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Upstairs Downstairs - Complete Series 1 and 2 Box Set [DVD] 
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One of the most loved television series of all time is brought back to life with a stellar cast and a story full of scandal, romance and intrigue set against a sweeping historical backdrop.
1936. The house at 165 Eaton Place has stood empty since the Bellamy family sold it six years earlier. Now the doors are finally flung open by new owners, diplomat Sir Hallam, his wife Lady Agnes, and, back from the Raj, Maud, Lady Holland, his mother. With the arrival of Agnes’s debutante sister, Lady Persie, the sumptuous home is ready to come to life.
And who better than Rose, the house’s former parlourmaid, to recruit the new staff? The new 'downstairs' family is as full of characters as its previous incarnation with the highly strung butler Mr Pritchard, cook Mrs Thackeray, chauffeur Harry Spargo and a vivacious and spirited young team.
Soon both the elegant upstairs world and the downstairs staff have built their own labyrinth of secrets, lies and scandal, and as they feel the tremors of royal and political upheaval and the ominous threat of war, the house reverberates to the familiar sounds of rumour, excitement and dread…
Set in the year preceding World War Two, 165 Eaton Place reopens its doors and welcomes you back into the enthralling lives of its inhabitants, both upstairs and down. 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 easy peace with the apparent aversion of war.
But with both upstairs and downstairs harbouring life‐changing secrets and the menace of war creeping ever closer, the smooth running of Eaton Place threatens to come crashing to a shattering halt. And as romance, heartbreak and intrigue engulf the household, its inhabitants discover that the real threat is much closer to home…
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Top Customer Reviews
I have, as they say, several problems with these two series.
1. There is what you might call "The Downton Abbey" factor. By this I mean that there is a very cozy relationship between the toffs and the staff. By all accounts, and there are LOADS of accounts from real-life, the people of the upper or middling sort barely recognized the existence and in-and-out breathing of those who shared the same roof but not the same quarters. The fantasy one big happy family thing is a Downton Abbey invention and please don't let anyone persuade you otherwise. If you managed the long days and scant time and material resources and creaked into your sixties you might be accorded lovable old labrador status and enjoy something of an old age. There’s far too much DA factor in these two outings.
2. Deference and forelock-tugging are antique and have no place in the twenty-first century. In every way I can think of it is a good thing they have disappeared but again going by contemporary accounts, deference and forelock-tugging were the day-to-day normal way to behave in the thirties. Trying out a thought experiment I imagined a group of ordinary people from the thirties transported in a time machine to watch these series. Obviously, leaving aside all the techno-shock of, omg what’s that, it’s a colour television thing, I do not believe our time-travellers would ‘get’ the interactions of the characters in Upstairs Downstairs where the deference bit is added on and looks like it. What we do get in these series is a twenty-first century TAKE on the thirties seen through our modern eyes.Read more ›
In the first series you have 2 families, the upstairs and the downstairs, and you really begin to feel involved and care about them.That is lacking in the new series, especially in the downstairs "family".
There is also lots of annoying background music in every scene which is totally unnecessary.
If you've never seen the original you'll probably enjoy this. The storyline struggles a little at times, but standing on it's own it's not bad. However if you're a fan of the original be prepared to be disappointed.
1. The acting is pretty good in the first season, but for some reason really falls flat in the second.
2. A lot of actors disappear in the second season, for instance the grandmother and the housekeeper; two central characters in the first season. Without these, the show falls flat in season 2.
3. The attempt to include world politics in the series really fails (e.g Ribbentrop and Hitler). The problem is that the author has created the dialogue with the benefit of hindsight. Thus, it happens that the leading male character is able to forecast everything about Hitler. This is a rather pathetic way to write a screenplay.
4. All the actors largely act and behave like modern people. This is plain silly. The author has probably done this so that the average viewer can "identify" with the characters. Sad that a chance to really understand people from the 1930s was totally wasted.
5. In season 2, one of the biggest themes is to save the Jews in Germany. Really, was everyone aware of the situation for the Jews in 1938? I don't think so. This is just very opportunistic content to sell the show to the US
My recommendation is to buy season 1 (three stars) and really skip season 2 (one star). Or don't bother at all. Maybe buy the original from the 1970s instead.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A very different take on this classic but nevertheless enjoyablePublished 6 months ago by Paperbutterfly
I bought this for my sister for Christmas, she loves it so much, especially as the seasons come together, so she can watch it all together without having to search for another DVD.Published 11 months ago by Gabby
I love this series. I never watched the originals but after watching these I bought the originals too. I have to say that I much prefer this newer version.Published 12 months ago by Rosie
Loved finding this
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