On a crisp autumn morning in 1903, a young woman seeks employment in a fashionable London townhouse.




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Episode complete credited cast:
George Innes ...
Brian Osborne ...
Patsy Crowther ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Beatrice Greeke ...
Matty (scenes deleted) (as Beatrice Greek)


In November 1903, a new under-house parlour maid arrives for duty at 165 Eaton Place. Above stairs live the wealthy Bellamy family, Lady Marjorie and her husband Richard who is a Conservative member of Parliament. Below stairs live the other 'family', the various servants of the house including Mr. Hudson the butler, Mrs. Bridges the cook, Alfred the valet, Emily the scullery maid, Miss Roberts who is Mrs Bellamy's personal maid, Mr. Pierce the coachman and Rose, the parlour maid. The new arrival is Sarah, though she prefers to be called Clémence and to everyone's surprise, Mrs. Bellamy hires her on trial. Despite her protestations to the contrary Sarah has clearly never been in service before and it takes some time for her to adjust to her surroundings. She soon realizes however that she has around her the caring family she has never had. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

6 January 1974 (USA)  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(dvd release)


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode takes place in November 1903. See more »


Alfred: A silent woman is above rubies.
See more »


Featured in TV Heaven: TV Heaven 1971 (1992) See more »


What Are We Going to Do with Uncle Edward?
Music by Alexander Faris (1971)
Lyrics by Alfred Shaughnessy
Heard under closing titles
See more »

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User Reviews

TheTrial is incredibly good
11 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

When I first watched Upstairs Downstairs which began with this episode on Masterpiece Theater, I was unaware of what kind of a treat would be presented. It will be hard to rate the episodes lower than 10, because this is my favorite series ever---and I am now a senior citizen. The story is excellent, the acting wonderful-- I feel the characters are my friends. Though I know the plot well enough now to recite many of the lines, I still watch the series over and over. For me,it has gotten beyond the script. There is soul in the series. I was intrigued with the "busy" atmosphere--Roberts looking for buttons and gloves, Mrs. Bridges fussing in the kitchen, and Rose doing her duty. And then-Sarah!

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