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September 2, 2014

An Old Favorite Gets a Makeover and Returns to PBS

by Catherine Lawson, posted Aug 5th 2010 7:30AM

The Bellamy family and their servantsTell the parlormaid to bring some tea, dust off the antimacassars and stiffen those upper lips: 'Upstairs Downstairs' is coming back! The perennial PBS favorite is the latest '70s classic to get a 21st-century reboot, and new details have been released.

A co-production from PBS and The BBC, there will be three all-new, hour-long episodes to be broadcast in the U.S. next year as part of Masterpiece's 40th anniversary celebrations. Filming is due to start in Wales later this month.

The original 'Upstairs Downstairs' aired on PBS from 1971-5 and followed the fortunes of the aristocratic Bellamy family and their servants from the turn of the century to 1930. The final episode saw their iconic mansion in Belgravia being shuttered up for the last time as the remaining family members and servants moved out.



Written by Heidi Thomas ('Cranford'), the 2011 version follows the adventures of 165 Eaton Place's new occupants in 1936, so there'll be no new actors playing much-beloved characters like Mrs. Bridges or Hudson the butler. However, original cast member Jean Marsh -- who won a Best Actress Emmy for her role in 1975 -- will be back playing Rose.

Other stars signed up for the drama include Keeley Hawes ('MI-5,' 'Ashes to Ashes'), Art Malik ('10 Days to War,' 'A Passage to India') and co-creator of the original series, Dame Eileen Atkins ('Cranford').

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Cathy

I remember that show, too - another BBC great, along with "Poldark" and the great original "Forsyte Saga." Personally, I wouldn't mind seeing almost all of those great originals again. Drama, comedy, wit, and a bit of history all mixed together, with excellent acting. Sad that programming like this has gone by the wayside. Remaster these originals rather than "retooling" or "updating." Sequels and remakes are NEVER as good as the originals.

August 06 2010 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cathy

Of course there will be no Mrs. Bridges or Hudson the butler - both of their portrayers are dead. What a ripoff. Bring back the original show, PBS - remaster it and show the original again, and I guarantee that it will be a hit!
Oh, and BTW - I'm with Sue - enough of the cops and vampires! And I will add - mindless sitcoms. A little originality, PLEASE!

August 06 2010 at 2:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joan

I love Masterpiece theatre and will look forward to seeing this, but I wish someone would show "The Dutchess of Duke St", which has not been shown since it`s original appearence in the sixties or seventies. I loved that program and the characters so much.

August 06 2010 at 2:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Cathy

I started to get excited when I initially saw this about my all-time favorite program, but I'm monumentally disapointed now. "Upstairs, Downstairs" is a classic, and no "sequel" can begin to measure up. Besides, this isn't a retooling. It's a new series that picks up in 1936, so it has no business using the original title.
Did Masterpiece Theatre learn nothing from the crappy "updating" of the "Forsyte Saga?" A measly few hours' production cramming several years of story into it?
I guess I'll just have to wait until I can buy the DVD set.

August 06 2010 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sue

Thank you PBS!! I've had it with cops and vampires

August 06 2010 at 1:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
JOAN TORDO

THIS IS ALL WELL & GOOD BUT I STILL WANT TO KNOW WHY "ANTIQUES ROADSHOW" CANNOT BE SEEN ON ANY OTHER CHANNEL. ALL THE OTHER CHANNELS SHARE/SELL OFF SHOWS AND THIS HAS BEEN A QUESTION FOR MANY YEARS BUT WRITING PBS OR AR WILL NOT GET YOU ANY RESPONSE. MANY HAVE TRIED & EVEN WRITTEN FCC BUT NO ONE TELLS US ANYTHING. YOU WOULD THINK THAT IF NOTHING ELSE THEY WOULD WELCOME THE $$$ FROM SELLING/SHARING WITH THE OTHER CHANNELS.

August 06 2010 at 12:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
William

Just let me say "New Monkees". If you know what I'm talking about, you know what I mean! If you don't know what I'm talking about, you also know what I mean!

August 06 2010 at 9:50 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to William's comment
Joseph Papierz Jr

Sure. You wanted to make it perfectly clear that you are a flaming idiot. Now go sit in a corner and play with yourself.

August 06 2010 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob N

A spin of from the show was the "Mrs Bridges upstairs down stairs cook book". It was a gwm. It had the dishes to upper crust savoured and also the working class items I grew up with ( Rhubarb pie, bubble anmd squeek ets). I included pictures of the ecast and paragraphs on English culture and customs.
With its aid I learnd to make and apple pie. I am sure you have all heard the phrase "as British as apple Pie".

August 06 2010 at 9:15 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob N

One of the spin-offs from that show was the "Mrs Bridges upstairs downstairs cook book". It was a gem. It had the dishs that the uppercrust used to savour which included Game and come french Cuisine and also thew working class items like Rhubarb pie and bubble and squeek.
It aso had little paragraphs on English culture and customs and pictures of the cast of the show.
With its aid I learned to make apple pies. I am sure everybody had heard the phrase " as British as Apple pie".

August 06 2010 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Harry Hurt

laidaiwe, PLEASE STOP USING THE COMMENTS SECTION TO LOOK FOR WOMEN. NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR SOCIAL LIFE. WE DON'T NEED YOU TO REPEAT PORTIONS OF THE ARTICLE.

August 06 2010 at 8:31 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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