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Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete First Season (1974)

Gordon Jackson , Angela Baddeley , Bill Bain , Brian Parker  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,415 customer reviews)


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Blu-ray 1-Disc Version $35.68  
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Frequently Bought Together

Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete First Season + Upstairs, Downstairs Season 2 + Downton Abbey Season 4 DVD (U.K. Edition)
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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 (1,415 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NKCM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,449 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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
224 of 244 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New era upstairs/downstairs 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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57 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upstairs/Downstairs - Complete First Season 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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92 of 104 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Here's the old and new UP/Down info. After airing of "The Forsyte Saga" (a must series also), Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh dreamed up the "Upstairs Downstairs" concept. Jean stared as Rose in the 70s TV blockbuster, and now continues that role in the continuation of the story on Brit TV (Dec '10). 3 episodes (alas only 3) advance the story now to 1936, with a new cast (excepting Marsh who is in both the old and new) and also now including Atkins as Maud. You get the same house, same music, same title. After "Upstairs Downstairs" the pair of actresses combined again in creating "The House of Elliott", another period saga, bloody good Brit drama, an absolute must own "complete collection."

No disappointment from me or my wife with the 2010 3 episode addition compared to the older TV blockbuster series. The new cast keeps up the believable, compelling stories and character delight. Rose and the house (+ music) gives the old lovers the flavor of the past, even if the interior has been redecorated to 1936. It takes only the 1st episode to fall in love with the new upstairs and downstairs families of 165. Excellent cast. With the long bonus feature, there is a hint at more. For me...like handing a fat man a box of chocolates and asking, "Do you want more?" YES!

Interesting that they had the "to be King Geo VI" in the show, prior to the abdication of his King brother, and he did not stutter. After the success of "The King's Speech" about the same time as this series release, that bit of trivia is evident.

As for the original "Upstairs Downstairs" series. It is 27-year span epic winning 9 Emmys, 2 BAFTAs, Golden Globe & a Peabody Award, 31 nominations.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upstairs Downstairs: The Premiere Season December 12, 1999
Format:VHS Tape
This is the first season of UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS, possibly the best loved drama series ever made. The quality of this boxed set is wonderful, and the first thirteen episodes do a first rate job in setting up the plots and characters. We see the Bellamy family and their loyal servants from November 1903 to June 1909 in all their triumphs and tragedies. Of the 13 episodes, my personal favorites are THE MISTRESS AND THE MAIDS, BOARD WAGES, and A CRY FOR HELP. Ironically, these are of the five black and white episodes that have never been shown on American television. The Second and Third seasons are also on video, and I highly recommend them. Unfortunately, the Fourth season that dealt with World War One, and the Fifth Season, which was the last, are not yet available. I hope they come out soon. Finally, Upstairs Downstairs: The Premiere Season is excellent, collect the whole series!
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