Upstairs: the wealthy, aristocratic Bellamys. Downstairs: their loyal and lively servants. For nearly 30 years, they share a fashionable townhouse at 165 Eaton Place in London’s posh Belgravia neighborhood, surviving social change, political upheaval, scandals, and the horrors of the First World War.
The fifth and final series portrays the post-war period of 1919 to 1930. It’s the Roaring ’20s, and Georgina and her wealthy friends just want to celebrate. Lord and Lady Bellamy begin their new life together, Hudson the butler behaves oddly, and James disgraces his family one last time. This season won an Emmy® for outstanding drama series and the prestigious Peabody Award.
Starring Jean Marsh (Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse), David Langton (The Spoils of War), Simon Williams (Sword of Honour), Hannah Gordon (The Elephant Man), Gordon Jackson (The Professionals), Angela Baddeley (Martin Chuzzlewit), Christopher Beeny (Last of the Summer Wine), Lesley-Anne Down (North and South), and Anthony Andrews (Brideshead Revisited).
Beloved by audiences in more than 70 countries, this seminal British television series is just as enjoyable now as when it first aired in the mid-1970s. Richard, his new wife Virginia, and recently widowed son James comprise the aristocratic Bellamy family who resides upstairs while their loyal servants maintain the London household from downstairs. These final 16 episodes cover the swinging '20s to the stock market crash (1919-30). The episodes of the fifth season are more self-contained than other seasons' and every bit as entertaining.
The household mood reflects the events of the day--jubilation at the armistice, a fancy-dress party amidst the gaiety of the early '20s, divided allegiances during the general strike of 1926, the fever of stock market wealth, and overnight ruin in October 1929. James, with too much time and money on his hands, is single again and up to his usual antics. Nor is life dull for the other members of the household--Hudson almost resigns his position after he's caught holding hands with Lily, the housemaid, and Georgina winds up in court after she hits and kills a man while taking a group of irresponsible socialites to Sussex in the Bellamys' Rolls. While James and Richard focus their political activities outside the home, Edward and Frederick vie to see who will fill in for Hudson while he recuperates from his heart attack. Finally, after the market crash and James's subsequent death, the family is forced to sell 165 Eaton Place to pay off his creditors. The series ends with Rose locking up the empty house, closing the door on one of TV's most popular and acclaimed shows. Whether you first met the Bellamys and their delightfully enjoyable downstairs entourage in the 1970s or are just getting to know them now, the superb acting and compelling character development will always be the real reason to watch Upstairs Downstairs. --Tara Chace
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.