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).
"On with the Dance" - Richard (David Langton) and his new wife Virginia (Hannah Gordon) start thinking about buying a house in London, when lonely James (Simon Williams) suggests that they move back into Eaton Place.
"A Place in the World" - Bored and dissatisfied with his life, James decides to enter politics...with disastrous results. Edward (Christopher Beeny) and Daisy (Jacqueline Tong) reluctantly return to Eaton Place after finding little employment in the 'outside world'...
"Laugh a Little Louder, Please" - Georgina (Lesley-Anne Down) and James decide to throw a lavish fancy dress party for their society friends. Meanwhile, the new governess Miss Treadwell (Shirley Cain) is due to arrive.
"The Joy Ride" - James buys an aeroplane, and Virginia defies her husband in order to join James for a joy-ride across Southwold. But when they are reported missing, Richard and Lady Prudence (Joan Benham) fear the worst...
"Wanted- A Good Home" - William (Jonathan Seely) is packed off to boarding school, and Alice (Anne Yarker) gets a puppy, which soon upsets Miss Treadwell and puts the servants in an awkward position.
"An Old Flame" - James finds himself back in the arms of Lady Diana Newbury (Celia Bannerman) and they decide to spend the weekend at a golfing cottage. Edward fends off the advances of Diana's flirty maid Violet (Georgina Hale).
"Disillusion" - Hudson (Gordon Jackson) has been seen publicly in the company of maid Lily (Karen Dotrice), which threatens his future in the household.
"Such a Lovely Man" - Virginia is enjoying the attentions of the well-known 'safe man' Sir Guy Paynter (Robert Hardy) while Ruby (Jenny Tomasin) decides to get a pen-pal.
"The Nine Days Wonder" - The chaos of the 1926 General Strike severely divides the Bellamy household. James and footman Frederick (Gareth Hunt) decide to take action...
"The Understudy" - The household is expecting several important guests for a dinner party and Hudson suffers a mild heart attack. Tensions soon run riot downstairs when Edward and Frederick fight over who should take the butler position.
"Alberto" - Georgina gets star struck and decides to become a movie actress. However, when James discovers the skimpy costume she's wearing and that her co-star is none other than Frederick, he decides to cut short her ambition. Frederick leaves Eaton Place to become a gigolo for society women.
"Will Ye No Come Back Again" - Richard, James, Georgina and the servants set out for a holiday in the Scottish Highlands, which takes a bit of getting used to...
"Joke Over" - Following a madcap 'scavenger party', Georgina and her mindless society friends decide to take the Bellamy car on a drive in the country, with deadly results...
"Noblesse Oblige" - Georgina falls madly in love with kindly Robert, the Marquis of Stockbridge (Anthony Andrews); whilst Mrs Bridges (Angela Baddeley) brings in a new kitchen-maid, the rude and lazy Mabel (Elaine Donnelly). Ruby goes to work for the social-climbing matron Mrs Waddilove (Joan Sanderson).
"All the King's Horses" - James returns from visting Elizabeth and her husband in America, full of big ideas and big dreams, mostly concerning the Stock Exchange. James recklessly invests all of Rose's (Jean Marsh) money in bad shares, when the crash of the Stock Exchange heralds the beginning of the Depression...
"Whither Shall I Wander?" - Following James's suicide, all of his property is confiscated, and Eaton Place is to be sold off to pay creditors. What will become of Richard, his family and the servants?... Meanwhile, Georgina marries Robert in a lavish ceremony.
Fans of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS are bound to shed a tear or two when the series reaches its emotional conclusion. Again, fabulous direction and scripts, as well as top-drawer performances from Angela Baddeley, Gordon Jackson, Jean Marsh and Simon Williams.
Also featuring Michael Logan, Ann Mitchell, Jay Neill, Jack LeWhite, Derek Martin, Una Brandon-Jones, Brian Nolan, Osmund Bullock, Trevor Ray, Ursula Howells, John Quayle, Madeleine Cannon, Raymond Huntley, Marsha Fitzalan, Julia Schofield, Victor Langley, Nicholas Hunter, Peter Forest, Tracey Childs, Tom Chatto, Mike McKenzie, John Caesar, Polly Adams, John Normington, Leonard Kavanagh, Stephen Ismay, Martin Wimbush, Tommy Wright, John Breslin, Roy Pattison, Anthony Woodruff, Andre Charisse, Barbara Bolton, Natalie Caron, Philip Webb, Lorna Kilner, Roy Knight, David Nicoll, Seymour Green, Rowland Davies, Jack Watson, Georgine Anderson, Kenneth Ward, Nigel Havers, Patsy Blower, Terence Bayler, Barry Stanton, Bernard Barnsley, Robert Hartley, Daphne Lawson, Kenneth Thornett, Sue Crossland, Deddie Davies, Frank Duncan, Pippa Page and Lindsay Campbell.
4 single-sided, dual-layer discs.
Favorite episode was: "Will they no come back again?" where the staff and master James and the rest go to Scotland for vacation. Hudson manages to handle things with his usual aplomb and dignity, and the staff are forced to confront a mysterious 'ghost.'
The ending, I felt was sad and almost 'tacked on.' I would've liked a more 'happier ending' than the one which was given. Overall, while I enjoyed season five, it lacked the vitality and hopefullness of season four.... And, at least for me, has far less 'rewatch-ability.'