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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!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Pauline Collins makes her debut here in the very first episode from the
classic award-winning TV series 'Upstairs, Downstairs' in her role as
under-house maid 'Sarah'.
Attempting to enter service with the name 'Clemence Dumar' - the more down-to-earth name 'Sarah' is forced upon her by Lady Marjorie as she agrees to take her 'On Trial'. Naturally, Sarah causes quite a stir below stairs, but it won't be the last time - or long, before she's to cause much bigger stirs 'Upstairs'! These are to unfold in the first couple of seasons of this fabulous series.
Pauline Collins was called back to the series after having left by pubic demand. She was asked to return yet again a third time after she and her husband John Alderton had both left the series after the second run, but refused due to commitments concerning their own new series that was to follow: 'No Honestly' which would be a huge success for them a couple of years later.
This opening episode may confuse some viewers as there are actually two versions - both the same, except for the final scene. Due to the infamous Strike of the early seventies which led to many TV shows being filmed in black and white; the next few episodes in the series were never done in colour, and as they were never shown again for years, a 'colourised' version with a different ending to match up the rest of the colour set after the gap, was made, and the black and white episodes 'ditched' for many years.
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