The BEST Episodes of As Time Goes By

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Network: BBC One

Army officer Lionel Hardcastle and nurse Jean Pargeter had a three-month affair in 1953. After Lionel is posted to Korea, the two lose touch when Lionel's letter to Jean fails to get delivered. Thirty-eight years later, they meet again. A sweetly charming situation comedy that ran for nine seasons. Best enjoyed with your feet up and with a cup of tea and some custard tarts at your side.

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A Very Personal Problem

#1 - A Very Personal Problem

Season 8 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 30, 2000

Judy and Alistair are no longer seeing each other neither are Sandy and Harry. So Jean decides to cheer them up. Alistair comes around to see Lionel but, Jean thinks he's there to see Judy. Jean worries that Judy will think that she was meddling so she tells Judy that Alistair was there discussing a personal problem that Lionel has. Thinking that it involves Jean, Judy plans a romantic weekend away for Lionel and Jean.

star 8.88
64 votes

#2 - Pardon?

Season 7 - Episode 1 - Aired Apr 19, 1998

Jean suspects that Lionel is going deaf. But despite the fact that he clearly can't hear very much, Lionel resists going to a doctor. Meanwhile, he becomes convinced that Jean is having problems with her eyes, and sets about solving this dilemma.

star 8.85
118 votes
What Now?

#3 - What Now?

Season 9 - Episode 4 - Aired Aug 4, 2002

Alistair and Judith are now married, but will Harry pluck up the courage and ask Sandy to join him in Canada? Meanwhile, in the Hardcastle household, Jean has taken pity on a homeless girl named Dave - but Lionel is not entirely sure about her new friend.

star 8.82
113 votes

#4 - Improvements?

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired May 7, 1995

Lionel gets some suggestions for improvements to his script for the miniseries. Jean and Lionel argue over her retirement that has yet to happen. Later they go out to the country house to see some of the filming for the miniseries.

star 8.80
89 votes
Welcome News

#5 - Welcome News

Season 4 - Episode 5 - Aired Apr 2, 1995

Rocky decides to give Lionel his country house in-which the film crew for the miniseries has decided to shoot. Jean and Lionel get engaged.

star 8.65
124 votes
The Affair

#6 - The Affair

Season 4 - Episode 4 - Aired Mar 26, 1995

Jean's sister-in-law decides to move in with her and Lionel after she finds out her husband is having an affair. Actually he being so secretive because he is planning a surprise anniversary party for her.

star 8.65
154 votes
Wedding Day Nerves

#7 - Wedding Day Nerves

Season 4 - Episode 8 - Aired Apr 23, 1995

Lionel and Jean's wedding day arrives. Lionel has to deal with a case of nerves while Jean has to deal with her sister-in-laws meddling.

star 8.62
121 votes
A Surprise for Jean

#8 - A Surprise for Jean

Season 6 - Episode 7 - Aired Jun 29, 1997

Jean tells Lionel that she wants him to surprise her more. So Alistair suggests Lionel surprise Jean with a trip. However it turns out not to be the easiest thing to do.

star 8.60
111 votes
You Can't Manufacture Happy Endings for Everybody

#9 - You Can't Manufacture Happy Endings for Everybody

Season 9 - Episode 1 - Aired Jul 7, 2002

Alistair has finally proposed to Judith, needless to say there are complications as Judith plans for a country wedding and realisation strikes confirmed bachelor Alistair.

star 8.59
120 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Bob Larbey
Showered with Gifts

#10 - Showered with Gifts

Season 5 - Episode 7 - Aired Feb 25, 1996

Lionel and Jean befriend the villagers who shower the couple with gifts.

star 8.55
118 votes
At Death's Door

#11 - At Death's Door

Season 5 - Episode 6 - Aired Feb 18, 1996

When Jean's sister-in-law Penny has to go into the hospital she thinks things are worse than they are and makes a big fuss.

star 8.54
113 votes
An Old Flame

#12 - An Old Flame

Season 7 - Episode 2 - Aired Apr 26, 1998

Jean and Lionel take a parental interest in Harry, Sandy's policeman boyfriend. Yet, the affairs of the younger generation seem to diminish in importance when Jean receives a phone message from an old flame.

star 8.53
116 votes
Too Old ... or Too Nosy

#13 - Too Old ... or Too Nosy

Season 7 - Episode 5 - Aired May 17, 1998

Jean's sister-in-law, Penny, and her husband Steven are expected for another visit. As they are considered a rather dull couple by the Hardcastles, it is most surprising that they arrive via separate modes of transportation to announce that they are having a tiff.

star 8.52
117 votes
Christmas Special Part Two

#14 - Christmas Special Part Two

Season 10 - Episode 2 - Aired Dec 30, 2005

Patrick is looking for his father, Jean wants grandchildren, Stephen wants to be a celebrity and Lionel wants peace and quiet. How do they all end up in hospital?

star 8.50
58 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
The Country Set

#15 - The Country Set

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 7, 1996

Jean and Lionel spend a weekend in the country at Rocky's house. Upon arriving, they are visited by ""the country set.""

star 8.40
90 votes
Avoiding the Country Set

#16 - Avoiding the Country Set

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Feb 4, 1996

Jean and Lionel visit the country house again but, this time try to avoid the townspeople that caused them so much trouble the last time they visited.

star 8.39
119 votes
Visiting Rocky

#17 - Visiting Rocky

Season 2 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 24, 1993

Lionel takes Jean to see his eccentric father Rocky, the complete opposite of Lionel's gruff self.

star 8.34
165 votes
Rocky's Wedding Day

#18 - Rocky's Wedding Day

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Jan 9, 1994

It's Rocky and Madge's wedding day but, things don't go quite as planned.

star 8.33
123 votes
Future Imperfect

#19 - Future Imperfect

Season 8 - Episode 5 - Aired Aug 27, 2000

Lionel is still worried about his money future and Alistair suggests he sell the country house. Lionel and Jean decide that they should sell the house but, who is going to tell Mrs. Bale and Lol they are out of jobs. Lionel and Jean go to the country to inform everyone of their decision to sell. Later Rocky calls and offers to buy the house from Lionel so everything can remain the same.

star 8.32
109 votes
You Must Remember This

#20 - You Must Remember This

Season 1 - Episode 1 - Aired Jan 12, 1992

We meet the two main characters: Lionel and Jean. In the pilot episode, Lionel is in a hotel cafe giving a waitress a hard time. He is scathingly sarcastic. Jean is, similarly, seen being brittle and unbending. Lionel is working on his book ”My Life in Kenya” about his life in Kenya. (This joke comes up in numerous episodes.) He requires a secretary to help with the revisions. That's where Jean's secretary service ""...Type for You"" comes in. Judith, Jean's daughter, meets Lionel at his hotel to apologize for the terrible secretary. Lionel asks Judith out. When he arrives to pick her up he is introduced to Jean. After about two seconds Jean and Lionel both independently figure out who they each suspect the other person to be: a lover last seen in 1953.

star 8.32
212 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Bob Larbey
Animal Magnetism

#21 - Animal Magnetism

Season 8 - Episode 2 - Aired Aug 6, 2000

Lionel trys to convince Jean that a dog has been following him. Judy and Sandy come home with the very dog that was following him. The women want to keep the dog but, Lionel wants to take him to the shelter so they can find his owner. The owner contacts the police and Harry brings him around to get the dog. Since Judy won't go with him to a party, Alistair invites Sandy and she excepts. Meanwhile Harry asks Judy to go to the movies with him and she excepts.

star 8.31
117 votes
Directors: Sydney Lotterby
Writers: Bob Larbey
Lionel's New Hobby

#22 - Lionel's New Hobby

Season 5 - Episode 3 - Aired Jan 21, 1996

Lionel starts building model boats as a way to pass the time. Jean worries about Lionel. Alistair trys to get Lionel to work on another book.

star 8.29
123 votes
Judith's New Romance

#23 - Judith's New Romance

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Apr 30, 1995

Judy gets a new boyfriend and Jean decides to ""help"" out her daughter.

star 8.28
121 votes
The Bathroom

#24 - The Bathroom

Season 8 - Episode 3 - Aired Aug 13, 2000

After Lionel walks in on Sandy in the bathroom Jean decides to add a second bathroom. But, things don't go as planned.

star 8.27
112 votes
The Anniversary Party

#25 - The Anniversary Party

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Apr 9, 1995

Stephen plans a surprise anniversary party for Penny but, mixes up the dates. While Jean and Lionel argue about being ""engaged"".

star 8.26
144 votes
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