Upstairs, Downstairs: Season 5, Episode 10

The Understudy (20 Mar. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama
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On the eve of an important dinner party for a French diplomat, Hudson suffers a heart attack.

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Title: The Understudy (20 Mar 1977)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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David Langton ...
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Christopher Beeny ...
Gareth Hunt ...
Jenny Tomasin ...
Jacqueline Tong ...
Anthony Woodruff ...
Andre Charisse ...
M. Fleuriau
Barbara Bolton ...
Madame Fleuriau
Natalie Caron ...
Simone Fleuriau
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Storyline

Hudson has been feeling unwell and somewhat tired of late. Hudson tells no one but on the very evening that Lord Bellamy is entertaining the French Ambassador at dinner, he has what is diagnosed as a mild heart attack. He'll be unable to serve and the task falls to Edward - much to Frederick's dismay as he felt the task should fall to him. With Virginia away and unable to return - she possibly has the mumps - Georgina substitutes as a last minute replacement as hostess. The dinner goes off without a hitch but when Dr. Foley decides that Hudson should go away for a few months of rest and recuperation, the question of who should replace him comes up. James feels that Frederick should get the job. Frederick and Edward - with Daisy poking him in the ribs to stand up for himself - are practically at each others throats and Rose thinks that neither of them deserve the position. Written by garykmcd

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20 March 1977 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

Hudson's health begins to fail...
21 September 2010 | by See all my reviews

September, 1926, Bad news for Hudson! He's getting older, and his health begins to fail. He suffers a Heart Attack at the time of an important Dinner Party. This of course throws everything into chaos, and raises the question of his 'Successor'. Whilst Frederick appears to be the more capable of the two, it's a foregone conclusion (even to the Viewer) that it must be Edward. He's been in Service longer, and therefore the Bellamy's are much 'fonder' of him - even though they know that he perhaps may not be up to the job straightaway. The big mistake Frederick makes of course is putting himself forward too soon. It appears 'conceited'. Edward is far more likable for leaving it to others to decide. Whilst in some aspects this may appear 'weak' and lacking in initiative, (and whilst there may be some truth in that) it's actually a very nice and endearing quality - particularly to those who are fond of you.

Mrs. Bridges falls to pieces as can be expected, but everything goes off swimmingly. Hudson goes to stay with friends to recuperate, and Edward is justly chosen for his 'stand in'. Daisy like a true and loyal wife, actually threatened to walk out if he hadn't been chosen - she needn't have worried of course! The decision to put Edward over Frederick leads to Fred realising that even after eight years, he's still not 'one of the family'. He gets 'itchy feet' and moves to pastures new in the very next episode 'Alberto'.


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