"You must remember this, a kiss is just a kiss...a sigh is just a sigh..."
And so each episode of "As Time Goes By" begins.
Lionel Hardcastle: I saw you, and I stopped breathing. I really did. Jean Mary Pargetter: Aww...
Lionel Hardcastle: I started again, of course, or I would have died...
Warm, witty and ever so delightful. A true treasure...a rare jewel. How we would love to sit down to dine with Jean, Lionel, Judy, Sandy and all the "As Time Goes By" gang. A warm and tender series, we are enraptured by each new episode. The writing is top notch, the actors simply superb. How lovely to finally have all of these episodes offered on video tape and now, on DVD. Please dear reader, do yourself a favor and invite Jean and Lionel into your life...they have found each other again and we are all the better for it. A treasure from start to finish. Who is more delicious than Oscar winner Judi Dench and the glorious Geoffery Palmer? When you tire of the network televison assault on your senses...or when you find yourself shuddering at what passes as *pleasant comedy*, pick up these episodes, fix yourself a hot cup of tea, settle in and prepare to be delighted.
A sweet and unexpectedly long-lasting romantic sitcom from the BBC in which two masters of the genre, Geoffrey Palmer and Dame Judi Dench, made the art of comedy look easy. Palmer played Lionel, an ex-army officer and Kenyan coffee planter who returns to England to write his memoirs, entitled My Life In Kenya. Seeking the help of a temporary secretary to take care of the typing, an agency offers him the services of Judith Pargetter. Attracted by her youthful vigour, Lionel invites her out to dinner but chances to meet too with her mother Jean. During the Korean War she and Lionel had been very close, intent on marriage, but one vital letter went astray and each thought the other had given up. The point now was, could the old fires be stoked after a 38-year parting? And what about the twice-married Judith, who was rather keen on Lionel herself? Such was the situation and the dilemmas at the start of the first series. As time went by As Time Goes By changed tack somewhat and in the middle period concentrated on getting Jean and Lionel back together. Eventually they cohabited and married but things were never that simple for the prickly couple who were both too independent to settle easily into married life. As Lionel progressed in the literary world complications arose. First there was Alistair, his smarmy agent who soon started dating Judith and who, to Lionel, represented all that was wrong with the modern generation. Then there was Lionel's eccentric father Rocky and his pursuit of his dream woman Madge. But the biggest diversion of all, outside of the central relationship, was the fact that Lionel had sold the story of his and Jean's romance to an American TV company, who were going to turn it into a glossy mini-series. Numerous episodes followed the progress of the production before they all got to see the finished article.
By the time of its eighth season the show was enjoying considerable success in the USA where, despite her Oscar-winning film performances, Judi Dench was best known as Jean from As Time Goes By. The series proper ended in 2002 with the wedding of Judith and Alistair, and the departure of Canada- and marriage-bound Sandy (Jean's employee and Judith's friend) and Harry (her on-off boyfriend, a policeman), leaving Jean and Lionel quietly to themselves. A week later there was an hour-long compilation of highlights from the preceding 64 episodes in which the pair looked back at selected moments from their recent years together, ostensibly so that Lionel can consider writing part two of his autobiography. Three years later, the show's legion of devotees were given a chance to catch up on all the regulars in a two-part seasonal special.