Next time you sit down to watch As Time Goes By, here’s a little insight as to what goes in to creating an episode of your favorite British comedy. The week begins with the initial read-through of the script by the cast. This is where the actors begin to interact and go over the brilliant words that writer, Bob Larbey, put to paper. Usually, any re-writes or suggestions at this point come from the actors, producer/director, Sydney Lotterby, or Larbey, himself.
Location shooting plays a big part of many British comedies today. Keeping Up Appearances, in particular, made good use of location shooting with classic scenes shot on the QE2 and the seaside resort. As you can see in the clip below, the As Time Goes By location shooting provides its own challenges whether it be sound from the extraneous plane flying over, lighting differences should the sun go behind the clouds or the occasional afternoon rain shower. In most cases, the location pieces are then edited and rolled in to the live studio recordings for timing purposes and to record audience reaction to scenes as you would be seeing it at home.
Finally, the in-studio portions are ultimately taped before a live studio audience where the weeks worth of timing, shot blocking, scene rehearsal and camera angles all come together to create what you see at home thanks to not only to the greatness of the cast with Dame Judi Dench, Geoffrey Palmer, Philip Bretherton, Moira Brooker and Jenny Funnel but the hundreds of production individuals that made up the As Time Goes By family. Enjoy this behind-the-scenes look.