Upstairs, Downstairs: Season 5, Episode 13

Joke Over (10 Apr. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
8.5
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Ratings: 8.5/10 from 33 users  
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After an evening of dissipated behavior and a reckless drive into the countryside, Georgina must appear at a coroner's inquest, when one of the locals is killed.

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Title: Joke Over (10 Apr 1977)

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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David Langton ...
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Raymond Huntley ...
Christopher Beeny ...
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Peter Dinmont
Patsy Blower ...
Ethel
Madeleine Cannon ...
Lady Dolly Hale
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Darrow Morton
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Jacqueline Tong ...
Barry Stanton ...
P.C. Burridge
Bernard Barnsley ...
Mr. Smith
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Storyline

It's summer 1928 and Georgina continues her carefree life of parties and all-night outings. She's on a scavenger hunt disrupting the household when they take Lord Bellamy's car, over the objections of Edward the chauffeur, and set off for a spin in the country. The rather inexperienced Georgina is at the wheel when a cyclist suddenly darts in front of her car. One member of the group Lord Robert Stockbridge, son of the Duke of Buckminster, was following them in his own car and saw all that had happened. When the man dies, an inquest is called and Georgina learns that several of her so-called friends have opted not to appear and one, an American, has suddenly remembered he needed to return home. When Sir Geoffrey Dillon advises them that Lord Stockbridge will not be called as a witness, it's apparent that the Duke has intervened on his son's behalf and it all looks rather bleak for Georgina. Robert proves to be made of sterner stuff however. Below stairs, Edward is upset at having been... Written by garykmcd

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Drama

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10 April 1977 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Quotes

[last lines]
Georgina Worsley: Why - why did you follow us, Robert?
Lord Robert Stockbridge: I was... worried about you.
Georgina Worsley: I'm glad you were.
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Soundtracks

Ain't She Sweet?
(uncredited)
Music by Milton Ager
Lyrics by Jack Yellen (1927)
Sung by young rich diletantes on their drunken ride
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User Reviews

 
Georgina's Giddy Adventure Has Tragic Consequences
10 March 2010 | by (Troy, NY) – See all my reviews

It's wonderful to look back thirty five years to when I was a lonely, romantic 12 year old boy sighing over Miss Georgina in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS. I have to say this episode remains a particular favorite! There's something so deeply romantic about the heartbreaking yet hopeful conclusion to this episode. Every since the war, Georgina has been such a lost soul, dancing and drinking, always on the go, trying desperately to forget all the boys she lost in the trenches. And you can't help but feel sorry for her when she's on trial, even though her own careless driving causes the death of an honest working man. It's clear Georgina has learned her lesson, and it's so romantic when brave and honest Lord Robert stands up for her. You can just see they have a future as a couple -- I still remember the way she looks at him at the very end, tearful and yet hopeful.

Having said all that, when I review this story line as an adult I see some fascinating classic parallels -- not to English literature, but to an American classic, THE GREAT GATSBY. Everything is the same, up to a point. A childish, drunken, upper class female, driving carelessly, kills a member of the lower orders, and a strong, devoted lover has to bail her out.

The difference is that Georgina, unlike Daisy Buchanan, is basically decent and responds to her rescuer with real gratitude. And Lord Robert is, alas, yet another virtuous nobleman, not a dangerous bootlegger who has risen too fast. The truth is that this is really a very "conservative" episode -- the aristocrat saves the day, justifying his continued existence, and the daring upper class girl readily repents of her so-called "rebellion" and is clearly very ready for a safe, conventional marriage.

I know it's mush, but I still sigh every time I watch!


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