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Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series Megaset (1974)

Gordon Jackson , David Langton , Bill Bain , Christopher Hodson  |  NR |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)

List Price: $299.95
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DVD 21-Disc Version $79.38  
  20-Disc Version $194.79  

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Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series Megaset + Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 4 DVD (U.K. Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh, Angela Baddeley, Christopher Beeny
  • Directors: Bill Bain, Christopher Hodson, Derek Bennett, Raymond Menmuir
  • Format: Box set, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 20
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: A&E Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: November 26, 2002
  • Run Time: 60 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (361 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00006BSVP
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,217 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series Megaset" on IMDb

Special Features

  • All 68 episodes on 20 DVDs, digitally remastered and presented in their original production order
  • Includes shows not aired during the original broadcast
  • Includes the hour-long retrospective Upstairs Downstairs Remembered: The 25th Anniversary Special

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

This seminal British television series is just as enjoyable now as when it first aired in the early 1970s. Richard (David Langton), Lady Marjorie (Rachel Gurney), and their son James (Simon Williams) comprise the aristocratic Bellamy family that reside upstairs while their loyal servants--including butler Hudson (Gordon Jackson), cook Mrs. Bridges (Angela Baddeley), and housemaid Rose (Jean Marsh)--maintain the household from downstairs. The series follows the upper-class family's troubles as times change and the ongoing lives of their resilient staff. Upstairs Downstairs: The Complete Series contains 68 episodes on 20 DVDs, as well as the series retrospective Upstairs Downstairs Remembered: the 25th Anniversary Special. Initially set in 1904, the first season comprises 13 episodes, 5 of which are 5 black-and-white episodes not aired during the first season of the original U.S. broadcast. The second season's 13 episodes cover various relationship problems and an appearance of King Edward VII. The third season's 13 episodes follow the London household through the prewar years (1912-1914). Outstanding cast performances and the dramatic backdrop of the Great War give the fourth season, set in 1914 to 1918, its reputation as the best of the five. Due to limited filming budgets, the war is largely seen through home-front activities. The 16 episodes of the fifth and final season 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 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. The megaset was rereleased in 2005 along with the spinoff series, Thomas and Sarah. --Tara Chace

Product Description

Upstairs, members of the aristocratic Bellamy family lead their privileged lives, seemingly oblivious to the goings-on downstairs, where the serving staff steers the household on an even course. Every complex character in both these worlds has a tale to tell. Now devotees (of which there are millions) of the landmark BBC series can revisit 165 Eaton Place and revel again in an extraordinary domestic drama. Thirty years after this award-winning phenomenon first aired, all 68 episodes have been digitally remastered as a DVD set, which includes the retrospective Upstairs, Downstairs Remembered: The 25th Anniversary Special. Over 57 hours on 20 DVDs. Simon Says: The postmodern mind posits that there's nothing new under the sun; we just shuffle it around. Witness a 1999 episode of Cosby. Coz has fallen asleep during an I-Spy television marathon and Robert Culp, still in his I-Spy character of Kelly Robinson, appears to him in a dream. The episode is titled "My Spy."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
312 of 318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Have DVD Set December 5, 2005
Format:DVD
I have no idea why some of the reviewers are complaining about the audio and video quality of these DVDs. Because of those reviews I almost did not buy this set. That would have been a grave error. I suppose, if you are some type of audio/video expert you might find a few reasons to complain, but this is a 35 year old British TV show. If you expect special effects, buy Star Wars, not Upstairs Downstairs. The quality of the audio and video was quite acceptable and certainly better than when it originally aired. (It should also be remembered that the first season was filmed during a technicians strike.)

As for the show itself, Upstairs Downstairs is one of the greatest TV shows ever filmed. It is an extremely entertaining examination of the British class system from 1900 to 1930 (particularly what happened to it as a result of WWI). After you have watched a couple of shows, you will have difficulty turning them off.
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330 of 345 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
I suspect that many people shopping this new release of "Upstairs, Downstairs" for its fortieth anniversary commemoration (which happens to coincide with a new version coming to PBS later in 2011) will already be familiar with the series. Many, like I do, might already own the previous version of the complete series on DVD. It's been out of print for several years, so I'm thrilled to see this magnificent and ground breaking series back on the marketplace. If you have never seen or do not own "Upstairs, Downstairs"--then my recommendation is a no-brainer. Get it! However, what I wanted to know and any previous owners might be itching to know--is it an upgrade worthy of reinvestment?

While I love my current DVD collection, it's not a particularly high quality transfer. After researching this new set through PBS directly, I am reporting that there are NO promises on the reworking of visual or audio components. The same proclamation that was on the last DVD issue is on this one--"digitally remastered for presentation on DVD." So it appears to be a strict reissue, not new re-mastering. It does, however, seem to be drawn from a clearer source material with a cleaner picture quality thankfully. The features of the 68 episodes on 21 DVDs include a 5-part documentary "The Making of Upstairs, Downstairs," 24 episode commentaries, 25th anniversary retrospective "Upstairs, Downstairs Remembered," Interviews with the stars, composer, and editor, Alternate pilot episode, and an essay by star and co-creator Jean Marsh. Obviously the 25th anniversary retrospective was included on the prior release--so that leaves the documentary, some interviews, and commentary and as much as I love "Upstairs, Downstairs"--I can't justify repurchasing the set for this reissue.
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138 of 141 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fine, fine series well-remembered from the 70s. July 14, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
It wasn't commercial. It wasn't conventional. It dealt with issues not often talked about in the early 70s, both the social issues that permiate through the series, and also such issues, in certain episodes, as prejudice, suicide, and homosexuality.
This is the story of the Bellamy household at 165 Eaton Place, London, both the upstairs family (the Bellamy family, led by Richard Bellamy, a member of Parliament) and the downstairs family (the servants, led by Angus Hudson, the butler, who in his way is more aristocratic than the aristocrats). Yet in many ways, they are a single family, and we see them from the period 1905 to the 1920s, an era of profound social change, and we see the effects such changes have on this household, from a time when going "into service" was routine to the time when having half a dozen servants for a small upper middle class family such as the Bellamys was beginning to be the exception, not the rule.
The series includes rarely shown episodes from the 1st season, as well as the special, Upstairs Downstairs Remembered: The 25th Anniversary Special. While the special is included with the first series episodes, I would advise waiting until you have viewed the entire series before watching the special, to avoid any plot points being given away.
The acting is wonderful, led by Gordon Jackson (as Hudson, the butler), David Langton (as Richard Bellamy), and Jean Marsh (as house parlormaid Rose Buck). Marsh also originated and guided the series. These three characters seem like rocks, upon which the waves of the social changes beat. Yet they are worn and changed by the events of this incredible era. Nonetheless, this is very much an ensemble cast--no character appears in more than 60 of the 68 episodes.
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79 of 80 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the Best British Period Dramas of All Time! August 16, 2006
By Tiggah
Format:DVD
It is no exaggeration to say that this classic early 70's British period drama is one of the all-time best series of its sort ever produced. With sixty-eight 50-minute episodes, the series covers a time span of nearly 30 years (from early Edwardian England in 1903, through the horrors of the First World War, and on into the Roaring 20s, finally concluding with 1929's stock market crash). The setting is the household of the Bellamy family at 165 Eaton Place, London. Upstairs live Richard Bellamy, MP, and his beautiful, aristocratic wife, Lady Margery. The Bellamys have two adult children, Captain James and Elizabeth, who come and go much like a recurring motif (though recurring nightmare might be more appropriate, for they are the source of much grief (albeit unintended) for their society parents). I don't wish to give the storylines, scandals and surprises away. Suffice it to say that as the series progress, there are lovers, marriages, births and deaths (not to mention the arrival of a beautiful young niece) which impact on the relationships and alter the composition of the group above stairs.

Downstairs we are privy to the lives of the servants in the Bellamy household. First and foremost is the devout, inflexible and regimental head butler, Angus Hudson, the staff overlord. Then there is the curmudgeonly but good-hearted cook, Mrs. Bridges. Other memorable characters include the efficient but sheltered head house/parlour maid, Rose Buck; the religious but simple footman, Alfred; his successor, the good-natured Edward, who has an eye for the female staff; the not-overly-bright scullery maid, Emily, and her successor and intellectual equal, Ruby; and Lady Margery's prim and snobbish lady's maid, Miss Roberts.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Half way through these
Published 2 days ago by Christina Toon
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it when it came out all those years ago ...
Loved it when it came out all those years ago - love it still. This series retains its cachet.....If you love Downton Abbey, you should try this series as well! Read more
Published 6 days ago by Betti VanEpps-Taylor
4.0 out of 5 stars rather disappointing after Mr S acting and characters great sets and...
rather disappointing after Mr S
acting and characters great
sets and clothing pathetic
Published 11 days ago by ELEANOR M CROOM
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Buy. Bad Disks & Can't Return
Ordered a couple of DVD's at one time. Didn't start watching 'Upstairs' until about a month after I got it. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Cathie
4.0 out of 5 stars City life in Early England
A bit of a slow starter. The characters were great. I enjoyed the story line.
Published 13 days ago by Rita Jane Cramer
4.0 out of 5 stars I loved it. the first few shows are a little ...
I loved it. the first few shows are a little ruff, after all it was made 40 plus years ago, but then it leveled out and was really good.
Published 16 days ago by linda buckallew
2.0 out of 5 stars New addition better
Didn't know sever series are in black & white. I felt it was to drab, and very boring. just not my cup of tea!
Published 1 month ago by mrsp6
3.0 out of 5 stars Liking it very much
It was a bit of a letdown after how posh Downton Abby which is so beautifully filmed. I am getting into to it though. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Geri an Aquaris
5.0 out of 5 stars I am watching this series again and again
The series arrived in great shape and I am enjoying all the episodes. i would buy from you again if I found any other DVD's I liked….I will continue to use this seller..
Published 1 month ago by Matilda S. Kiernan
5.0 out of 5 stars Great little escape
The humor and intrigue is simply rivetting. We like to imagine being in one or the other classes. It' hard to stop watching.
Published 1 month ago by Ken Schultz
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Subtitles?
This set is out of print. The set released in 2006 sadly has neither. The NEWER set made by Acorn released in 2011 DOES have English subbies.
Dec 6, 2007 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 3 posts
Closed captioning and/or subtitling
How dissappointing to learn that Upstairs Downstairs was not captioned. Even those of us who do not have vearing loss have difficulty with some British CDs while those of us who are hard of hearing, or deaf, are doubly afflicted..missing out on sound AND on some of their favorite TV watching.... Read More
Mar 27, 2011 by elca branman |  See all 10 posts
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