As Time Went By – 38 years to be exact


We’re not talking 432 years together like Blackadder and Baldrick, but we are talking about two people that were a couple, lost touch for 38 years, became a couple again and then, ultimately, married.

Couple #10 – Lionel Hardcastle and Jean Pargetter

LionelJeanAs Time Goes By, starring the incredible talents of Judi Dench and Geoffrey Palmer, showcase a couple that met in ’50’s, lost track of each other when Lionel was sent to Korea and wrongfully assumed they had lost interest in each other. When Lionel returns to London to write his memoirs of life in the Army and as a coffee-planter in Kenya, their paths cross again.

imagesThree great scenes stand out over the years for me. One, when Jean hires a temporary secretary for Lionel and she isn’t what she expected. Two, when a gentleman comes to the door and announces that he has finally found his father in Lionel and, three, the best one-liner of all, when Lionel and Jean are in the kitchen arguing, Jean pours tea on the table, then throws a piece of toast at Lionel and finally, when Lionel comments, Jean says to “wait for dinner, she’s making a casserole”. Classic writing from Bob Larbey. Also love the marriage proposal with Lionel not being able to get up from one knee. Anyone else with a favorite scene?

  • Jean’s standing at the counter chopping carrots, and tosses one over her shoulder at Lionel
    They’re sitting at the kitchen table and Lionel tells Jean that she’s beautiful
    Lionel tells Jean that Rocky and Madge have gone to the Andes and says something about not being able to imagine them doing that, then the camera pans back to reveal what Jean’s reading–some info about the Andes

  • Yes, I love that carrot throwing scene, ha.

    My all-time favorite episode is the one where Sandy moves in with them, and Jean and Lionel are arguing and pushing the bed back and forth.

  • Len

    The best episode, IMO, is the one where Jean is tired of no spontaneity in her life with Lionel. The family, with Alistair’s help, decide to surprise Jean with a luxury cruise. Trying to keep this trip a secret from Jean provides the major laughs of this episode, but it’s the minor plot of this story that brings out the biggest surprise. Lionel mentions in the first few moments of the show that he was going to visit a War museum. In the last few moments of the show he reveals that at the museum he found the letter that he wrote Jean while in Korea that was never delivered.

    This episode was not the last show of the series, but it is the show that provides to me how everlasting the love is between Jean and Lionel.

    • Yes, and the letter-in-the-Imperial-War-Museum episode also harks back to one of their first conversations after meeting again in which they speculate that the letter could’ve ended up in the Imperial War Museum or as compost. “I’d like to think it fed a tree,” muses Jean, but the Imperial War Museum is much better, as that later episode proves.

  • Cora Latta

    I have always loved Harry’s proposal to Sandy and the chaos that ensues, trying to find all the stuff she’ll need to get to Canada. Another favorite – anything with Steven (or is it Stephen?) – the surprise anniversary springs readily to mind.
    I just adore this series, no matter how often I’ve seen the episode(s).
    When I saw both Geoffrey Palmer and Dame Judi Dench in a Bond film, I burst out laughing in the theater. Totally inappropriate for the movie, but it was just such a rush of memories!