Downton Abbey--Upstairs/Downstairs, Stiff Upper Lips, and Tea!

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by Matryeshka, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. star_gazer11

    star_gazer11 practising choreo

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2002
    Messages:
    931
  2. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,963
    Bumping this, because Upstairs Downstairs is scheduled to begin this Sunday April 10 (in my area, at least).

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/upstairsdownstairs/index.html
  3. millipied

    millipied New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2010
    Messages:
    569
  4. cygnus

    cygnus Liberal Furry

    Joined:
    May 4, 2002
    Messages:
    2,317
    Well, I enjoyed that, even though it takes some time getting used to the new characters. I wish there were more than 3 episodes- 1936 is such an interesting year, and there's a lot of history to cover.

    I love the mother-in-law (and her secretary). And I was totally not expecting the surprise guest of Mrs Simpson.
  5. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,963
    I liked it too, and look forward to more episodes. It was a bit jarring to see coach Sasha Beloff (sp?) as the chauffeur, but eye candy is always welcome. Eileen Atkins is always brilliant and what a treat to see Jean Marsh again.

    And yes I am easy - I laughed when poor young Johnny spilled the tray on Mrs. Simpson's escort von Ribbentrop. Brilliant scheme to get rid of him.

    I believe another 6 episodes have been ordered for next year?
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2011
  6. Icetalavista

    Icetalavista New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2001
    Messages:
    755
    Also good to see Art Malik again. He looks good in a beard & turban. Way, way, way back I saw him for the first time in "Jewel in the Crown" and he was :swoon:

    The preview of the upcoming episode showing the problem younger sister trotting off to play with the Nazis is very Mitford (am I getting that right)-sisters-like.

    I wonder if the Welsh footman is gone for good, or might come back in a revenge plot.
  7. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,644
    I think so too, although I've shocked one or two of my period-drama-loving friends by saying so. They're both soapy -- Ivy's storyline in particular has been just plain nuts so far -- but Downton took its soapiness far too seriously and tried to treat it like high drama. Upstairs is just having a good time, and I like that. It's refreshing.

    And though I'll always love Claire Foy best as Little Dorrit, she's doing a terrific job as the spoiled-brat little sister.

    I agree about Mrs. Simpson's guest -- that was a neat (and significant) little twist. And I love the way they took care of it.

    I do miss Maggie Smith, though. Eileen Atkins is doing great, but NOBODY can compare to Maggie.
  8. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,704
    Here's the show's webpage:
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/upstairsdownstairs/index.html

    I liked it very much!
    It's a pleasure to see Eileen Atkins and Jean Marsh, such wonderful actors - without whom there would have been no UD to begin with.
    Those of us who became fascinated with "all things British" because of the series are in their debt.

    A pity that there are only 3 episodes!
  9. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,866
    It took a while to get going, but once it did I enjoyed it very much.

    It was bugging me where I'd seen "Ivy" (Ellie Kendrick) before, then about half-way through it hit me: she was Anne Frank in that production from about a year ago.

    The only casting I objected to was Keeley Hawes -- who always looks like she's trying too hard when she does upper class and/or period pieces. She wasn't terrible, but she wasn't a great fit either.

    And then there's the small matter of the fact that Rose left Eaton Place a mere 6 years previous ... but seems to have aged at least 30 years. Must have gone through a lot in that time! ;)

    But no matter, I'm still enjoying it.
  10. emason

    emason Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2004
    Messages:
    3,276
    Downton Abbey = mutton dressed as lamb.
  11. floskate

    floskate Vacant

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2003
    Messages:
    8,779
    Domestic service was awfully tough going back then ya know ;). Most fans over here didn't take too kindly to Hawes on the first episode and given that they only had 3 eps to define the characters, hers is the one that comes across as a bit one dimensional but she does get more interesting. A LOT happens in the next two episodes, almost too much but that's the way they had to do it i guess. That said, Hawes was interviewed on UKTV last week and said pretty much the same and that the new series would be a little more drawn out with more time for character development.

    I particularly loved Anne Reid, a very well respected character actress over here, who plays the cook. She got it absolutely bang on rather than try and emulate Angela Baddeley's wonderful Mrs Bridges. But what's so great is that Eileen Atkins finally got the chance to actually be in the programme she co-created. At the time of the original she was appearing in the West End and had back to back contracts for plays I believe, and of course they had no idea what a success it would become. :)

    There has been lots of debate from pundits here over whether there is room for Downton and UpDown but I think the incredible success of both series shows that we Brits have not lost our curiosity for, nor our hang ups with the class system!! :lol:
  12. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,740
    So I am a little confused. Upstairs/Downstairs is just a spoof spin off of Downton Abbey but it isn't a one time thing and they are continuing with more episodes? When does Downton Abbey begin again, aren't they doing another season?
  13. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,644
    No, it's not related to Downton at all. It's a sequel of sorts to the old Upstairs Downstairs series.
  14. BigB08822

    BigB08822 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2003
    Messages:
    20,740
    Oh gosh, I am confused, haha
  15. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,704
    Thanks for all the additional insights, floskate,

    Amen!
  16. pollyanna

    pollyanna Don't blink

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Messages:
    8,963
    I ADORE Eileen Atkins.
  17. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2002
    Messages:
    10,745
    :lol: I was going to say that being without a pension (except her "hallmarked teapot"), must have made for a bit of rough-going for Rose. ;) It was good to see her again -- her character was always such a strong one on the original series.
    Great to see Eileen Atkins have a part in this sequel. And there definitely could never be another "Mrs. Bridges" or "Mr. Hudson" -- very wise to let the new cook and butler have their own very different characters.
    It's not just you Brits who have a craving for this sort of stuff, although without the class system hang-ups. :D
  18. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2005
    Messages:
    17,644
    The name-dropping butler is growing on me, which is odd, because usually name-droppers annoy me. Must be because he's dropping really cool names, like Errol Flynn. :)
  19. Latte

    Latte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,136
    Loved it!
    I think I was born in the wrong time, I should have been born in the Gay Ninety's.
    That's the 1890's.:lol:
  20. mrr50

    mrr50 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    Messages:
    1,205
    If I remember correctly, James lost Rose's money along with his own and that's why he committed suicide. The son of the household doesn't lose the servants money, it just isn't done. Richard didn't have much money left after the market crash either.
  21. manleywoman

    manleywoman podcast mistress

    Joined:
    May 8, 2003
    Messages:
    7,827
    Having never seen the original UD, and only just watching this one last night on my DVR, I have to say I preferred Downton Abbey. JMO.
  22. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,461
    I think if you're a fan of the original U,D you would probably respond better to the new one, as you miss things like why Rose reacts so strongly to the key with Mr. Hudson's name on it (which I would expect is personal, as of course Gordon Jackson has passed away, as has the original cook, Angela Baddley, so there's probably some real sentiment for Jean Marsh.) Because those of us who are coming in with that background probably miss the characters and actors, too!

    Let me put it this way, I'm sure I'm not the only one who, when Downton Abbey started with Titanic sinking, said "Lady Bellamy, no!" (The first lady of the house on U,D is killed off on the Titanic.)

    And I love the mother-in-law. New favorite character.
  23. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    9,578
    I saw the original (1st set, 1971 to 1973) back in the 70’s in my pre-teen years, in “Soviet times” in Moscow, at the “Cinema House Club” special screening, reserved only for “employees of soviet cinema and their friends and family”. The reels were ordered from UK distributor for Committee Review to evaluate if series can pass the “politically correct” inspection and ran on public TV for general Soviet Audience. The decision was made not to show them to the general public. (The other series – The Forsyte Saga – did pass the inspection and was shown in the Soviet Union.).

    I loved the original show. Was on my best behavior so that my parents would allow me to go to the Club House and watch it on Sundays…. :lol:. I am so happy to have seen this show back when I was 12…. I knew then and there… that I will always aim to be “Upstairs” even if I live the rest of my life in USSR…. :D.

    I love the new ones also! Yes! That and “Atlas Shrugged”…. America is getting on the right track!.. :lol:
  24. skatesindreams

    skatesindreams Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2002
    Messages:
    13,704
    Tinami Amori, Thanks for sharing your story.
    I'm so glad that you got to see the "original" UD when you were young; and that you loved it so much.

    I saw the series when it was first broadcast in the US.
    It would have been awful to miss an episode on "Masterpiece Theatre".
    We were fortunate to have the great Alistair Cooke to give us "historical context", also.
  25. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Messages:
    3,536
    Ah, but the original series started in 1903, with Rose as one of the characters. The 1936 version of her that we see this time around does look about 33 years older than the one we first met.
  26. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,447
    Agree - I just watched all seven eps over the course of a week (uncut DVD), and Mary's character, after starting off rather annoyingly, ended up being the most complex and developed of all.

    Am I the only one who was totally creeped out by O'Brien's sideburns?

    :swoon: x1000

    How great would it be if Jeremy Northam appeared in series 2? Julian Fellowes knows him after all ...

    Anyway, late to the party but just read this entire thread and echo (almost :p) everyone's view in that I enjoyed every, single, second of this - and look forward to re-viewing again in future to catch the subtleties I might have missed, and indulge in it all over again.

    And it should go without saying, but must be said again and again - Maggie Smith is incredible - surely Fellowes wrote the role for her? I can only imagine the day the producers signed her, knowing that the rest would fall magically into place around her.

    :rollin:
  27. *Jen*

    *Jen* Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2005
    Messages:
    11,461
    ITA. The fact that she wasn't 100% likeable is actually, conversely, why I liked her. While I enjoyed her revenge on Edith at the end, I can't help but think that if she hadn't done it, she wouldn't have got Edith out of her hair.

    Then again...Edith kind of had it coming.

    Am so looking forward to series 2, and the Christmas ep :cheer2:
    smurfy and (deleted member) like this.
  28. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2001
    Messages:
    17,447
  29. Civic

    Civic New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2005
    Messages:
    6,262
    I find it interesting that the Forsythe Saga passed muster with the Soviet censors while Upstairs/Downstairs didn't. I found Soames Forsythe to be a more sympathetic character and Young Jolyon and Irene to be less sympathetic characters in the television series than I suspect the series' director intended. I wonder if many Soviet viewers shared my sympathy for Soames.
  30. sk8sue

    sk8sue SHERLOCKED

    Joined:
    May 5, 2002
    Messages:
    452
    PBS announced at the Television Critics Association press tour that they will show Downton Abbey II starting on January 8 and the next series of Upstairs Downstairs will be shown in 2013. (Also they're planning to show Sherlock series 2 in May 2012...ulp) They plan to mount an Emmy campaign for Downton, which has received 11 nominations.

    The Hollywood Reporter
    smurfy and (deleted member) like this.
  31. modern_muslimah

    modern_muslimah Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2006
    Messages:
    3,907
    Wee! :cheer: I can wait to see DA II. I read on another forum that it will begin two years from the point that DA I left at.
  32. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    4,437
    Yes, I understand DA II begins in 1916.
  33. Reuven

    Reuven Official FSU Alte Kacher

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Messages:
    12,126
    Awwww! We missed it then. Oh. It's SET in 1916. :duh:
    ;)
  34. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2005
    Messages:
    4,866
    :D
  35. Latte

    Latte Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2006
    Messages:
    1,136
    I think they should show DA#1 first so everyone can recall who all the characters are and how they are involved with each other.
  36. icewalker08

    icewalker08 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    Messages:
    680
    smurfy and (deleted member) like this.
  37. kittyjake5

    kittyjake5 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2006
    Messages:
    1,589
    ^Thank you. I am looking forward to the air date.
  38. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2006
    Messages:
    6,461
    Is Maria Doyle Kennedy (aka Queen Katherine from seasons 1-2 of The Tudors) making a career out of playing first wives?
  39. Loves_Shizuka

    Loves_Shizuka Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2005
    Messages:
    12,285
    I have JUST got into this; I shall be watching series one in it's entirety this weekend. :D Have LOVED the first two episodes thus far. :D
  40. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2002
    Messages:
    4,437

    Thanks! Spoilers are always lovely. :)

    I've become completely obsessed with DA. :D I do NOT want to take the DVDs back to the library today. :lol: