fight, and this montage is scored on the Turtles’ classic pop hit, “Happy Together”. It was at this point that I was in my notebook wrote: “No. Just no.”