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Upstairs, Downstairs: Series Two

4.6 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

"Great fun and marvelous television" --The New York Times

4+ hours of new bonus material

Iconic British series seen on Masterpiece Theatre and A&E

Upstairs: the wealthy, aristocratic Bellamys. Downstairs: their loyal and lively servants. For nearly 30 years, they share a fashionable townhouse at 165 Eaton Place in London’s posh Belgravia neighborhood, surviving social change, political upheaval, scandals, and the horrors of the First World War.

Series Two follows the years 1908 to 1910. New bride Elizabeth is far from blissful, and James learns that he’s about to become a father. Appalled by their children’s antics, Lord and Lady Bellamy fight to save the family name. Downstairs, Sarah the maid causes trouble, and Thomas the chauffeur works his own devious angles. Finally, a royal visit marks the most famous episode of this Emmy®-winning season.

Starring Jean Marsh (Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse), David Langton (The Spoils of War), Rachel Gurney (The Portrait of a Lady), Simon Williams (Sword of Honour), Nicola Pagett (A Bit of a Do), Gordon Jackson (The Professionals), Angela Baddeley (Martin Chuzzlewit), John Alderton (Little Dorrit), Ian Ogilvy (Return of the Saint), and Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine).


Special Features

The Making of Upstairs, Downstairs, Part 2
episode commentaries
interview with Simon Williams and Alfred Shaughnessy

Product Details

  • Actors: John Alderton, Jean Marsh, Gordon Jackson, Pauline Collins, Rachel Gurney
  • Directors: Bill Bain, Christopher Hodson, Cyril Coke, Derek Bennett, Raymond Menmuir
  • Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy, Anthony Skene, Charlotte Bingham
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 4
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Acorn Media
  • DVD Release Date: March 29, 2011
  • Run Time: 649 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004H0ZHCU
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,818 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Upstairs, Downstairs: Series Two" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Josh Hitchens on December 12, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
Here we are again at 165 Eaton Place, the home of the Bellamy family and their servants. This boxed set includes all thirteen episodes of the second season of Upstairs Downstairs. I give this a 4 rating because of the storylines involved. Elizabeth Bellamy Kirbridge almost steals the season, and one grows tired of her whining about her unhappiness. After going through an impotent husband, an illegitamate baby, a lover, and joining the suffragettes, no wonder she left for America between the end of this season and season three. Her exit gave James Bellamy more screen time. This is still a wonderful season, though. My personal favorite episodes are THE NEW MAN, MARRIED LOVE, A PAIR OF EXILES, YOUR OBEDIANT SERVANT, and THE WAGES OF SIN. First rate entertainment.
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Format: VHS Tape
When television was reaching for the stars this series which lasted 5 years was like a rocketship in the anals of entertainment. Thirty years later it is still totally absorbing, sophisticated, and fun to watch. It is a classic that my husband and I re-visited recently over a period of several months. If you missed Upstairs Downstairs in the '70's don't miss it now if you can help it. A combination of a British soap opera, classical drama and comedy, we got totally involved in the family upstairs, and the second family of servants, downstairs. It's a hoot.
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Format: VHS Tape
In the second season of Upstairs Downstairs most of the main characters return. Once again Sarah and Elizabeth are the main players. Elizabeth is unhappily married to an aesthete who shudders at every day things like sex, which leads eventually to her humiliating return to Eaton Place with a baby in tow. Sarah renews her romance with James, the wastrel son of the house, but eventually finds love and true happiness below stairs. James continues on his rackety course and eventually gets packed off to India. Through it all Lady Marjorie remains serene and unflappable. The high light episode of this series is Guest of Honor, which depicts a visit to 165 Eaton Place by King Edward VII. Of course Sarah has to show up and nearly ruin things! This series ends in 1910 with the death of King Edward and the Bellamys and their staff hoping for calmer days ahead. (Boy were they wrong!)
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Love the theme and the characters although I know this is a wonderland and someone came down the rabbit hole. In spite of all, entertainment value is high, decor and clothing very evocative of the period. One thinks one will see just one show but then, before one knows it, one has run through four. Truly addictive.
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Format: DVD
Season 2 was quite enjoyable, especially with the introduction of the colorful character Mr. Thomas Watkins, with his ever quest for "scope". He further entertains us with Sarah, another whimsical character.

It is said that Watkins character John Alderton, and Sarah character, Pauline Collins were married in real life.

The other focus is on Miss Lizzie, the daughter of James and Lady Marjorie, as she continually searches for love and marriage, or at least honest love bestowed up on her. I thoroughly am entertained by actress Rachel Gurney (died 2001, age 81). She was quite convincing as the wealthy Edwardian matriarch, in her refined speech and mannerism. And, equally convincing and colorful character was Mrs. Roberts, a nosy, persnickety personal maid to Lady Marjorie.

But, some of my favorite characters of course are the "below the stairs" servants. It is always a joy to watch Mr. Hudson and Mrs. Bridges run the household. This season, Rose with Miss Lizzie become involved in the suffragette movement.

This marks the last season with Lady Marjorie. But, you can see the philandering antics and financial burdens of Major James, the son.

Again, Season 1 and 2 were filled with characters, stories, mishaps, fun, frolic, rigidity, etc. Enjoy.....Rizzo
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Thinking we would watch an episode when there wasn't much of interest on TV we set that plan aside and proceeded to watch one episode after another. The nightly TV programs were forgotten. This series is truly addictive. Love the characters and the lives of all. The writing evokes every emotion from not only the cast but those watching. Every single actor who participated was top-notch and at their best. Wonderful program. We have now seen the entire series and am sorry that it ended so many years ago.
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Format: DVD
UPDATE 10/21/2012:
This review for "Upstairs, Downstairs" was written for the 1970s series. Amazon moved those reviews to the newer 21st century "Upstairs Downstairs" series 2 by mistake. Make sure you note the differences. Many other reviews posted at the time of this update are NOT for the 2012 Upstairs Downstairs release. The title difference between the 1970s & 2010-12 series was simply the removal of the comma; which does cause confusion.

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Stunning in costume & set detail. Shows life of the working class (Downstairs) as they serve the aristocratic (Upstairs) Bellamy family. Led by butler Hudson (Gordon Jackson) the classic Edwardian masterful plots in this funny and dramatic back time-travel for years 1904 to 1910. Series 1, also available, is 1903-1909.
Series 2 has 13 episodes introducing cast, Bellamy house trials, scandal, love, and the delight of seeing the wonderfully differences between classes. Great plots in every episode. Always sub-plots, upstairs and downstairs. Some topics were quite daring in the 70s. This is huge Emmy earner drama that went on for 5 series. The 40th anniversary Edition, "Upstairs Downstairs Series 1-5", is now available and the economical way to buy the saga.

Sir Richard Bellamy MP (David Langton) and Lady Marjorie (Rachel Gurney) with heir Lt James (Simon Williams) and Miss Elizabeth (Nicola Pagett-`A Bit of a Do') who need quite a crew downstairs to keep their house in order. Mrs. Bridges (Angela Brddeley) cooks up a storm, while maid Rose (Jean Marsh, co-creator) helps keep linens and affairs tidy. The pilot introduces new servant Sarah (Pauline Collins), who adds saucy spice to the house on both ends of the stairs.
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