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Upstairs Downstairs: Series Two [40th Anniversary Edition] [4 Discs] [DVD]
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Special Features

  • The making of upstairs, downstairs part 2
  • Episode commentaries
  • Interview with Simon Williams and Alfred Shaughnessy


Inasmuch as Season One of the British drama series Upstairs, Downstairs covered the years 1903 to 1909, logic dictates that the second season should have moved on to the second decade of the 20th century. However, the produced decided for the time being to keep the action concentrated in the Edwardian era, thus Season Two was set between 1908 to 1909, necessitating a backward leap within the months occurring between episodes 12 and 13 of Season One. This resulted in a bit of confusion, especially when the focus was on Elizabeth Bellamy (Nicola Pagget) and her troubled relationship with new husband Lawrence Kirbridge (Ian Ogilvy). Proper continuity was restored when the first two seasons of Upstairs, Downstairs were merged into one for American TV play in 1974; unfortunately, in the process 13 of the combined 26 episodes were shelved, not to be seen in the U.S. for several years. Because of a prior theatrical commitment, Simon Williams makes only two appearances this season in the role of the irresponsible James Bellamy--but those appearances prove highly significant to the overall scheme of things, as James is faced with the prospect of illegitimate fatherhood as the result of his backstairs liason with reckless housemaid Sarah (Pauline Collins), and later throws the Bellamy household into turmoil when he returns from India with a new fiancée, Phyllis Kingman (Delia Lindsay), in tow. New to the cast this season are Jenny Tomasin in the comic role of dull-witted scullery maid Ruby; and John Alderton as the Bellamy's chauffeur Thomas Watkins, who after being offered up as a possible romantic interest for head maid Rose (Jean Marsh), ends up leaving 165 Eaton Place to take up housekeeping with the redoubtable Sarah, who is once again "with child" (namely, Thomas'). The futher adventures of this couple will be chronicled in the 1979 spinoff series Thomas and Sarah. ~ Hal Erickson

Cast & Crew

  • Alistair Cooke
  • Gordon Jackson - Hudson
  • David Langton - Richard Bellamy
  • Jean Marsh - Rose
  • Angela Baddeley - Mrs. Bridges
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