Upstairs Downstairs

12/18/09 UPDATE:  Welcome People of Finland! I am not sure what’s going on in Finland these days, but I am getting lots of site traffic for Upstairs, Downstairs from the land of Sibelius. Please leave a comment or two. I would love to hear from you. Why so much interest in Upstairs, Downstairs?

The first four in the back row Left to Right are Daisy, Ruby, Edward, and Rose. The two ends of the seated row are Georgina and James (see picture below).

My recent reading of Ivy Compton Burnett’s Manservant and Maidservant made me think more than once about the fabulous Upstairs Downstairs. They aren’t all that related, but there were hints here and there.  I was trolling around the Interwebs when I stumbled on this story and photo from the Evening Standard. It was great to see the picture below from 2007 with some of the cast members. I think the most amazing thing is how well Jean Marsh (number 8) looks. March played Rose on the show and was one of the show’s creators along with Eileen Atkins. Not only does she look really good full stop, but she is actually the oldest person in the photo. If I look that good at 73 I will be very happy. And if she has had work done she has a very good plastic surgeon. (I also just noticed at IMDB that she did an episode of Love Boat. That would be fascinating to see.)

I have heard some rumors online that they are going to remake UD with Jean Marsh’s involvement. Since the 1970s’ sets and film quality are a bit lacking by today’s standards, I would love to see that. But I am not sure how I feel about other actors playing any of the roles. But then again, who am I kidding. This would be great to see.

In character: 1. Edward Barnes 2. James Bellamy, 3. Thomas Watkins, 4. Hazel (Forrest) Bellamy, 5. Georgina Worsely, 6. Daisy (Peel) Barnes, 7. Sarah (Moffat) Watkins, 8. Rose Buck, 9. Ruby Finch.

Go here for a “where are they now” update.

11 thoughts on “Upstairs Downstairs

  1. Amanda November 20, 2009 / 11:16 am

    I've had that series on my Netflix queue for the longest time. I need to get around to actually watching it! I'm so glad you liked the Compton-Burnett, she is a writer I tend to collect, but I have yet to read her books. I feel like I'm “saving” them for exactly the right time to read.


  2. savidgereads November 20, 2009 / 2:45 pm

    I have to admit that I have never watched an episode of Upstairs Downstairs but was talking about it with my sister just the other day as she was auditioning in front of one of the cast!! Must watch it somehow.


  3. Mrs. B. November 21, 2009 / 12:25 am

    I haven't seen though I've heard about it off and on through the years. I love British television. I really must hunt down a copy!


  4. Mlle Paradis November 21, 2009 / 5:06 am

    Upstairs Downstairs! You're taking me back! Seemed I was always watching it while babysitting! Just discovered your blog. It's great. Like sitting in a library and your own sofa at the same time. I'll be back!


  5. Thomas at My Porch November 22, 2009 / 1:11 am

    Amanda: UD is definitely worth watching but it can be a little difficult to get into because the film quality of the earliest episodes are not what we have gotten used to. There are even a few episodes in black and white because of some strike that was going on at the time. But once you are in, you are really glad there were five seasons.

    Simon S: Oh, I am dying to know which cast member, but I understand if you can't name names.

    Mrs. B: The series did such a great job of not only weaving together life Upstairs and Downstairs but it also is like watching a history of Britain. In the five seasons of episodes they touch on so many issues, changes in style, technology etc. A really wonderful series.

    Mlle Paradis: Thanks for you kind words. I first saw the show in repeats on TV when I was a kid and usually on cozy Sunday afternoons. I have managed to get my partner hooked on them. He generally gets the urge to brew a pot of tea while we watch.


  6. dolcebellezza November 22, 2009 / 10:46 am

    I loved Upstairs, Downstairs. I remember looking forward to Mastmerpiece Theater every Sunday evening when it first came out (and I was in High School, I believe ;). Then, last year, I rented all four (or maybe five?) seasons because my husband had never seen it. Never seen it?! What a lack in his education, poor thing. It was neat because he liked it as much as I do.

    Your picture giving us an update of them is wonderful!!! It took me a minute to place every one, but I could finally do it. I think my favorite has to be Rose, but I am also quite fond of the Scottish butler.

    Thanks for the great memories on PBS!


  7. Margaret Evans Porter November 22, 2009 / 9:35 pm

    Re-make of UD a little more than a rumour. Script moves story forward to 1936. Shooting begins in the New Year. Finished product won't see the finished product on US screens till 2011.
    I've got mixed feelings…but am very interested in the project.


  8. Thomas at My Porch November 23, 2009 / 4:55 pm

    Dolce: If you liked Gordon Jackson as Hudson, you should see a different side of him in the 1969 film The Prime of Miss Jeane Brodie. He is great.

    Margaret: Thank you so much for the scoop on the UD remake/sequel. Hopefully they will do it justice.


  9. Book pusher November 28, 2009 / 2:50 am

    This brings back memories, I grew up watching this, I think it was my mum's favourtie thing on tv and I am thinking about looking for it on DVD for her for xmas.


  10. Thomas at My Porch November 29, 2009 / 12:39 pm

    Book pusher: You can find the entire series on DVD much more cheaply than it used to be–especially when sold season by season. Still, it is a few dollars.


  11. ArchitectDesign™ December 11, 2009 / 12:06 am

    seriously my favorite series of all time -i am getting the dvd set for christmas -seriously! I think, much like brideshead revisted, the new version would be a travesty but so pretty I would love it anyway!


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