Upstairs, Downstairs: Season 1, Episode 12

The Key of the Door (27 Feb. 1972)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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On the eve of her 21st birthday, Elizabeth is utterly defiant and, consequently, on the brink of a complete breach with her parents.


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Nicola Pagett ...
Rachel Gurney ...
David Langton ...
Christopher Beeny ...
Maggie Wells ...
Georgia Brown ...
Evelyn Larkin
Jenifer Armitage ...
Tutte Lemkow ...
Tom Owen ...
John Delmar ...
The Guitarist
Pat Nye ...


Elizabeth has turned 21 and is beginning to seek her independence. She's made new friends, Bohemian types who debate their radical politics and spout poetry. Her main interest is the writer and poet Lawrence Kirbridge, a talented young man who also has a way with the ladies. She informs her parents that she will not be accompanying them on a weekend visit and subsequently invites her new set to tea at 165 Eaton Place. What was supposed to be a quiet occasion soon turns to a rather lively party with one of the guests dancing on a table. Unfortunately, Richard and Lady Marjorie return at that moment and brusquely ask everyone to leave. Mortified, Elizabeth accuses her parents of being rude to her guests. She decides the time has come to strike out on her own and moves in with her friend, Henrietta. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

27 February 1972 (UK)  »

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(dvd release)


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Did You Know?


This episode takes place during the winter of 1908. See more »


Lawrence Kirbridge tells Stanley that Leo Tolstoy is dead. However, this episode is based in the winter of 1908 and Tolstoy did not die until November 20, 1910. See more »


Lawrence Kirbridge: [with lascivious intent] In your father's mansion there are many mansions, n'est pas?
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La Marseilles
French national anthem
Written by Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle (1792)
sung briefly by Tutte Lemkow
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User Reviews

Elizabeth Bellamy turns twenty-one and runs away from home...
18 July 2010 | by See all my reviews

After the awful nonsense of the previous episode (see my Review for that title) 'Upstairs, Downstairs' gets firmly back on track with a cracker in: 'The Key Of the Door'! Elizabeth, having got involved with a group of Fabians, invites them all to Eaton Place whilst her parents are away. Nothing wrong with that, except that her parents return unexpectedly - and her friends are not the most 'desirable'... As a result, the inappropriate visitors are 'ejected' from the house, thus embarrassing Elizabeth. To make amends to the head of the group 'Evelyn', she agrees to rob a shop keeper of some shoes to give to some poor children who don't have any, as part of her 'induction' to the Society. Consequently, there's a big family bust-up, and just having turned twenty-one; Elizabeth runs away from home...

This episode introduces Ian Ogilvy to the series as the gay Poet 'Lawrence Kirbridge' who later marries Elizabeth. There's also another chance to see some great performances from the likes of Georgia Brown as 'Evelyn Larkin'; Pay Nye as 'Perdita'; and Tutte Lemkow as 'Gustave'.

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