Before DALLAS and DYNASTY, UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS took us into the elegant world of the rich and powerful, offering us characters who were not only rich with money, but also rich in the dramatic sense as they dealt with the social and political changes of their time. Pictured above: The cast in later years, including Lesley-Anne Down as Georgina.
Part of the fun of the original series is learning what the responsibilities of each servant is. From the butlers to the footmen to the scullery maids to the cook - the hierarchy is more fascinating than that of the English aristocrats.
Pictured above: Thomas (John Alderton), Mr. Hudson (Gordon Jackson), Rose and Mr. Bellamy (David Langton).
Two characters from the original seriesThomas Watkins, the chauffeur, and Sarah, the house and nursery maid, left the series and later resurfaced in a 13-episode spin-off called THOMAS & SARAH.The intrigue, scandals and indiscretions of the folks at 165 Eaton Place undoubtably inspired the Robert Altman film GOSFORD PARK and the recent wonderful and acclaimed DOWNTON ABBEY. An American attempt to recreate the magic of UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS called BEACON HILL aired on CBS in 1975 to critical dismissal and poor ratings.
Pictured above: a 1972 novel.