Richard and Marjorie are quarreling over Richard's intention to support a portion of a Liberal education bill. She is convinced he will ruin his political career and give up any chance of being in Cabinet when the Tories are re-elected. She also feels he is being disloyal to her family to which Richard owes his career and current standing. As her relationship with her husband deteriorates Lady Marjorie makes the acquaintance of Captain Charles Hammond, a friend of her son James. Although much older than he, they have a great deal in common, including a love of the opera. Soon they are having a passionate affair and the servants are well aware of the situation. Richard only begins to realize what has happened when there is news of an accident at a regatta that James and Hammond were to attend. Written by
This was in fact the 'sixth' episode of 'Upstairs, Downstairs' in the series - not the seventh as listed here on IMDb. It was later 'shunted' to episode 'seven' to 'conform' to lotting all the black and white episodes together in one batch - this being made in colour caused problems with continuity - not by story, but by 'viewing' quality. It stood out like a sore thumb between two black and white episodes. However; anyone who is left in any doubt about this can have it confirmed simply by watching the date in the story on the opening 'captions' at the beginning of the episode. It clearly states: 'Summer 1906' - where the preceding episode 'A Cry For Help' (as listed here on IMDb only that is) is in fact four months later in the story, dated: 'October 1906'.
The story 'Magic Casements' would have shocked the viewers even more than it did do, had it been an episode from the second season when everyone had become even more familiar with the characters and their personalities - as it was, it still came pretty much as a 'surprise' for die-hard fans like ourselves who were well into the story and characters - even by this time! Lady Marjorie falls for a handsome young man 'Captain Charles Hammond' young enough to be her son! A thing not unheard of today - but certainly not common back then! He's a friend of her son James (and the same age too!) brought home whilst on leave from India. It's almost 'love at first sight' for the pair, but recalling at the time, it really was a case of; 'will she, or won't she' leave her family, Eaton Place, and indeed the series for good! We had the great fortune to have Rachel Gurney play 'Lady Marjorie' for another six years in the series until 1912 when she went down in 'The Titanic' on her way to visit Elizabeth in America. However; the affair does come back to haunt her a few years later when some love letters turn up! This episode introduces us to the new footman, Edward. He replaces 'Alfred' who left in the previous episode, and went on to remain as part of the staff for the rest of the entire five seasons.
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