Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Upstairs Downstairs on PBS starting April 10 2011

Upstairs Downstairs, on the stairs!
On Sunday April 10, 2011, the long awaited Upstairs Downstairs finally begins. It is just 3 episodes long over the next three Sunday nights, so don't get too attached to this one folks.  It is a lovely revival of the classic 1970s television series. Updated to the 1930s, just before the Second World War began, this is undoubtedly a fascinating time period in which to set this classic period soap opera.

Upstairs Downstairs-Sir Hallam and Lady Agnes in their evening dress

In this episode, Sir Hallam (Ed Stoppard) and Lady Agnes Holland (Keeley Hawes) move into 165 Eaton Place and hire former parlor maid Rose (Jean Marsh) to assemble a staff. The servants are soon put to the test during a party that threatens to destroy Sir Hallam’s career. Dame Eileen Atkins also stars as Sir Hallam's rather "take-charge" mother.  Her monkey is hilarious as is she. Clare Foy plays Lady Agnes' naughty little sister Lady Persie.

Lady Agnes and the servants of Upstairs Downstairs
I quite enjoyed this one, although I freely admit to preferring Downton Abbey. BBC has finally been outdone by ITV (commercial television in Britain) but only just. Since we are not going to get any more Downton Abbey until 2012, savour this delightful miniseries for the little gem that it is.

The two miniseries were so similar in style that Comic Relief did a parody of both of them on Red Nose Day called Uptown Downstairs Abbey.  I am feeling cheeky today, so here is another parody of Upstairs Downstairs by our friends on Sesame Street:


  1. Really wish that I had enjoyed UpDown but it was such a disappointment for me. Had I not seen Downton first, it might have had a chance but it missed the mark for me and it's mediocrity made it painful to watch. And that's with 3 of my fave actresses (Claire, Eileen and Keeley) being part of the cast!
    Sorry to be a pooper :(

  2. Hi Patience,

    I hope you like this more than Charleybrown did! I did prefer Downton Abbey, but this one has it's charms too. I have only seen it online, so I look forward to wrestling the TV away from my husband once the golf is over, to see it in HD on the big screen!


  3. I have been so excited for this! I recorded it but haven't had a chance to sit down and watch. Maybe tonight. I'm hoping it'll hold me over until the next installment of "Downton Abbey." :)

  4. Hi Julia, I hope you like it! I really enjoyed it in HD. It isn't as pretty as Downton Abbey (well, not being filmed at Highclere Castle how could it?) but it is an excellent stand-in. I mean, the Brits get the new Downton in the fall and then they get a Christmas special, while we have to wait until 2012! So have fun with UpDown in the meantime.
    There is also a lovely British miniseries coming on PBS in May called South Riding starring Anna Maxwell Martin as a progressive Headmistress in depression-era Yorkshire. Sparks will fly on Sunday nights in May on PBS!




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