Reviews written by registered user
sjm887

7 reviews in total 
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13 out of 14 people found the following review useful:
Fantastic series--hope to see it on DVD, 15 August 2006
9/10

This series is one of my favorites. It dramatizes the life of the Pankhurst family who led the movement for the woman's right to vote in England. Their cause was a just one, and they finally succeed after the first world war. The acting is wonderful. TOP RATE. What is very interesting, too, is the observation that though their cause was very important, there was an undercurrent of rivalry within an autocratic leadership of the movement. Nevertheless, the leaders ruled, rather like a dictatorship which, at times, negated humane consideration. The willingness to suffer by some of these woman for the right to vote and participate in society is a hallmark in history. I HOPE TO SEE THIS BROUGHT TO DVD.

6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
Richard tries to help one of the servants, 20 June 2006
10/10

I thought that Richard's decency really comes out here. This episode touches on the social atmosphere, especially, the status of servants. Mary is blamed for something that was not her fault; the person who was responsible gets off because of his position; Richard is almost in trouble because of his attempts to help this servant; I enjoyed Sir Geoffrey's very realistic approach. His cynicism regarding the law shows him to be a realist--and his willingness to accept the status quo, reveals him to be a snob (which he is willing to admit). It also shows Hudson's ability to be sympathetic, and Roberts, to be intolerant. The other servants showed their compassion as well. Mary's refusal to take Richard's money is unrealistic, and considering the reality, foolish, but shows her to be a person of good character. Brilliant acting, wonderful production.

4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:
A German Baron tries to trick Richard in international espionage, 14 June 2006
9/10

A homosexual or bisexual German baron gains entry to the Bellamy household, endears himself to Elizabeth, and finally makes off with Alfred. His goal: to gain access to British naval secrets.Richard and a colleague were astute, however, and perceived the plot in time. Richard was overheard speaking to Hudson by Alfred giving the Baron and Alfred time to make an escape before being arrested. There is a good deal of intrigue and interest in the main plot and various sub-plots. My major objection to this story is that, though it reflected attitudes towards homosexuals at the time, it is rather caustic and insulting. Nevertheless, it is a period piece, and portrays genuine feelings held in those days. This must be taken with a grain of salt by modern viewers, who are or should be, more tolerant. The same is true in other episodes when there are rather nasty comments about Jews.

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Elizabeth rebels from societal pressures., 13 June 2006
9/10

I would have given this a 10 except that , with hindsight, the same actor was used for the character of Billy and later Bunny. I assume that they are not the same people. Other than that, this is a wonderful episode which focuses on the upstairs society. Elizabeth is a rebel, who does not care to talk about the weather. The relationship between Rose and Elizabeth is shown to be close and trusting. Rose shows her spunk, and her loyalty to the family here. I was bewildered at Lady Marjorie's lack of concern over her daughter wandering the streets at night. "She can take care of herself." But what of the others in the streets? They could take care of her too.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
The Bellamys are away, and the servants are having a good time until...;., 11 June 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sarah, Rose, Alfred and Emily and two servants from other homes pretend to be of the upper class. But their fun is ruined by James who comes home in a terrible mood. This episode illustrates the very fragile and vulnerable position of the servant class. They are, indeed, second class citizens, and live their life (as Sarah says) through the people they serve. Sarah leaves at the end , declaring that she does not want a second-hand life. James is presented as a very immature, bitter and vindictive person. But he is also a vulnerable person as well; his weaknesses are noticeable.This is his first appearance in the series; James does not make a good impression.As usual, the acting in this episode is superb.

Sarah poses for an artist causing problems for Rose and the Bellamys, 11 June 2006
9/10

Wonderful episode. It is realistic, from what I know of the social history--how servants were little more than poorly paid property without lives of their own. Sarah poses for an artist who doesn't care about how he uses people (or how art uses people). When Scone hangs both pictures in a gallery, side by side, Lady Marjorie and Richard are embarrassed. Ready to dismiss both servants--despite Roses' history, they reveal their total participation in the social class system. The only objection, upon reflection, is that this is uncharacteristic of Richard as we come to know him. In a later episode he is willing to stick up for servant--Mary-- because he can not deny his background as a preacher's son. All in all, this is a terrific episode.

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
TheTrial is incredibly good, 11 June 2006
10/10

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!