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Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971]

Rachel Gurney , Jean Marsh , Raymond Menmuir , Derek Bennett    Suitable for 12 years and over   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
Price: £28.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Upstairs Downstairs - The Complete Series [DVD] [1971] + Upstairs Downstairs - Series 2 [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Rachel Gurney, Jean Marsh, Lesley-Anne Down, Simon Williams, Angela Baddeley
  • Directors: Raymond Menmuir, Derek Bennett, Bill Bain
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 17
  • Classification: 12
  • Studio: Network
  • DVD Release Date: 31 Jan 2011
  • Run Time: 3400 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (169 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,229 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

Upstairs Downstairs takes place in 165 Eaton Place from the turn of the century through the Great War and into the Roaring Twenties. It concerns the Bellamy family: politician Richard Bellamy his wives Marjorie and Virginia, wastrel son James, wayward daughter Elizabeth and his flighty ward, Georgina Worsley. The house domestics are led by Hudson the Butler, a conservative Scot who must contend with the 'below stairs' behaviour of the household staff, including cook Mrs Bridges and maids Rose and Sarah. A spectacular critical and ratings success when first transmitted on ITV, Upstairs Downstairs still maintains its position as one of the major success stories of British television worldwide. Multi award-winning (including ones from BAFTA, the Writers Guild, the Royal Television Society, Emmies and Golden Globes) the series stars Jean Marsh, Gordon Jackson, Angela Baddeley, Pauline Collins and Lesley-Anne Down. This boxset contains all 68 episodes from the five series of Upstairs Downstairs, originally transmitted between 1971 and 1975. PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS BOX SET DOES NOT INCLUDE ANY SPECIAL FEATURES.


Given a much-loved television hit of yesteryear a revamp, the BBC’s new take on Upstairs Downstairs has proven to be both a ratings and critical success. And with good reason, too.

Set in 1936, Upstairs Downstairs follows the antics in the sumptuous home of the Hallam family. Set against a backdrop of the path to World War II, the programme then explores the differing lines of the rich family upstairs, and the servants who work below. And this provides a platform for all sorts of scandal and secrets, which keep the drama bubbling along nicely.

The new cast clearly have a ball with the material. Among the residents in this new version of show are Keeley Hawes, Anne Reid and Claire Foy. Plus there’s the added bonus of the return of the wonderful Jean Marsh, one of the brains and stars behind the original run.

The shift in time from the original Upstairs Downstairs, meanwhile, is of great benefit to this show, and it moves it along from being a straight remake. Instead, the new Upstairs Downstairs more than holds it own, and while it’s inevitably in a head-to-head fight with ITV’s Downton Abbey, there’s more than enough here to ensure the show is worthwhile in its own right. More, please. --Jon Foster --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
255 of 258 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE WHOLE COMPLETE SERIES (Without the Extras) 8 Oct 2012
I think reading these reviews, a lot of people are getting a bit confused with what this DVD contains. The original Complete Series is the one shown in the Green Box which was the first set to be realeased of the complete whole series, containing 21 discs and includes all the added extras. (interviews, making of the series etc)

This particular version of the Complete Series (second release) is exactly the same as the Green Box (21 disc set) except that it only has 17 discs which still cover all the 68 episodes that were made, just as the Green Box Set does. What you don't get are the extra discs, which have all the extra material on them. (hence only 17 discs instead of 21) The Green Box Set currently costs £70 and this second version of the Complete Series currently costs £39.95. So you are saving £30 on this Complete Series Boxed Set. If you want all the extras as well, then buy the Green Box Set. I have purchased this particular set, because all I want to watch is the whole series from start to finish, without the added extras. Everyone to their own choice. Hope this has clarified what to expect if buying this particular version.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Show, Problematic Transfers... 5 April 2012
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
After watching the entirety of the Acorn (US) set and episode one of the Network (UK) set it is clear that neither of these box sets are perfect. The Acorn doesn't have the act breaks but it does have subtitles for the hard of hearing and a much better picture. In fact, the Network transfer of the videotaped sections of "On Trial" look, as is the case on so many British DVD transfers from the era, as though they have have been transferred onto film. On the plus side the Network set does have the LWT logos and the act breaks. As I always take picture quality over logos and act breaks I will take the Acorn anyday. Acorn, at least kind of does justice to Upstairs Downstairs, one of the finest English language TV shows ever. Wouldn't it be nice if DVD companies did justice to their customers once in a while?
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95 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Immensely Enjoyable! 30 Dec 2010
I am very much enjoying the new incarnation of 'Upstairs Downstairs.' currently being broadcast on the BBC. I am so glad they chose not to attempt a remake of the original, but instead, to move the new series along in time, to an equally fascinating period in European history, that of the lead-up to WWII. I am sure there will be some interesting developments within the new family, as there were in the original series. This series is beautifully done in true BBC period drama style, with a host of instantaneously believable actors and actresses. The new 'Upstars Downstairs' allows us to explore the ideas and manners of a time gone by, but not to be forgotten. At a time when good TV is getting scarse, and trash TV seems to be the norm, this is a breath of fresh air.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Careful with the volume. 22 Feb 2012
Now that we have mastered the art of keeping the volume turned down during the appearance of the London Weekend Television logo at the start of each episode (the sound behind the logo is startlingly loud !), we are thoroughly enjoying watching this DVD.
Unfortunately there are no subtitles for us hard of hearing folks (yes the LWT logo sound is REALLY loud !! ) but then you can't have everything.
All in all an enjoyable experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
My grandparents were in service and I'm told Upstairs Downstairs is much more realistic than Downtown Abbey which borrowed a lot from this series. And that I can believe. Having seen and enjoyed both now I can see similarities and found myself quitely grumbling at the story and character steals. Downton is streets ahead in terms of looks and production values obviously technology has improved radically but take away the gloss and it doesn't begin to compare..the lower budget more rugged earthy believable feel to Upstairs Downstairs works in its favour and gives the series has real warmth. And the characters have real warmth too..even the ones you shouldn't like. This is much more character driven and the situations are much more believable. Makers of the updated version please note. They haven't allowed the politics and events of the day to become diversions and distractions they enter into and enter out of proceedings without placard waving and preaching. The brilliant characters here have sympathetic traits you can relate to both sides of the house Upstairs and Downstairs without taking sides and the acting is superb. No hammy theatrics or poses for camera and no cold characters here and the pacing of the storylines is perfect. And the series improoves in all departments after the first series. Whoever buys this boxed set is in for a treat it lives up to its rating as one of the greatest TV series of all time. How lucky we are to have the whole set and everythng at hand these days. Including the remote. I concur with the reviewer who warned us of the sound of the intro. I watched this with my father who is hard of hearing and we had the TV up at max volume 100 so he could hear the dialogue and even he was knocked off his chair by the loudness of the fanfare. Read more ›
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Viewing 28 Dec 2010
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
To be honest I was only a wee nipper when Upstairs Downstairs was originally on tv, and so I only have a vague memory of it. I didn't know if I would like this, especially as I couldn't stomach the Channel 4 series recently set in a stately home. This was originally an idea by Jean Marsh who discussed it with Eileen Atkins, and from there it all started.

165, Eaton Place is being re-opened with a new family taking over, and they need staff. With Jean Marsh acting as an owner of an employment agency she is approached by the new owners. Set in 1936 this mini-series shows so well what was going on at the time in England as well as the problems also going on in the household. Taking in such things as the Black Shirts, and the abdication of the King, you also have the problems with staff, and the new owners not necessarily knowing all the rules of etiquette.

With inspired writing by Heidi Thomas and great acting, especially from Ellie Kendrick, this is something that will give you pleasure, and one can only hope that there will be another series. My only gripe with this is that it was too short and so the story had to be sped along to a large degree.

Also on this dvd is a thirty five minutes 'behind the scenes' look, taking in the writing and the set, along with comments from some of the actors.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great item
Published 23 days ago by lovejoy
5.0 out of 5 stars A class above
I bought this for myself. I loved this programme as a child and it was only till was recently shown on ITV Encore, although they did not show the full transmitted series (5... Read more
Published 27 days ago by Mothercat
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A very good series it shows you what went between the Downstairs staff & those that stayed Upstairs.
Published 1 month ago by John Christie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great box set
I loved this series when it was shown on tv. Unfortunately I didn't get to see some of the episodes, now I csn watch at leisure. Well worth getting this box set.
Published 1 month ago by P. Cartside
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous
Had been meaning to buy this set for a while now as I used to love this series, so glad I did now, its as good as I remember! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Linda Ann
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !
Bought for a Christmas present for a family member - she thoroughly loved the TV series and also loves this DVD.
Published 1 month ago by richsisna
5.0 out of 5 stars Only took me over 40 years to watch this!
I remember watching this in my early teens, but not taking that much notice of it at the time. I was inspired to buy this after watching several repeat episodes over the last few... Read more
Published 2 months ago by signet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great value keely is a delight
Published 2 months ago by k leonard
5.0 out of 5 stars Upstairs downstairs
Well what can you say about this drama series I had it in VHS so had to get it on DVD great condition
Published 2 months ago by pauline
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
One or two of the DVD's scratched otherwise excellent.
Published 2 months ago by Anna Nabokov Gould
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