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  • Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete First Season
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Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete First Season


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Product Details

  • Actors: Gordon Jackson, Angela Baddeley, David Langton, Raymond Huntley, Patsy Smart
  • Directors: Bill Bain, Brian Parker, Christopher Hodson, Derek Bennett, Herbert Wise
  • Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E HOME VIDEO
  • DVD Release Date: September 25, 2001
  • Run Time: 663 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,258 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NKCM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,440 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete First Season" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Bonus Series Retrospective: Upstairs Downstairs Remembered: the 25th Anniversary Special

Editorial Reviews

Devotees will treasure owning a complete season of this acclaimed series. This premiere season features 10 episodes never seen on Masterpiece Theatre. Simon says: A union dispute involving technicians caused some episodes from the first season to be filmed in black and white.

Customer Reviews

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Series" 173
  • "Opinions" 132
  • "Story" 122
  • "Acting" 120
  • "Characters" 118
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

220 of 237 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 9, 2011
Format: DVD
I haven't actually watched the old "Upstairs Downstairs," but it's pretty much become the standard of historical dramas where we see both the aristocrats and the servants.

So I was deeply intrigued by the news that the BBC was reviving the show for a new three-episode miniseries, serving as a sequel to the original series. It's a sleek, glittering affair with lots of actual historical figures and events, but the story never forgets that the real focus is on the people both upstairs and downstairs.

The year is 1936. George V has just died, his feckless son is involved with Mrs. Simpson, and Hitler is on the rise. Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard) and his wife Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) move into 165 Eaton Place, intending to turn the "mausoleum" into a livable house. So they employ Rose Buck (Jean Marsh), who was once a maid at their house, to find them some suitable servants.

Soon the house has plenty of new inhabitants. Downstairs: fussy but kind butler Pritchard (Adrian Scarborough), snobby cook Mrs.Thackeray (Anne Reid), hot-tempered footman Johnny (Nico Mirallegro), and others. Upstairs: Agnes' snotty fascist sister Persie (Claire Foy), and Sir Hallam's bossy globe-trotting mother Maud (Dame Eileen Atkins) and her warmhearted secretary Amanjit (Art Malik).

And while Lady Agnes hoped to have the "perfect" home, 165 Eaton Place is soon rocked by a series of problems -- an arrest, dabblings in fascism, a pregnancy, a birth, a death, constant friction between Maud and Agnes, and the discovery of secret children upstairs and down.

Technically the new "Upstairs Downstairs" is a sequel to the old one, but it's not necessary to have seen the older "Upstairs Downstairs" to understand what's going on.
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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful By E. Hornaday on September 29, 2001
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This British series is in a "class" by itself. It's characters are unforgettable, the acting inspired and the backdrop evocative - Edwardian England from 1904 into the 1930s. The story evolves around the aristocractic Bellamy family "Upstairs" and their servants "Downstairs," but it is not a soap opera. It is as genuine, real and honest as any period production, or for that matter, any production, that I have ever seen. The characters grapple with the same struggles that we continue to confront in mordern-day America: love, loss, coming of age, morality, prejudice, death, economics, social responsibility, freedom and the search for life's ultimate meaning - concluding with the horrendous effects of a World War and its devastating aftermath. This unflinching look at history as well as a truly timeless, engaging saga is not to be missed. I genuinely rejoice that such a remarkable treasure is finally available on DVD. Originally broadcast on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By John D. Cofield TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 22, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This is the first series of Upstairs, Downstairs. Chronicling the lives of masters and servants in a Belgravia townhouse, Updown, as it is affectionately known, covers about twentyfive years. The first series lasts from about 1903 to 1908. It introduces most of the main characters of the entire chronicle, barring a few later additions to the caste. Most of this first series concerns the career of Sarah, who has the impertinence to come to the front door when she applies for the position of parlormaid in the first episode. We also see the early stages of the career of Elizabeth Bellamy, daughter of the house, as she rebels against the path her life is expected to take by her parents. Some of the episodes in this first series were filmed in black and white, due to a cameramen's strike. I find these particularly effective in portraying the barrenness of life below stairs. Some of the episodes are a bit off target, especially The Swedish Tiger, which is just plain weird, but remember the series had not yet reached classic status when these episodes were filmed. The first series is a great way to start your acquaintance with the residents of 165 Eaton Place.
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49 of 53 people found the following review helpful By drdebs on July 7, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
I pre-ordered this set when it appeared on the website and recently received my copy to get me through the summer re-runs. I was so thrilled to see the superb boxed set, and was doubly impressed at the quality of the recording both visually and in terms of sound.
Upstairs, Downstairs is the saga of the Bellamy family and their household staff in the early 20th century. Throughout the series their lives, loves, tragedies and triumphs are portrayed. This set of 13 episodes includes the COMPLETE first season as seen in Britain, including some black and white episodes never seen on tv in the US. In the first episode we are introduced to the colorful Sarah (Pauline Collins), in the second (B&W episode) Lady Marjorie has her portrait painted only to discover at the Royal Academy Show that the artist has also painted two half-naked maids in an attic room (possibly Bellamy maids?). In episodes 3 and 4 (B&W) we are introduced to the children, James and Elizabeth Bellamy. Episodes 5 and 6 show us the romance between Elizabeth Bellamy and a German Baron (and it's dark underside), and the pregnancy of the new maid, Mary. More familiar episodes to the US audience come in #7 and #8, Lady Marjorie is spellbound with a young army captain who is friends with her son James, and Emily (the annoying kitchen maid) falls for a neighboring family's footman, with disastrous results. Episodes 9 and 10 have Mrs. Bridges, the cook, behaving in a most improper way and stealing a baby, and the erstwhile Sarah returns with a new plan to improve her social standing. The two penultimate episodes in this set include the further adventures of Sarah the housemaid with a Swedish valet, and the further adventures of the Bellamy's daughter, Elizabeth, with a group of young Socialists.
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