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Upstairs, Downstairs Season 2(2012)

4.5 out of 5 stars 1,691 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Upstairs, Downstairs Season 2 (2012)

The sumptuous new production Upstairs Downstairs, one of the most beloved television series of all time returns for a second season! Now a well established and thriving household in the heart of London, life in Eaton Place has moved on; Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam's family is complete with the addition of two small children and London has settled into an uneasy peace with the apparent aversion of war. Yet below the surface of a well-run household, both upstairs and downstairs are harboring life-changing secrets. As romance, heartbreak and revelations engulf the household; its inhabitants discover that the real threat to 165 Eaton Place is much closer to home.



Decades before ITV launched Downton Abbey, the BBC created a sensation with Upstairs Downstairs, which revived interest in the British manor house. In 2010, the series came back to life with a new cast--plus holdover Miss Buck (co-creator Jean Marsh)--centering on Sir Hallam Holland (Ed Stoppard), a foreign-service diplomat, and his wife, Lady Agnes (MI-5's Keeley Hawes). In season two, which takes place in 1938, World War II darkens their doorstep as they welcome three new arrivals to 165 Eaton Place: Beryl (Laura Haddock), a nursery maid with ambition; Hallam's aunt, Blanche (Alex Kingston), an archeologist with a secret; and Caspar Landry (Michael Landes), an American entrepreneur with an eye for Agnes, who finds the attention flattering--and it isn't as if Hallam doesn't have an admirer of his own. Chauffeur Spargo (Neil Jackson), a former boxer who once tangled with Agnes's bad-girl sister, Persephone (Claire Foy), also takes an interest in Beryl, but she proves harder to win over.

War proceeds to affect them all differently: Persie, a Nazi sympathizer, returns from Germany with a new dilemma, while servants Mr. Amanjit (Art Malick) and Mrs. Thackeray (Anne Reid) condemn the pacifist beliefs of Pritchard (Adrian Scarborough), which will cause him further repercussions later (Ami Metcalf and Nico Mirallegro are also good value as the youngest staffers). In an ill-advised move into docudrama territory, the Hollands entertain Ambassador Joseph Kennedy and his son John, but such missteps are rare. As the season unwinds, the prim and proper Pritchard becomes more sympathetic in contrast with Sir Hallam, whose lack of empathy for his wife and employees makes him one of the year's more hissable villains. Sadly, the BBC did not renew this promising series, so audiences may never find out how the Holland household weathered the war. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Adrian Scarborough, Neil Jackson, Anne Reid
  • Directors: Anthony Byrne, Marc Jobst, Brendan Maher
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2012
  • Run Time: 360 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,691 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0090XUARQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42,950 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs, Downstairs Season 2(2012)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Byron Kolln HALL OF FAME on August 22, 2012
Format: DVD
In this second set of episodes from the BBC's revamped UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, the dark clouds of war once again start to gather over 165 Eaton Place.

The year is now 1938. Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) has given birth to her second child, but mother and baby barely survived the ordeal. Weak and fragile, Agnes returns to Eaton Place where she is taken under-wing by Dr Blanche Mottershead (Alex Kingston), Sir Hallam's aunt and the half-sister of the late Maud. Following the death of Maud, Blanche has decided to remain in Belgravia indefinitely, and despite initial hostility from Hallam and the servants, she soon finds much to occupy her time - most importantly a "Kindertransport", with the assistance of Mr Amanjit (Art Malik).

Sir Hallam (Ed Stoppard) also finds himself increasingly called away from his responsibilities at Eaton Place. The Foreign Office is abuzz with rumours surrounding Hitler and his threats of war. During a trip to Germany to smooth over relations with the Third Reich, he meets by chance his sister-in-law Lady Persephone (Claire Foy), now the kept mistress of a top-ranking Nazi official. To his disappointment, Persie is as stubborn and wilful as ever before and refuses to return to England with Hallam - until the Hollands receive a frantic late-night phonecall from Germany - a terrified Persie is ringing from a phonebox whilst Kristallnacht explodes around her.

Downstairs, things are being kept up to standard by the ever-exacting butler Mr Pritchard (Adrian Scarborough), in the absence of Rose (Jean Marsh), who is recovering from an attack of tuberculosis. New nursery maid Beryl Ballard (Laura Haddock) has ambitions to create a better life and refuses to let a flirtation with chauffeur Spargo (Neil Jackson) derail her goals.
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Format: DVD
A fervent admirer of the original "Upstairs, Downstairs," I was more than a little intrigued when an updated series rolled out in 2010. With the original being a true piece of television history for five seasons (1971-75) of groundbreaking drama, the modernization certainly had a lot to live up to. So I was very surprised that Season One only had three episodes and that it was actually a sequel of sorts as opposed to a re-imagining. Well, the truth of the matter is that these episodes definitely lacked the bite and complexity of the preceding series. But with such a limited running time, I suppose that was to be expected. However, the resultant product (while perhaps not the stuff of TV legend) was a fitfully entertaining confection in its own right. This likable introduction received six Emmy nominations and set the stage for further and more in-depth adventures. Season Two is back with twice as many episodes (a whopping six) and this extra times gives each member of the ensemble cast a greater chance to shine.

While Season One dealt largely with the reopening and rebuilding of 165 Eaton Place, Season Two sees its inhabitants adjusting while the world is on the precipice of war. The Hollands (Ed Stoppard and Keeley Hawes) are up to their necks in international intrigue, both on the home front and abroad. While conflict seems inevitable and certain preparations are being readied, you never feel that these two fully realize the horrific implications just around the corner. Hawe's spirited (or should I say trouble-making) sister Persie (Claire Foy) even finds herself in need of rescuing and Stoppard plays the hero in hostile territory. Alex Kingston joins the proceedings in the upstairs cast as a forceful new aunt Blanche with a secret that may bring scandal to the family.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The new 2012 UP/Down series two finally. Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh dreamed up the "Upstairs, Downstairs" concept. Jean stared as Rose in the 70s and continues in 2 the new episodes, more like a cameo. Beware of confusion, the only difference between the old title and the new is the current series is missing the comma. 6 episodes advance the story in season 2. Much of the cast returns including Marsh, but not Eileen Atkins. You get the same house and music as the 1970s epic blockbuster and seasons of the modern continuation. Yet it progresses as a costume period drama, and in my opinion at the entertainment level of the standards set in the 1970s.

No disappointment from me or my wife with 2010's 3 episodes or this season's additional 6. The current cast is believable, compelling stories and character delight. Rose and the house gives old fans past memories, even though the interior was redecorated to 1930's. I fell in love with the new upstairs and downstairs families of 165, just like I do with watching the old series. Both excellent casts.

This series begins on the eve of WWII, 1938 a year ahead, but it's evident that war is certain. There is drama galore in the every day affairs, and I do mean affairs, of those society's family, as well as their house staff.

This set includes huge stars making their own world-wide fame Upstairs and Downstairs. Of course Marsh. Maude (Dame Atkins) has died, sad not to see her return, but the cast is still excellent, and Atkins was never in any of the 1970s series.
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