Edit
Upstairs, Downstairs (TV Series 1971–1975) Poster

(1971–1975)

Trivia

According to the captions in the opening credits of each episode, the various seasons of this series were set in the following years:
  • 1. November 1903 to June 1908
  • 2. 1908 to 1909
  • 3. 1912 to 1914
  • 4. 1914 to 1918
  • 5. 1919 to 1930
9 of 9 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Rachel Gurney loathed her character (Lady Marjorie) and was written out of the series at her own request. This was achieved by having her make a journey to Canada on the ill-fated maiden voyage of Titanic.
7 of 7 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Some episodes from the first season are in black and white due to a union action by some of the technical staff in a dispute over pay.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The fictitious address of the Bellamys' house is 165 Eaton Place. Filming took place in Eaton Place, though at number 65.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
David Langton (Richard Bellamy), Simon Williams (James Bellamy), Gordon Jackson (Hudson), Angela Baddeley (Mrs Bridges), Jean Marsh (Rose Buck), Christopher Beeny (Edward Barnes), Joan Benham (Lady Prudence Fairfax) and Raymond Huntley (Sir Geoffrey Dillon) are the only actors to appear in all five series.
6 of 6 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The line drawings in the opening title sequence were taken from Edwardian editions of the British satirical magazine Punch.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The title music, "The Edwardians", was specially composed for the series by Alexander Faris. Two different themes were used: a slower waltz-time theme, normally over the opening titles, and a faster jaunty polka theme over some of the end-credits, though the waltz theme was used for the end-credits of episodes that ended on a sombre note such as the news about the sinking of the Titanic. The polka theme was set to lyrics by Alfred Shaughnessy and sung as a bawdy song "What are we going to do with Uncle Arthur?" during a music hall act by Sarah (Pauline Collins) in the episode Upstairs, Downstairs: For Love of Love (1972).
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
When Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins came up with the original idea for Upstairs Downstairs, they envisaged it as a comedy called Behind the Green Baize Door.
5 of 5 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
David Langton (Richard Bellamy), Gordon Jackson (Hudson), Angela Baddeley (Mrs Bridges) and Jean Marsh (Rose Buck) are the only actors to appear in both the first and last episodes of the series.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Jacqueline Tong (Daisy Peel Barnes) appeared in all thirteen episodes of the fourth season, making her the only regular cast member to appear in every episode of any season.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Gordon Jackson (Hudson) appeared in 60 of the series' 68 episodes, more than any other actor. In second place is David Langton (Richard Bellamy), who appeared in a total of 56 episodes. The only other actors to appear in 50 or more episodes were Jean Marsh (Rose Buck) and Angela Baddeley (Mrs Bridges), who appeared in 54 and 52 episodes respectively.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
By season 3, 165 Eaton Place consisted of: 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, dressing room, dining room, drawing room, morning room, library, study, and another room which changed from gaming room to whatever the family needed.
4 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A LWT executive viewing the first season for the first time thought the show was a complete disaster and had no hope in the ratings. Consequently it was left on the shelf for several months and finally got its first ever screening after 10pm on a Sunday night in the UK.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Angela Baddeley had to wear heavily padded costumes as Mrs Bridges, as she was actually very thin.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Angela Baddeley (Mrs Bridges) went to Buckingham Palace to receive the C.B.E. (Commander of The British Empire) awarded to her in the Queen's 1975 New Year's Honour's List, she discovered that Upstairs, Downstairs was Queen Elizabeth's favorite television program and Mrs Bridge's was her favorite character.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Gordon Jackson received his O.B.E. from the Queen while making the series. He received it the same day as singer/actress/star of 'Grease', Olivia Newtin John and a manufacturer of spark plugs.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Karen Dotrice who was an accomplished child actress and longtime fan of the show, was offered the chance to play either an upstairs or downstairs character. She chose downstairs, because she thought "they had more fun." Her character of Lily became the most controversial of her career.
3 of 3 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
In 1973, whilst on his way to a rehearsal, Christopher Beeny ( Edward the footman) was involved in a serious motorcycle accident and quite badly hurt. Although he recovered, he remained in significant physical pain for the remainder of the series, which he kept secret from most of the cast.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The plot called for a scene at Charing Cross Station, circa 1914, to show wounded troops returning from the front lines, the crew found ingenious solutions. Marylebone Station substituted for Charing Cross, which was too modern. The modern signs and posters were taken down or covered up with replicas of 1914-1918 posters we bought at the Imperial War Museum. An old newspaper and confectionery kiosk were built and dummy gas-lamps installed. A plywood engine was stuck on the front of the first carriage, while a modern diesel engine did the pushing from behind, well out of camera range. Apparently one lady who was visiting the set fainted when she saw all the bloody corpses.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The show regularly captured 12 percent of the market, one of the highest ever ratings for PBS broadcasting in America.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The series won 25 awards, including the rare Peabody Award and 8 Emmys.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The first 13 were not originally shown on PBS stations in America as it was believed the audience would not watch a show that wasn't in color.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Although the series spans nearly three decades, it's characters never age. The producer, Johnny Hawkesworth, believed that the addition of rubber wrinkles and grey wigs would only get in the way of the stories.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
For each episode the cast had eight days rehearsal outside the studio-in drafty halls, club gyms and even a rat-infested army barracks on King's Road, Chelsea. This was followed by two days in studio, one for setting up and fussing with their costumes and wigs and one for taping. Some of the more scholarly members enjoyed reading vintage copies of the London Times chosen to coincide with the date of the script.
2 of 2 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A script for a proposed but ultimately unmade film adaptation is known to survive, dating from 1973/4.
3 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
The show was amongst the first major British television dramas to shoot ( where practicable)location scenes on videotape rather than on 16mm film, as was the required convention in British tv at the time. This, however was not necessarily as straightforward as it might seem, as it involved taking a large outside broadcast unit to the location and the early portable video cameras and lenses were variable in picture quality, to say the least. It did however allow a consistency of image throughout the whole episode, rather than the sometimes jarring effect of jumping to the very different look and feel of 16mm film for certain scenes.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A British Duke complained about the time of broadcast, as his kitchen staff watched the show and it interfered with his dinner.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
A noblewoman congratulated the producer on the title and assured him that she watched it upstairs and her staff watched it downstairs.
1 of 1 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Esquire magazine ran an article, using notes from London Weekend Televison's gastronomic advisory team, on an authentic Edwardian meal. They made and photographed the meal. It consisted of: Raw Oysters dolloped with mimosa sauce Iced Caviar dribbled with lemon juice A Sauced Turbot poached in Chablis surrounded by shrimp mussels quenelles of whiting, baby lobsters and fleurons of flaky pastry partridge pie an antremets of soothing fruit sherbet Baron of Beef French salad English Cheese and artichokes grand duc.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Nicola Pagett left the series after the end of the second season when she learned that her character, Elizabeth, was not going to appear in a proposed feature film tied to the series. Ironically, the motion picture was never made, but Pagett nevertheless did not return to the show, even for a cameo. She is referred to occasionally as having moved to the U.S. with her out-of-wedlock child, and is discussed extensively in the penultimate episode, "All the King's Horses." Pagett did participate years later in taped interviews that can be seen as extras on some of the DVD sets.
Is this interesting? Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink
Coincidentally, Jean Marsh (Rose Buck), Simon Williams (James Bellamy) and Jenny Tomasin (Ruby Finch) all made guest appearances in Doctor Who (1963) in serials featuring the Daleks.
1 of 4 found this interesting Interesting? | Share this
Share this: Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Permalink

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

Contribute to This Page