Upstairs, Downstairs: Season 3, Episode 1

Miss Forrest (3 Nov. 1974)

TV Episode  |   |  Drama
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In the spring of 1912, Lady Marjorie prepares to visit Elizabeth in New York and James takes an interest in Richard's comely and respectable new secretary, Miss Forrest.


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Title: Miss Forrest (03 Nov 1974)

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Episode complete credited cast:
Rachel Gurney ...
David Langton ...
Meg Wynn Owen ...
Christopher Beeny ...
Jenny Tomasin ...
Patsy Smart ...


James Bellamy has started his new job in the City but he is feeling out of sorts and is completely bored. He's also broken off his engagement with Phyllis. Lady Marjorie is planning a trip that a trip to New York to see Elizabeth and then on to Canada. Richard Bellamy is busy writing a biography of his father-in-law Lord Southwold and has engaged a pretty young typist, Miss Forrest, prepare his manuscript. When Miss Forrest comes to work on a Saturday, James orders lunch for both of them in the dining room that leads to a major confrontation with Hudson over whether wine should be served. James is trying to impress the young woman by playing master of the house - his parents are away for the weekend - while Hudson feels it is his role to ensure the rules of the house are followed when the master is away. A humiliated Hudson feels he has been put in an impossible situation and given the lack of proper standards, feels he must resign. Darker clouds lie ahead for everyone, however. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

3 November 1974 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs



Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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This episode takes place in April 1912. See more »


[Richard has just learned that his book has been accepted for publication]
Richard Bellamy: If only this letter had arrived three days ago, before my wife left for Canada! How thrilled she would have been.
Hazel Forrest: Could you not write and tell her the news at once?
Richard Bellamy: Well, there's no point. Time my letter got to New York, she'd be halfway across Canada.
Hazel Forrest: I see. What a shame.
Richard Bellamy: Mm.
Hazel Forrest: Could you not send her... a wireless message, to the ship?
Richard Bellamy: A Marconigram! Yes, I'll do that! Then she'll get it at sea. Well done, Miss Forrest!
Hazel Forrest: ...
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The Edwardians
("Theme from Upstairs, Downstairs") (uncredited)
Composed by Alexander Faris (1971)
Heard as opening theme
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User Reviews

An alternative viewpoint to Series Three.
17 April 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

While it is true that Rachel Gurney, who hated playing Lady Marjorie, and Nicole Paget, Pauline Collins and John Alderton left after the Season Two, there are many who were tiring of Sarah and Watkins and the producers had done all that they could with Elizabeth's character. When producer John Hawkesworth and series' Script Editor, Alfred Shaughnessy, begged Rachel Gurney NOT to leave the series, she was adamant (a decision she would later regret for the rest of her life), producer and writers made certain that Lady Marjorie Bellamy would NEVER return to the series by placing her and her ladies' maid, Maude Roberts (Patsy Smart) on the Titanic. Before Lady Marjorie leaves for America, there is a domestic dispute when James, in his parent's absence, orders luncheon in the dining room with Richard's secretary, Hazel Forrest. Hudson is outraged at James's orders and upon, Lady Marjorie and Richard's return, tenders his resignation. A carfuffel ensues, but all is settle before her Ladyship and Roberts depart for America.

Simon Williams is on record as saying that bringing Meg Wynn Owen, as "Miss Forrest" was a stroke of genius. An absolutely incandescent performance by a hugely gifted actress (Meg Wynn Owen) who realized a beautifully crafted character and was superbly directed, Hazel introduces a middle class character to this third season ~ an entirely sympathetic character, a favorite among viewers because Hazel brought a middle class sensibility with whom viewers could identify. Meg Wynn Owen really managed to save the series.

I can't understand this assertion that Series Three is the weakest of the series (many would say that this is true of Series Five). The script for "Miss Forrest" and for "The Bolter" were nominated for Emmy awards, director Bill Bain WON the Emmy for his direction of the last episode in this third season, "The Sudden Storm," Jean Marsh won her Emmy for Best Actress in a Drama Series and "Upstairs, Downstairs," for the first time won the Emmy for Best Drama Series. Part of the beauty of this third series is its variety and each character is given an episode which focuses on them and allows them to shine: there is the ongoing arc of the relationship between Hazel and James, Rose is featured, prominently, in "Rose's Pigeon" and "A Perfect Stranger" ~ Richard is the prime focus of "Word of Honour," Hudson in "A Change of Scene, the introduction of Georgina Worsley (Leslie Anne Down)and Daisy Peel (Jacqueline Tong), Christopher Beeny's as Edward in "What the Footman Saw" and Mrs. Bridges (Angela Baddely) in "A Sudden Storm" FOR ANY ONE interested in screen acting writing or direction, the magnificent "Distant Thunder" an absolute tour de force, is a MUST.

So there is my rebuttal to claims to a weak Series Three.

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