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As Time Goes By - Reunion Specials

218 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The lyrically funny romance of Jean and Lionel continues its whimsical course in the Reunion Specials as Jean Pargetter's (Dame Judi Dench) great anticipation for grandchildren is revealed much to husband Lionel's (Geoffrey Palmer) dismay. With son-in-law Alistair and daughter Judy having problems things don't look too promising. But will Jean's dream of becoming a grandmother come true when Sandy and her husband Harry return from Canada?

The rich, textured chemistry of Dame Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer remains a pleasure in this two-episode reunion special of the beloved British sitcom As Time Goes By, the ongoing story of a couple that lost touch in their youth and rediscovered their love later in life. Made three years after the last season but starting right where the last episode left off, Part 1 begins with Jean (Dench, Mrs. Brown) feathering the nest for grandchildren, even though Lionel (Palmer, He Knew He Was Right) points out that neither Judy (Moira Brooker) nor Sandy (Jenny Funnell) have gotten pregnant yet. It turns out that Judy and Alistair (Philip Bretherton) have been trying, with no results, and Judy suspects the problem may be Alistair--who is wildly overcompensating to prove his virility. Meanwhile, Sandy is upset because Harry (David Michaels) seeks a promotion that may put him in harm's way. And in the middle of all this, Lionel gets a very unexpected visitor from Africa.

If you're unfamiliar with As Time Goes By, this is not the place to start--the great pleasure to be had from these episodes comes from having watched the wonderful development of these characters over the nine previous series. As ever, the humor is subtle, gentle, but always psychologically apt and acted with deft aplomb. Dench and Palmer are compelling and delightful as a married couple who may find each other exasperating yet never fall out of love. Also included are outtakes from throughout the previous series and a short but charming documentary that follows the creation of an episode--the marriage of Judy and Alistair--from the first read-through to the final filming in front of an audience. Fans will be thrilled to get a glimpse of Bob Larbey and Sydney Lotterby, the two men who respectively wrote and directed every single episode of the show from the beginning. --Bret Fetzer

Special Features

  • Oops, Sorry!: bloopers and outtakes
  • Making It: from the set

Product Details

  • Actors: Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Moira Brooker, Philip Bretherton, Jenny Funnell
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 10, 2006
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (218 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000CDSS22
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,064 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "As Time Goes By - Reunion Specials" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

234 of 242 people found the following review helpful By Matthew Gladney on December 9, 2005
Format: DVD
"As Time Goes By" is the gentle, funny story of Jean Pargetter and Lionel Hardcastle, two people who used to be in love in the early fifties. When Lionel went off to fight in the Korean War, the two lost touch. They meet again 38 years later, quite by accident, and what is at first an awkward friendship slowly morphs into a warm romance.

The show first aired in 1992, and continued production through 2002. A lot had transpired in the lives of Jean & Lionel and their ever-growing extended family during those ten years, and the series ended with Jean's daughter Judith marrying her on-again, off-again book publisher boyfriend, Alistair Deacon. Jean's secretary Sandy moved to Canada with her boyfriend Harry for a one-year attachment to the Royal Mounties.

The Reunion Special DVD consists of two 45 minute episodes produced in February 2005, which pick-up where the end of the series left off. Judith and Alistair are trying to have kids, with nothing to show for it, and Sandy & Harry are back from Canada, with Harry wanting to try out for a dangerous police job, much to Sandy's dismay. An unexpected visitor arrives from Lionel's past, which causes a minor stir. Many of the old favorite supporting characters are back, including Penny & Stephen, Rocky and Mrs. Bale.

I enjoyed the two specials quite a bit. They came as a welcome return to form after the last series (season) of the show. That series was only four episodes, and felt rushed. One of the hallmarks of "As Time Goes By" is its slow, gentle pace. That is once again on full display here with these two specials. The first 45 minute episode is probably the better of the two. It has a little more plot than the second episode, although both are generally good.
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84 of 90 people found the following review helpful By Eric Pregosin on December 25, 2005
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Having watched most of this series on my PBS station, and bought half the dvds here at Amazon, and the other half on vacation, I can tell you this was a welcome change to my PBS lineup one Saturday Night (they actually showed it at least 4 times already), and a welcome addition to my never ending library to start 2006. It's done as a 2 part 45 minutes each story, with both young couples Alistair and Judith and Harry and Sandy returning to the Hardcastle home with the usually newlywed worries, the former worried that they can't have a baby, and the latter about to have one while Harry looks for a promotion. With their usually humor, the old 50s vintage couple of Lionel and Jean set them both right. The climax comes at the end of part 1 when a handsome young Kenyan comes calling to see "his father". This gets resolved right away in part 2 as it turns out he's part of a large family that looked to Lionel as a father for putting up money for them to live while living there. Now he's an intern at the local London hospital. Eventually, Steven and Penny (Jean's first husband's sibling and in-law), Rocky (Lionel's father) and Mrs. Bale (Rocky's housekeeper) show up to had more fun to this warm hearted return to a series that ran a decade on BBC and PBS and continues to rerun in many cities here. Definitely a must add to your box set (or individual installments) of the original series.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By R. Frye on March 25, 2006
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The Reunion story line was great! I did miss the original Harry from the series.Other than that , the series picked up where the last left you. This gives you a glimpse of Judy and Sandy as now married ladies.Jean and Lionel's relationship is still strong and funny. This also had a surprise in the story line! Over all I like the entire series and this was just the cherry on top!
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44 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Ronald Scheer on July 28, 2006
Format: DVD
This 2-hour reunion special of "As Time Goes By" is strictly for ATGB fans. The light-hearted quirkiness of the half-hour show tends to embrace and forgive the more far-fetched elements of many episodes, but it gets strained a bit when extended over two hours.

Alistair seems more than a little caricatured as he worries about his sperm count, and Jean seems a self parody as she installs baby cribs in the townhouse, long before even a promise of forthcoming babies. Meanwhile, the rest of the regualrs make their appearances - Judy, Sandy, Harry, Penny, Stephen, Mrs. Bale, and even Rocky, who has characteristically taken up a new interest - line dancing. Like a true farce, everyone ends up together in the last scene, this time at the ER, along with a long-lost "son" of Lionel's, who is now a doctor.

The DVD includes a featurette revealing among other things a reading of a script for one of the episodes and a taping before a studio audience. And there is an additional selection of outtakes and bloopers from the series. Good fun.
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61 of 72 people found the following review helpful By takingadayoff TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 20, 2005
Format: DVD
If you were to watch the As Time Goes By Reunion Specials without having seen the series up until now, you would probably not take to the characters. Jean and Lionel are a prickly old couple, with Jean an over-the-top ditzy mum, Lionel the long-suffering husband, and the middle-aged "kids" finally beginning their lives away from the nest. Alistair has become an insufferable caricature, Rocky and Mrs. Bale are just bizarre, and Penny and Steven possibly the most realistic, but not terribly likable.

On the other hand, if you have been following the series, this is a visit from old friends and you'll forgive their eccentricities. The stories are unlikely, with Jean anticipating both Sandy and Judith having babies soon, though as far as she knows, neither is planning a family. Alistair is freaking out because Judith isn't pregnant and she thinks he's to blame. Sandy and Harry are back from Canada and Harry is applying for a dangerous post with the police, to Sandy's dismay. A character from Kenya turns up to visit Lionel. Hilarity ensues.

Fans of the series will enjoy catching up with the gang and the story is almost secondary to seeing how they look since the "final" series.
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