Upstairs Downstairs Series 1

The Great Upstairs Downstairs Series 1 Rewatch: “The Cuckoo”

Our whirlwind trip through the first series of Upstairs Downstairs concludes with the finale, The Cuckoo. (I’m really not sure to make of the episodes’ bird titles – especially this one, where no one is actually the victim of infidelity, though I suppose Hallam is the victim of a devastating lie of a different sort? Seem exceptionally odd, particularly considering that it’s not a pattern I think they continue in Series 2.) Anyway, having sped through these three episodes, it seems best to say that this first series is a mixed bag. On the plus side, there are strong performances and some charming storylines, but the series does sufffer from disjointed pacing and an uneven tone. Series 2 – which begins October 7 on Masterpiece Classic – is six episodes and I wonder if a bit more length might have helped smooth over some of the bumps in the road for this series. As it is, the show seems so determined to pack as much as possible into each episode that the story doesn’t get a tremendous amount of room to breathe. It will certainly be interesting to compare the two, and see how Series 2 turns out with the benefit of more room to run, as it were.

Anyway, onward! Click through for a rewatch of the Series 1 finale, The Cuckoo and join me for a chat in the comments, as well as some speculation about where Series 2 might be headed.

The Great Upstairs Downstairs Series 1 Rewatch: “The Ladybird”

Our weeklong trip through Series 1 of Upstairs Downstairs continues with Episode 2, “The Ladybird.” This episode is much more interesting than the series’ pilot if you ask me – while there are some clunky moments and some characters that exist more to serve as symbols than be actual people, the general sense is one of vast improvement. The pacing has evened out considerably, we’re allowed to get to know most of the characters a bit better (except, as always, Hallam) and there’s a lot of drama going on. It’s very entertaining and should be fun to discuss.

Click through for a rewatch of “The Ladybird” and come chat about it with me in the comments.

The Great Upstairs Downstairs Series 1 Rewatch: “The Fledgling”

I know, I know I said that the Great Doctor Who Rewatch was next up – and it IS coming, I *promise* – but I would also like to write about Upstairs Downstairs Series 2 once that’s under way next weekend, and to be honest I feel like I’ve forgotten a lot about Series 1. So, you know, best of both worlds, I guess? And maybe having another Edwardian drama to chat about will help us all take our minds off missing Downton Abbey, to boot!

The BBC’s reboot of classic drama Upstairs Downstairs first premiered in 2010 and, despite its famous pedigree, never seemed to quite escape the shadow of another Edwardian costume drama that would go on to worldwide acclaim called Downton Abbey. Whether it was timing, general preference or a combination of the two, Upstairs never seemed to quite catch on the way that the ITV drama did. It was, of course, hampered by the fact that the first series was only comprised of three episodes, and seemed to come to a close just as things finally started getting good. With the six-episode second series set to premiere on Masterpiece Classic starting October 7, now seems as good a time as any to revisit all the drama from Series 1, and give ourselves a little reminder about everything that happened the first time 'round.

Click through for a rewatch of the first episode, “The Fledgling,” and come chat about it with me in the comments. How did you enjoy Upstairs, Downstairs as a series, especially as compared to Downton Abbey? Are you looking forward to Series 2?