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VINE VOICEon 8 May 2009
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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VINE VOICEon 21 July 2015
Other reviewers will tell you possibly more than you want to know about characterisation and plot. I would like to concentrate on the acting and production values. “As Time Goes By” is available in three collected box-sets: series 1-4 (this item), series 5-9 and the reunion specials (2 programmes only). Of all three box-sets this one is definitely the best, when the actors and the writer (the excellent and lamented Bob Larbey) were all still fresh. The series were immensely popular, not just in the UK, but also in the USA and public demand caused them to be extended tight up to the ninth series and beyond. The later material is still very, very good but not up to the standards shown in these early episodes.
Although the scripts, with their unambitious plot lines, are uniformly first-rate, what makes these episodes so special for this reviewer at least is the extraordinarily high and consistent level of comic acting. Obviously the two leads, Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, are superb – their timing is exquisite and Judi Dench’s facial expressions alone speak more fully than some other actors can manage with speech. However, being bewitched by Dench and Palmer should not blind you to the real skills displayed by other regular members of the cast, particularly Philip Bretherton, who has a wonderful part and makes the most of it.
Then the production values are notably good. Direction throughout is by Sydney Lotterby and is uniformly excellent. The sets are really solid and believable without too many ball-catches as give-aways.
My only complaint about this box-set is Amazon and their inconsistent pricing policy. I bought this set in early June 2015 for £11.20 (extraordinary value) and decided to buy another for some friends’ anniversary a few weeks later, by which time the Amazon price was £20. I had to buy elsewhere. At the time of writing (mid-July 2015) the price has fallen again to £10. At anywhere near this price you cannot go wrong. Buy, sit back and enjoy one of the greatest situation comedies of all time.
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on 10 March 2015
This review goes for this collection, the series 5-9 boxed set as well as the reunion specials.
I have watched a few repeated episodes over the years and often held the impression that ATGB was in the rather twee, sedate middle class sitcom mould that the BBC has done to death. However, as I have grown older, I cannot decide whether it's a sign of my advancing years or this series itself that brings me a cheery smile as I watch it. The story is superb: two estranged lovers reunited after 38 years apart and their efforts to rekindle past emotions. The casting is a dream with Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer totally believable as a couple at the heart of the show and even the rest of the cast are not merely fodder as so often in the case in so many sitcoms. Geoffrey Palmer has cornered the market for TV grumpies and Judy Dench shows an immaculate sense of comic timing. Lionel and Jean appear such a real life pair thanks to the excellent writing of Bob Larbey. In a world where foul language and references to bodily functions pass for humour, this inoffensive, gentle comedy is as much a relief as a precious joy to behold.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 13 December 2015
This is a gentle romantic British TV comedy about two main characters played by Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer. The plot is based around two former lovers who are separated by chance and reunited by fate. Enough said about the story. It ran on BBC 1 from 1992 to 2002, and there were 9 series.

This box set includes the first four series and the remainder are available - As Time Goes By Series 5-9 Box Set [DVD] and As Time Goes By - The Reunion Specials [DVD]

This is classic comedy and is still very watchable
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on 29 August 2014
Judy Dench and Geoffrey Palmer are brilliant in this series. The relationship between the 2 characters is perfect. The characters bounce of one another with perfect comedy timing. Sheer genius. The looks that Judy Dench's character gives are really funny. They make you feel that you are part of their family, its compulsive viewing. They look as though they had a brilliant time making the series. Its really funny and quite heart warming at times. 2 people who new each other years ago, parted and then re-united some 38 years later, is a brilliant story. The late great Joan Sims is also brilliant as Lionel's father's wife. Her character was really funny. I would recommend this series.
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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 10 April 2013
Humour is subjective but this is my favourite sit-com closely followed by 'The good Life'.

I didn't watch 'As Time Goes By' when it was first broadcast but realised when it was repeated some years later just what I'd been missing. It's extremely well written, does not have any bad language and is never rude. It is also brilliantly acted by an excellent cast and the characters portrayed are very likeable.

My only dissapointment is that there are no more episodes. after the reunion specials and there have been no other sit-coms of this quality made since.
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on 18 January 2012
This comedy is a story right to our hearts! My wife and I have always been extremely fond of "older" English comedies and so far have watched many of this nature. The main characters, i.e. Judi Dench (Jean) and Geoffrey Palmer (Lionel) are absolutely fantastic and the story itself is very amusing and entertaining and, last but not least, touching. We just love the dialogues of the two people trying to get used to each other after having lost touch for 38 years. They met during the Korean war and fell in love when he was an officer in the army while she used to work as a nurse. After having had to part after the end of the war they tried to keep in touch by writing letters to each other which unfortunately got lost leading to the misunderstanding that both did not seem to be interested in each other any more. Philip Bretherton (Alistair) is not just hilarious when trying to persuade Lionel to write a book on his time in Kenia but also very charming trying to seduce Jean and later on her daughter Judy.We feel that this story can be rated as being at the same level as e.g. "To the Manor born". We shall certainly buy the other DVD!
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on 11 January 2018
Bought for a friend as a Christmas present. I was able to buy it without fuss and bother and it was delivered quickly and without any fuss!
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on 2 December 2013
This series certainly ages well. I purchased all series 1-9 and watched them sequentially. It didn't surprise me how well the story continuity and acting was maintined over all series - right up to the end - as this is a quality programme which doesn't appear very dated all these years later (except maybe the gradual shrinking in size of the mobile phones, staring at the size of brick). And the talented Dame Judy? - no need to say more. Thoroughly recommended.
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