It's that wonderful time again, it's British Broadcasting Corporation time once more!
I said it was going to happen, so let it be written so let it be done. As Time Goes By is quite possibly my favorite programme from the BBC, even more than Doctor Who perhaps. There's no better feasible word to describe it than charming. The story concerns one Lionel Hardcastle and one Jean Pargiter, two people who fell in love before Lionel was sent to Korea for the war effort and didn't hear or lay eyes on one another for roughly 40 years, until they meet again and the relationship between them grows again. I already commend it tremendously because it's not a situation of they meet again and instantly fall head over heels in love, they are of course happy to see each other and reminesce often about their brief young love but it takes until the end of the series for them to go on a date. Now don't worry, the first series is only 6 episodes long each 30 minutes, so you won't have to spend the better part of a day to get to that point. The story and writing could not be handled better, to the point where I have no concievable way of trying to figure out how it turned out so good. Despite such a short beginner series you quickly grasp the personas and characteristics of our main cast, Jean, Lionel, Judy, Alistair, and Sandy. Jean is very forward and runs a secretary agency so she doesn't lolligag about but has a good sense of humor, she's intelligent, fun, and has lived quite a life to this point. Plus you have Judi Dench playing her, of course she's amazing. Lionel is grumpy, headstrong, has lots of wit but is just as forward and honest as Jean, and is very humble about his feelings for her. Geoffrey Palmer you dashing man, my king, how I miss you so. Judy is Jean's daughter and works with her mom, she has Jean's sense of humor and is a romantic at heart, just an absolutely lovely beautiful lady and Moira Brooker is so good in this role. Philip Bretherton is Lionel's publicist Alistair, he's that rare breed of smarmy, confident, highly succesful businessman who isn't an unlikable twat, though he shamelessly flirts with every woman but never does he force anything, but merely tries to woe or seduce and takes rejection in stride while not letting it affect him. It's almost Brock-esque in a way really. And last but not quite least Jenny Funnell plays Sandy, Jean's receptionist who while not getting a lot of material this series becomes a fan favorite character as the show progresses, very no nonsense, very caring, the dream coworker, and quite stunning in a dress. If you know anything about me, if you've followed this show long enough is romance is a thin ice category, I really have to feel that authentic, genuine, feeling of love between two characters and it has to impact on me. By the third or fourth episode I got full blown puppy dog eyes at one scene, Judi and Geoffrey could not have better chemistry if they tried, they bring these characters and their history effortlessly and never once do I even slightly question the relationship between them. And it's funny, it's a really funny show, I laughed quite loudly multiple times throughout the first series, it has that british wit and delivery that I adore and enjoy so much. Lionel in particular gets me often. It's a marvellous show with good production values though this was still that once upon a time when the BBC had to use actual film stock for outdoor scenes which continued until the early 2000s but it doesn't distract, the cast is picked expertly, the dialogue is funny but still real and endearing, you're going to hear a lot of praise for this show in the coming weeks no question about it. Do I give it the 10/10? I'm really going through it all and asking if there was anything I didn't like. No. I can't think of anything. My God it gets the full marks, 4 stars, 10/10, watch it anyway you can. I mean it's only 3 hours out of your day for an entire series, that is a small price to pay for a cornerstone of british television for me. Class, absolutely marvellous, so proud I own it on video. So stay tuned for the coming weeks as we continue to work our way through this series, have a wonderful evening, goodnight.