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Upstairs Downstairs (2011)

Keeley Hawes , Ed Stoppard , Euros Lyn , Saul Metzstein  |  NR |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,110 customer reviews)

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Upstairs Downstairs + Upstairs Downstairs: Season 2 + Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 4 DVD (U.K. Edition)
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Product Details

  • Actors: Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Jean Marsh, Eileen Atkins, Claire Foy
  • Directors: Euros Lyn, Saul Metzstein
  • Format: 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 (1,110 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004N66XYE
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,582 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs Downstairs" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

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

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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
214 of 232 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New era upstairs/downstairs March 9, 2011
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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52 of 54 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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29 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Beginning to a Great Series 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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47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An old favorite returns--beautifully July 7, 2000
By drdebs
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not What I expected!
I had a hard time getting into it. It wasn't what I had expected. I'm not to sure why though.
Published 8 hours ago by Raquel
5.0 out of 5 stars British TV
love upstairs down stairs from years ago, I was pleased to see it on prime , I am still waiting for the newer episodes to come back into circulation.
Published 8 hours ago by ziggye
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Dream!
The costumes and sets in Upstairs Downstairs are something from a dream. The interplay between the people from the two classes is endlessly fascinating. Read more
Published 2 days ago by Mamaiguana
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked it
Entertaining, if not as satisfying as Downton Abby. I liked the most recent production (2010) much better than the earlier one (1970's). Read more
Published 2 days ago by Glen McCune
5.0 out of 5 stars Great period drama
I watched both seasons and hated to see the last episode end. There is so much more that could be told, and I hope to see it someday.
Published 2 days ago by mjordan
5.0 out of 5 stars Revisiting a classic
I watched Upstairs Downstairs years ago when it first came out on PBS. What a treat it was then and it is still fresh and new after how many years? I don't want to count. Read more
Published 2 days ago by suzanne aiardo
4.0 out of 5 stars English upper class
It is ok. It is compared to Downton Aby. Interesting plot with a variety of people who are not all the same.
Published 4 days ago by Karen Steffes
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the British Dramas!
This series is a new favorite in my list of British Period Dramas. It's definitely up there with Mr. Selfridge and Call the Midwife!
Published 4 days ago by Nancy
5.0 out of 5 stars High quality period piece
Historically rich and very entertaining this series captures the feeling beneath the massive social evolution that took place in British society around the time of the second world... Read more
Published 5 days ago by Jimmy Sinton
5.0 out of 5 stars Timeless Entertainment Then, And Now
I was never able to watch UD when it was first on, so I am certainly enjoying this timeless story now.
Published 6 days ago by webduck
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Do you know where your food comes from?
What does this have to do with the new series of Upstairs Downstairs?
Apr 6, 2011 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 4 posts
Upstairs Downstairs 2011 china pattern?
If you are speaking about the patterns in the new 2011 episodes, the pattern is India Tree. The patterns in the 1970's series were all Spode manufacture and various patterns. Hope this helps.
May 8, 2011 by C. Bauer |  See all 4 posts
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