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Upstairs Downstairs-the Complete Third Series
on 10 November 2006
Please be aware there are spoilers on forthcoming storylines in my review,so please don't read on if you don't want to know future storylines on further DVD releases.
Upstairs Downstairs" returned for a 3rd series but there were a lot of changes to the cast as Pauline Collins,John Alderton,(Sarah and Thomas)Nicola Paget(Elizabeth Bellamy)had all left the cast although several years later,Pauline Collins and John Alderton had their own spinoff series,"Thomas and Sarah".
The biggest blow to the series was Rachel Gurney(Lady Marjorie Bellamy)deciding to move on and Lady Marjorie is setting of on a cruise to New York in the opening episode "Miss Forrest",when right at the end of the episode,Richard Bellamy decides to cable gram his wife and we learn she is sailing on the "Titanic"!
I can remember watching the reruns in the 80s and being totally shocked at this revelation and the closing shot on Lady Marjorie's photograph is very effective.
Rachel Gurney decided she'd made a mistake but it was too late to change the scripts,so Lady Marjorie goes down with "The Titanic" but her maid,Roberts(Patsy Smart)survives and in the next episode "A House Divided" ,she tells of Lady Marjorie helping a little girl look for her mother on the deck of "The Titanic" and never seeing her again.
Meg Wyn Owen(Hazel Forrest/Bellamy) becomes the new lady of the house when she marries James(Simon Williams)and the staff eventually accept her even though she's only middle class!
In "A Change Of A Scene" Hudson accompanys James to do some shooting and Hudson so impresses the people of the large estate there,he is offered a job,Hudson (Gordon Jackson)goes as far as writing a letter of acceptance but on returning to 165 Eaton Place,is so welcomed back by Mrs Bridges (Angela Baddeley)and Richard Bellamy(David Langton)he decides to stay,out of loyalty,his glance at Lady Marjorie's potrait is very moving too,so the letter is torn up.
Lesley Anne Down (Georgina)makes her debut in "Goodwill To All Men",when out of kindness,she takes new under house parlour maid Daisy,(Jacqueline Tong)to Hoxton,to see her mother and is appalled at the poverty there and the both get rough treatment from Daisy's Mum's new man,Daisy's father having died the year before.
The marriage of James and Hazel quickly comes under strain after Hazel attempts to join James in hunting in "The Bolter" with near disasterous results.
When Hazel loses a baby,later in the season,James is really horrible to her and poor Hazel never really had a happy time in Eaton place and dies at the end of season 4.
The whole of season 3 is the build up to World War One and as London celebrates the start of war,Rose(Jean Marsh)Daisy and Richard Bellamy,know that there is going to be a hugh loss of life,Richard even refusing to drink to war.
An excellent season and I'm looking forward to watching season 4 of "Upstairs Downstairs".