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Manor House 1 Season 2002

Available on Prime
Season 1
Available on Prime
4.2 out of 5 stars (1,292) IMDb 8.4/10

THE MANOR HOUSE takes a fascinating look at the grand British class system of the early 1900s.

Starring:
Tristan Aldrich, Avril Anson
Original air date:
May 28, 2002

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Season 1
1. Upstairs Downstairs

From PBS - The series begins downstairs at Manderston, a 109-room Edwardian mansion in Scotland, where Hugh Edgar, architect cum butler, and Jean Davies, grandmother cum housekeeper, organize the junior staff.

CC TV-PG April 23, 2002 54 minutes
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2. Making the Grade

From PBS - In episode two, the Olliff-Coopers are upstairs settling into a lifestyle of wealth and privilege, making plans for their first dinner party according to complicated protocols covering everything from the seating arrangement to the wines.

CC TV-PG April 30, 2002 54 minutes
Buy SD $1.99
3. The Servants Revolt

From PBS - In this episode, the staff crisis comes to a head.

CC TV-PG May 7, 2002 55 minutes
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4. Tough Love

From PBS - Sir John decides to host a weekend shooting party.

CC TV-PG May 14, 2002 54 minutes
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5. Days of Empire

From PBS - In episode five, events are being organized at Manderston to celebrate the British Empire's colonial prowess and success.

CC TV-PG May 21, 2002 54 minutes
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6. Winners and Losers

From PBS - The latter-day Edwardians prepare to leave the past behind them.

CC TV-PG May 28, 2002 54 minutes
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Product Details

Genres Reality TV, Documentary
Starring Tristan Aldrich, Avril Anson
Supporting actors Ellen Beard, Charlie Clay, Rob Daly, Jean Davies, Antonia Dawson, Denis Dubiard, Hugh Edgar, Lucy Garside, Derek Jacobi, Eva Morrison, Anna Olliff-Cooper, Guy Olliff-Cooper, John Olliff-Cooper, Reji Raj, Erika Ravitz, Jessica Rawlinson, Ken Skelton, Rebecca Smith
Season year 2002
Network PBS
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video and digital download)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

I think most negative reviews for this program come from a misunderstanding of the project.
It's not meant to be a realistic depiction of Edwardian life, but a reflection on it. That's why they chose ordinary people rather than actors. The point is to see how our modern sensibilities and ideals clash with Edwardian standards of living. And indeed, this was the most interesting part of the show--seeing how the servants found it so hard to accept the inequalities and rigid codes of conduct, while the lord and lady so easily took to oppressing the servants and living indolent, purposeless lives. By the end of the show, their attitudes were really appalling, and I'm guessing they won't be too pleased when they watch the show and see how they come off.
Regardless of the rebelliousness of the cast, the show still provided historical education. The voiceovers that accompanied the action conveyed a great deal of information about the realities of Edwardian life--better, in fact, than some documentaries on the period.
While, from a pure entertainment standpoint, the show did sometimes drag, and the characters did get annoying, Manor House is both an interesting social experiment and a good source of knowledge about the period.
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Format: Amazon Video
Lovers of Downton Abbey should really watch this series. I first saw it when it was initially broadcast, and remembered bits and pieces of it when I was watching Downton Abbey -- it really helped fill in some of the gaps that I might otherwise have left open. In contrast, my wife had not seen it, and I was frustrated that I could not expose her to Manor House sooner. Now that it is finally available again, we have both watched (and enjoyed) the series, and I would now like to re-watch Downton Abbey from the beginning, now that the background provided in Manor House is clearer in my mind.

The only thing I think is really missing from Manor House is a round table retrospective done a few months after, to let the family and "downstairs staff" talk about their experiences with each other and gather further insight on how both interpreted their experiences after having returned to the present.
3 Comments 47 of 48 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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It is summed up best by a member of the "volunteers" in the last episode what this experiment can be categorized as.

"While the servants put up with a lot of hardship to live as Edwardians, Sir John failed to play by his own rules during the project." -Narrator

"Mr. John, because I can't really call him "Sir," really. This man, he's very much a disgrace for the... for all the bon vivant of the that time. This man's not actually a bon vivant at all. He's a 21st century fake!" -Volunteer

This quotation hits the nail on the head because it clearly emphases the point of this shows experiment, to fake Edwardian life where men ruled their homes, women did as they were told and the servants took on the roles of parents and slaves as the same time. Sir John in his role refused in some aspects to live by the rules of the Edwardian life for himself, because he objected morally and physically to the ways of Edwardian life, yet he expected his servants to live the life purely without complaint and he punished those who refused the rules. Of course in Edwardian times a Lord ruled in his own home and as a Nouveau Riche Lord his lack of decorum in allowing himself privileges and exceptions to etiquette would have been socially accepted on the face of it, gossiped about by his fellow Lords & Ladies and scoffed at all at once by most everyone but himself. As the show progressed the man playing "Sir" John slipped into a socially prescribed Lordship over his servants to such a disturbing degree that it seemed as though he truly believed his own play acted Edwardian ideas. "A smiling maid, is a happy maid." was his response to a question of how he believed his staff -enjoyed- the work.
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Comment 32 of 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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I enjoy Upstairs Downstairs type dramas and was interested in a realistic look at the early 20th century. In this series, one family takes the role of the wealthy family living in a manor house for 3 months. 12 volunteers become their servants. They all live as close as possible to the rules of that time. This was very interesting because the participants bring 21st century views into the 1914 lifestyle. It is a difficult adjustment for most of the them. A former servant's visit and stories about relatives that were in service add authenticity. For me, the series brought to life the unique struggles of the different social statuses in that society. It also made me consider that many of the "freedoms" and "rights" of today were not available to everyone just 100 years ago.
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By Iris on August 21, 2013
Format: Amazon Video
I was drawn in by this project. There is so much history and information given. I was somewhat disgusted by the way some of the participants acted. It shows how very spoiled we are in this day and age by all the conveniences that we have. It caused me to look at my own life to see what my work ethic is and if I am really appreciative of all that I have at my disposal.
Comment 33 of 38 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Amazon Video
Some of the participants in this reality show are annoying, but overall it is good. Very informative about the Edwardian times. This is a very interesting concept for a reality show.
Comment 12 of 12 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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