Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series Megaset
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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."
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
- 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
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So you just go to the setup menu and change the setting to "no subtitles," right? Wrong! It's almost impossible. There seems to be no way to return to the main menu unless you turn the DVD player completely off, remove the DVD, turn the machine back on, re-insert the DVD, and then hit play -- and even that doesn't always work. At one point I completely removed the DVD and turned off the equipment; yet when I restarted it, the DVD resumed playing again where it left off; subtitles and all.
I finally did get the subtitles turned off for Episode One after over 30 minutes of effort (and I am very equipment-savvy). But on playing the second disc we discovered the same problem: "subtitles on" is the default. For the third disc, I turned the subtitles off from the main menu before hitting "Play," but it didn't take -- the disc still reverted to "subtitles on." After finally getting the subtitles turned off for that disc (and I still am not sure why it finally worked); I decided to take the time to go through all the discs and change the setting to "subtitles off" so we wouldn't have to worry about it again -- but before wasting any more time, I figured I'd better check the first disc again, just to make sure the setting was still "subtitles off." Incredibly, it had reverted to the default of "subtitles on" -- so, even if you do turn off subtitles, you have to do it again every single time you play the disc!!
My wife really loves the series and has decided to keep them and just endure the subtitles. But I will never watch them, and I will NEVER buy another DVD produced by Acorn!