Upstairs, Downstairs: Season 5, Episode 15

All the King's Horses (24 Apr. 1977)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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James returns to England, with new found vigor and untold wealth, on the eve of the October 1929 stock market crash.



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Episode complete credited cast:
David Langton ...
Christopher Beeny ...
Pippa Page ...
Jacqueline Tong ...
Lindsay Campbell ...
Inspector Rodwell


It's October 1929 and James Bellamy returns to 165 Eaton Place after a two year absence in America. He's made a killing on the stock market and returns with wonderful gifts for everyone. In addition, he tells Georgina that he will pay for her wedding to Lord Stockbridge and for their honeymoon. Even Rose gets a bit of the itch to invest and asks James to help her invest the £1200 her late fiancé had left her. It all begins to go sour however when James learns too late of the Wall Street stock market crash and he loses everything. He had borrowed heavily to invest and now finds himself in debt beyond anything that is recoverable. Rose has also lost her nest egg and is now not only trapped in her job but feels that she has lost the last connection to her lost loved one. When Lord Bellamy hears that James invested Rose's money they have a frightful row, perhaps the worse they have ever had in their always difficult relationship. For James, there can be only one way out of the predicament... Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

24 April 1977 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


James' favorite dessert as a schoolboy, "spotted dick," is a steamed spongy pudding made from beef or mutton fat. The spotted part comes from the small pieces of dried fruit that are found throughout this British culinary specialty. See more »


Richard Bellamy: [reading from James's suicide note] "Dear Father, do you remember me telling you about that German soldier in the shell hole at Passchendaele, who should have finished me off, but declined to? Well, I'm doing the job for him. It has nothing to do with our talk today. Mother always said that to leave when you're winning is unethical, and we all know that my losing streak has been going on far too long. Try to see it as a soldier's way out, when he can no longer do justice to himself, or the men ...
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Der Meistersinger
Composed by Richard Wagner (1868)
Heard on radio.
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User Reviews

James reaches the end of the line...
26 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

October, 1929, James arrives back from America from visiting his sister Elizabeth full of excitement and big ideas. The whole household is swept along by his unnatural enthusiasm - but it's unhealthy... He invests all Rose's savings that were left to her during the War by her intended Gregory Wilmot who was killed at the front. At news of the 'Wall Street Crash', Rose naturally goes to pieces, and Richard Bellamy and Hudson go spare...

James is told some home truths by his father - but there can be no reconciliation this time... James has finally reached the end of the line, and takes his own life in an hotel room...

I must confess, this was the first time I'd ever felt sorry for the character James. I don't believe in the people who say those who attempt suicide are merely attention seekers - and even if they are; the average person in the street would not go about it that way, and so you can bet that there is something not right; they are either ill, or so desperately and genuinely unhappy with their lives, that they cannot contemplate living on this planet another day... In either case, they are to be helped - not criticised. I feel heartily sorry for anyone who is brought to this predicament - whether I like them or not, and I guess that is why I felt sorry for the character James.

This was the 'penultimate' episode of 'Upstairs, Downstairs' before ending forever, and was the final 'shocker' of several that was to be included in this fifth and final season.

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