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Upstairs, Downstairs (2010)

4.3 out of 5 stars 1,943 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the most loved television series of all time is brought back to life with a fresh cast and sumptuous production values. It's 1936, and six years since parlormaid Rose left 165 Eaton Place, fate brings her back, as housekeeper to its new owners: Sir Hallam and his wife Lady Agnes, and Maud, Lady Holland, his mother. Rose soon finds she has her work cut out as she recruits a new 'downstairs' family to help run the elegance and finery of the 'upstairs' world. Both upstairs and downstairs, it soon becomes apparent there lies a labyrinth of secrets, lies and scandal. Set against the historical backdrop of a Britain with a new King, with sexual, social and political tensions, this new series provides an evolving take on the master-servant relationship.

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Remade from the hit 1970s serial, this new version of Upstairs, Downstairs, condensed into three hour-long episodes, creates for a modern eye a vision of what 1936 in England must have looked like. That is, if you were royalty, and ran a fantastic mansion at 165 Eaton Place, in one of London's poshest neighborhoods. This show, as indicated in its title, revels in its overall ability to convey life as it unfolds upstairs, among the elite, and downstairs, among those who work tirelessly to keep the palace running. From the first episode, "The Fledgling," the plot is placed politically, socially, and romantically as newlyweds Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard) and Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) decide to sweep the cobwebs out of the old family haunt in favor of modernization. While mundane house dramas unfurl, increasing tenfold once Sir Hallam's nosy, old-fashioned mother, Maud (Eileen Atkins), decides that she and her pet monkey will be moving in, larger political dramas pepper the personal landscape. For example, in "The Fledgling," as well as the next episodes, "The Ladybird" and "The Cuckoo," Agnes's sister, Lady Persephone (Claire Foy), is increasingly misled by the newly formed fascist party, and mounting tensions between Jewish household members and Persie's ilk, including German official Ribbentrop (Edward Baker-Duly), loom large. As would be expected in this royal tale, much of the plot comprises Agnes's ability to bear children and the political expectations Sir Hallam must meet even when morally conflicted.

The most winning aspect of this miniseries is in its display of what the servants attend throughout; their challenges seem equally as difficult as the challenges presented in tandem upstairs. When Agnes promotes ex-housekeeper Rose Buck (Jean Marsh) to hire and manage the house crew, Rose rises to the occasion and commands many interesting scenes in which she hires, fires, and coaches team members like the butler, Pritchard (Adrian Scarborough), head chef Mrs. Thackeray (Anne Reid), young footman Johnny (Nico Mirallegro), and maid Ivy (Ellie Kendrick). Lavish scenes showing preparation for parties, plus those in which the servants simply keep up with daily tasks, may shock those who are not familiar with formal etiquette from the past. Amanjit (Art Malik), Maud's secretary who lives upstairs separate from the rest of the servants, serves as a character who straddles both worlds, offering us glimpses into a man who can relate to both classes. While ultimately modern change is afoot in the Holland household, it is slow moving, and viewers will enjoy watching it come incrementally, through refined displays. --Trinie Dalton


Special Features

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Product Details

  • Actors: Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Jean Marsh, Eileen Atkins, Claire Foy
  • Directors: Euros Lyn, Saul Metzstein
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 26, 2011
  • Run Time: 180 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,943 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004N66XYE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,741 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs, Downstairs (2010)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA 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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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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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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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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