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Inside Updown: The Story of "Upstairs Downstairs" Paperback – 31 May 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Kaleidoscope Publishing; New edition edition (31 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1900203138
  • ISBN-13: 978-1900203135
  • Product Dimensions: 18.9 x 1.3 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,098,193 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


1900 is a year of opulence and grandeur for those people who lived upstairs - a time of hard work and low wages for those below in the servants' quarters - each living separate lives that rarely crossed, separated by a class divide that would remain resolute until the Great War changed everything. LWT's award-winning drama series "Upstairs Downstairs" is a worldwide hit event today, available again on video and DVD for new fans to savour. But how did it all start? Who created the show? Why did it struggle to find a primetime slot? Richard Marson has written a magnificent biography of this great show, truly going "Inside Updown" in every sense of the words.

From the Publisher

The softback version is released on the 1st October 2005. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 12 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
It's rare that a 'Making of' TV book comes along which is so gloriously detailed as "Inside Updown - The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs". Most are superficially glossy but often seem to be more of a case of "all chocolate and no nuts" and, although they provide a couple of hours amusing reading, are simply not something you can come back to again and again.
I was thus pleasantly surprised when this huge, large-format, hardbound tome came thumping through my letterbox one morning. A few days solid reading later and, even though I regard myself as reasonably clued up about "Upstairs, Downstairs", I found my knowledge of the programme had (at least) increased three-fold since starting to read this work!
The book has seventeen chapters in all. The first two deal with the conception of the programme and the subsequent pre-production, and then each of the subsequent five televised seasons has a chapter to itself concerning the initial ideas and storylines for the season, followed by a chapter which looks at each season's episodes in detail. Given in the these chapters are all the details you'd expect to find, such as full cast lists, transmission dates (UK & US) and filming and recording dates. The text for each episode is very thorough and the sites of all the locations used for the programme's occasional excursions outside the studio are noted and there are extensive quotes from newspaper reviews of the time. Interspersed between these chapters, are chapters devoted to the involvements of key players: Jean Marsh (co-creator and Rose), Simon Williams (James), David Langton (Richard); John Hawkesworth and Freddy Shaughnessy design (Producer and Script-editor, respectively); and the team interviews and (sets, make-up and costumes).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Campbell on 14 Feb. 2002
Format: Hardcover
Richard Marson has excelled in producing an indispensible guide to our most beloved UK drama series.
Over 400 pages it is crammed with information and fascinating nuggets and interviews resulting in a absolute essential purchase for Upstairs Downstairs fans.
Although on the pricey side, it is handsomely casebound with clear easy to read layout and print
I cant recommend this book enough!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leif Boysen on 14 Dec. 2006
Format: Paperback
A great pleasure to read this book. It tells the backgrounds behind a famous TV series, about the actors lifes before, while and after "Updown". It explain the problems with "Rose Bucvk" Jean Marsh, who had the idea for the series but doin't created the single episodes. The american thought Marsh had written the series, they liked to imagine a woman with so great talent - acting AND writting. But, this is one example. There are many ore interesting thing around this classic TV series. Allthough I come from Germany, it wasn't difficult for me to understand tzhis english written book. An absolutely MUST for every "Updown" fan!
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SusieQ on 5 April 2007
Format: Paperback
Speaking as someone who loved the old television series, this book is a "must own". I enjoyed reading the behind-the-scenes story of the creation of the series and the people who wrote it (and why and how its hard edge was softened over time). I especially liked learning about the actors who performed in it (Jean Marsh, David Langton, and Simon Williams are given particular attention). There are plot descriptions for each episode, including the author's reviews of same. The author obviously really loved the series and it shows, but he also allows critical voices to speak (some of the writers, such as Fay Weldon, Terrence Brady and Charlotte Bingham, felt the series was allowed to become too sentimental, particularly after the first season; didn't give the 'downstairs' depiction enough truth, etc. And there is truth in this opinion.)

The only criticism I have of the book is that there are so few pictures of cast and crew, and those are in black and white. I wish there were a few more, better pictures. But overall, this book is valuable as a well-written history of a very good, and in several ways historically important, television series.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 3 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Excellent background on a famous TV production 28 Jun. 2007
By SusieQ - Published on Amazon.com
Richard Marson loves "Upstairs, Downstairs", and it shows in every page of this history of the series. From its humble beginnings on a few scraps of paper written by Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins, to its triumphant ending five award-winning seasons later, Mr. Marson has poured his heart & soul into researching this book. Not only are the before-n-after careers and lives of the actors profiled, but complete plot descriptions, and the actors' opinions and thoughts on the show and their characters, are provided. The producers and the writers are given their say, also. For the "Upstairs, Downstairs" fan, this book is a must-have, and surely someone who's never seen the old show would want to after reading this book. The only quibble I have is that I would have loved the book to have more photographs. What there are, are nice, but there are very few.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
A Goodie 27 April 2011
By Walter P. Sheppard - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is certainly a goodie for fans of the original "Upstairs, Downstairs" series, but before paying a very hefty sum for the out-of-print hardcover first edition or second edition paperback, fans should be aware that there is supposed to be a third edition in hardcover sometime in the fall of 2011. It is promised to have a thorough up-dating of the original material, new material, more photos, and at least one chapter on the new series.Inside Updown The Story of Upstairs, Downstairs
6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Wait for the new version 20 Nov. 2011
By L'escribe - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I have read this and it is excellent, but, all UD devotees should be aware that a new, revised, updated version is due to be released in December, 2011, first in the UK, then it will appear on Amazon.
The UD website has information and pages of the new book that one can peruse. It will include information on the new UD series, which will be continued in 2012 on PBS. By the way, Jean Marsh, who originated the role of Rose Buck from the series inception and has also appeared in the new series, has suffered a slight stroke and will be delayed in appearing in the new version, set to begin filming in early 2012, but she will be there. Dame Eileen Atkins, who had appeared in the new series and was a co-originator, with Jean Marsh, of the original UD, will not be returning due to artistic differences. The UD website has a plethora of information for UD fans.
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