How could anybody who has ever seen and loved the original Upstairs, Downstairs show not love Thomas & Sarah, the only spin-off series from the former show? In reading some of the other comments, viewers say T&S doesn't have this or didn't have that as opposed to what 'Updown' had. People!, it's not supposed to. If one remembers, the characters Thomas Watkins and Sarah Moffatt were the chauffeur and under-house on the original Updown having left at the death of Edward VII, in May 1910. This new show is about them and their adventures, or misadventures, depending on how you look at it. It takes place roughly 1910-1912, but certainly before WW1. In Updown Sarah and many of the other characters always talked about their adventures away from 165 Eaton Place, where they had been, ...for instance James Bellamy had taken Sarah to Paris near the end of series one or earlier when Sarah had first left she had been with a circus for two years. But we never see her and James at Paris, just talking about it. Here in T&S much more is played out. T&S has more location photography that only some Updown episodes had ie the trip to Scotland in the final series. In T&S we get to see the kinds of things Sarah always bragged about to Rose in Updown when they used to share the same bedroom in the first Updown series. The decision to do more adventurous stories and location work is a good extension or extrapolation from the original Updown which was more studio bound, but couldn't help to be with a much larger cast and more subplots. The decision to shoot Updown & T&S on videotape is why these two period pieces are quite viewable today.
Alfred Shaughnessy(1916-2005) is the main producer/writer T&S and in 1990s commentaries on Updown, we learn he had grown up in large wealthy houses and knew about the era just preceding his 1916 birth, the prewar era in which T&S takes place. It seems the only person missing is Shaughnessy's writing partner from Updown, John Hawkesworth. On his own and right after Updown ended in 1975, Hawkesworth produced "The Duchess of Duke Street", with as much attention to period detail as Updown and T&S. When T&S began in 1978 Hawkesworth was about to produce the excellent WW2 series "Danger UXB", so his absence from T&S is understandable. The final episode has a 'Jules & Jim' nature to it joining Thomas and Sarah with a grieving landowner named Richard De Brassey whom Sarah falls for and wants to marry. Others have commented on how this episode ends and what was later to be contemplated with a second series. The finale ends ambiguously with Thomas and De Brassey going into a burning barn. We later see Sarah at a graveside attending the burial of one of them, the name is not on the wooden coffin or is surrounded by a wreath or laurel of flowers. Just my opinion Thomas faked his death in the fire and used the opportunity to flee Sarah, leaving her to marry De Brassey, and go to America as he always wanted to seek his fortune.
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