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4.9 out of 5 stars211
4.9 out of 5 stars
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It is difficult to think of a comedy series which is so watchable and which may truly be described as "situation comedy" (in a positive sense). A couple, she then a nurse and he a sub-lieutenant posted abroad, parted many years ago when due to a letter lost in the overseas post each thought their romance had ended. They meet again by chance and after an initial stiffness between the two, find that quite unintentionally their relationship blossoms again.

This is not a gooey love story, but a well observed and wonderfully acted comedy romance in which the cast,over time, age well with their characters. There are two great stars in Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. The remainder of the cast (with at least 5 well known faces from time to time appearing) support the thread of this re-gained re-lived romance whilst their characters provide the opportunity for the story lines around which most of the episodes are based.

In the Marmite sense, you will either love it or hate it. It would be a fairly sad world if most people did not fall into the first category.

There is a second boxed set to complete the series (as well as a "Specials" DVD) and these are well worth having to complete the collection.
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on 4 June 2007
First of all, Im not who As Time Goes By is aimed at. Im twenty years old and have been a fan since I was 11 years old, when I stumbled over an episode from series seven. Over the next few weeks i tuned in and was extremely disappointed when at the end of that series they said another series would follow, NEXT YEAR!

Since then I have been a fan, (I was too young to enjoy the first few series as I would have just started primary school when they first aired) as soon as the box set was released I snapped them up.

I was quite unfamiliar with the beginning of the Jean and Lionel story, how they got back into contact after 38 years parted.

Series 1

Sets up allot of the back story to the couple, and some of Judy's history which gets left behind in later series. Philip Bretherton (Alistair) is funny from the word go, especially good at the party (which also has a lovely bit of interplay between jean and Lionel surrounded by what they call "children") and when trying to seducing Jean in Norwich. The series ends nicely with Alistair fancying Jean and Judy making eyes at Lionel, to solve the situation Jean results to a little matchmaking of her own.

Series 2

Starts with shooting the front cover of "my life in Kenya" some of the storylines to do with Lionel's book could be boring if gone into too deeply, however the writers keep the balance by (in episode 2) going back to Lionel and Jean's relationship, and hinting at maybe the beginnings of Judy's and Alistair's relationship ? In series two we meet four characters that bring so much to future series. Firstly Lionel's jovial father Rocky (charming played by Frank Middlemass), the impervious Mrs. Bale (Janet Henfrey), twittering Penny Jean's sister in law (Moyra Fraser ) and Penny's hen pecked husband Stephen (Paul Chapman). Watch out episode 5: Misunderstandings, where Jean and Lionel spend a weekend at Penny's and Stephens.

Series 3

Series three is crammed full of goodies. To begin, Lionel and Jean are having a weekend away in Paris, a lovely constructed episode, plus with the added absurdity of seeing Lionel deal with the French. Next is Rocky's marriage to Madge (mischievously played by the late great Joan Sims). Due to Rocky's marriage Lionel suggests that he and Jean start living together. Which is far from straight forward, this story line provides more back ground story on both leads and helps you warm to Lionel (as his behaviour at Rocky's wedding can make you irritated with him). Also in this series Lionel begins writing the mini series and Jean opens the second "type 4 you" branch introducing the characters of Mike Barbosa ( American television executive , a running joke in the program is that on one really understands what Mike's job title means, and I don't think its ever mention what Mike does exactly only that Lionel needs to impress him), Sally Curtis ( the scarily perfect manger of "Type for you" second branch) and the funniest of all Gwen Flack ( the replacement sectary for Lionel, who can't stop talking) There is a storyline in the end episode which is not followed up about Rocky's not living for much more than a year. Bob Larby or Colin Bostock-Smith decided or was told to keep Frank Middlemass character in evidently, Im not complaining Rocky's is a good character. But the inconstancy in the writing is a shame.

Series 4

Sandy joins the household a clever move on writer's part giving Judith someone to talk to. Most of this series centres on firstly getting rid of Gwen Flack and then Jean and Lionel's wedding. The contrast between Lionel's wedding arrangements and Jean's full blown battle plans is hilarious. The only episode Im not that fond of is the one with Eric in, it's not a bad episode I just think its placing in the series jars a little bit, being straight after the wedding. And would have done better in a later series, but that's just my opinion. The final episode is a bitter sweet, although funny you realise what a hash the Americans have made of Lionel's script. I read some where this storyline was taken form Bob Larby's own experiences of dealing with American television? Anyhow it's a great four series.

And cheaper if you buy them this way, enjoy !
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on 2 April 2009
What is there to say about this terrific series, one of a kind....I love it.I know this little add on is not about the series but I must say for customers to know that the service I receive from Amazon UK is the best I have ever known. I live in Australia and am wonderfully surprised that I receive my orders within a week of placing them. This is truly great .Thank you Amazon.
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on 31 August 2008
I and my family only started to watch as time goes by, when my sister was round at her friends and saw an episode. my friend lent her series 1-3 on Dvd and we watched them all apart from one disc which had gone bad.

The episodes are of good quality no sex, no violence just a good sitcom that appeals to everyone. i bought the box set 1-4 for my dad as a present and box sets 5-9 for him too but to be given at another time.

so if you want to have a laugh then watch this the writing is very good.
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on 26 April 2013
these series, are very easy to watch. no bad language,and no fighting etc no smutty remarks. just good humour. we love them.
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on 17 November 2011
A wonderful gentle comedy that really ticks all the boxes. A series that can easily be enjoyed by all age groups.
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on 26 March 2013
The programme is so inofensive, no bad language, it is such a lovely programme with wonderful actors. It makes you feel so lovely.
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on 15 March 2014
I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoy British television and my husband often does too, but this is one that he just doesn't get but oh I do. It is the story of a late middle age couple who find each other after years of separation, but it is so much more then that. It is a character study that anyone can identify with. The characters aren't perfect; they are human. It has a slow pace and it covers their daily lives with humor and very little drama. Too often life is hectic, demeaning, and cruel, but you can sit back with Lionel and Jean and find peace and a smile on your face.
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on 28 December 2009
If you appreciate English humour as much as I do, this series is a must. It is a laugh a minute. The lines said by Judi Dench, not to mention her unique facial expressions, provide you with that special kind of entertainment that you look forward to relaxing with at the end of the day. ALL the "AS TIME GOES BY" Series are as entertaining as these first four.
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on 11 October 2009
The story is heartwarming, the characters are like "real" persons and the dialogue keeps you on your toes. You must listen well or else you might miss something.
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