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Nyree Dawn Porter
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The series follows the lives of both the family and the servants in the London townhouse at 165 Eaton Place. Richard Bellamy, the head of the household, is a member of Parliament, and his wife a member of the titled aristocracy. Belowstairs, Hudson, the Scottish butler directs and guides the other servants about their tasks and (sometimes) their proper place. Real-life events from 1903-1930 are incorporated into the stories of the Bellamy household.Written by
Probably the best TV series ever! For someone Anglophile like me it is the perfect time machine to enter a typical household of the Victorian/Edwardian era. Although it shows an "upper class" household, the focus is on the "downstairs" personnel. The problems and stories of the kitchen maidens, footmen etc are much more colorful and sympathetic than the actions of "her ladyship" and Lord Bellamy upstairs. Nevertheless absolutely all characters are designed thoroughly, sympathetic and authentic. Furthermore this series shows a sort of real "theater" which has left TV long time ago and will never appear again! Long close-ups which show the affection of every actor, long dialogs with full sentences and - long pauses between them to enable the actors and the viewer to reflect everything. In addition the fine set design, the costumes, the "funny stuff" around, for example an early - hand-crafted! - vacuum-cleaner! Another extraordinary fact is the combination of fictional characters with real history: Everything finds its way into the story, the death of Queen Victoria, the Titanic Disaster, WW I, the Spanish Influenza, Wall Street and so on. A period of nearly 30 years is described, and with the last episode you are crying, just because you wish to know how everything will continue... But, that was a lack of this absolutely brilliant series: The main characters hardly age during the decades! Butler Hudson and cook Mrs. Bridges for example are already "old people" in the first episode, playing 1901. In the last episode - 1929 - they have not changed in any way, they even plan to "start a new life", running a small guest-house. After having seen it in German TV, where several episodes are not shown, I bought the complete DVD edition and can only recommend this to everyone!
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