Ch. 5.1 – Sundays, October 7 to November 11, 2012, at 9:00-10:00 p.m.
In 1938, war is about to topple a way of life. But not quite yet.
The saga continues at 165 Eaton Place, with new characters upstairs and down. Set in 1936, the lives of masters and servants have never been so captivating, as two new arrivals make their mark and Lady Agnes reveals a dark secret.
In the year before WWII, 165 Eaton Place reopens its doors and welcomes viewers back into the lives of its inhabitants, upstairs and down. Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam’s family is now complete with the addition of two small children, but Sir Hallam is drawn into dangerous waters by his preoccupation with the threat of Nazi Germany and the return of troubled Lady Persie.
Lady Agnes catches the eye of charismatic American multi-millionaire Casper Landry, and Sir Hallam’s aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead, has made herself comfortable in the house after Lady Maud’s death. Meanwhile, life downstairs adjusts to the absence of Rose and the addition of the spirited new nursery maid, Beryl. With upstairs and downstairs harboring life-changing secrets, and the menace of war creeping ever closer, the smooth running of Eaton Place threatens to come to a halt.
Critics loved the first season, with The New York Times writing, “the sequel holds its own against the many period series and movies…from Brideshead Revisited to Remains of the Day to Gosford Park to Atonement.”
The Salt Lake Tribune called Upstairs Downstairs, “witty, dramatic, engaging, and thoroughly entertaining from start to finish.” And The Chicago Sun-Times wrote, “watching it was just bliss.”
The returning cast includes Keeley Hawes (Wives and Daughters, MI-5) as Lady Agnes Holland, the beautiful mistress at 165 Eaton Place, Ed Stoppard (Brideshead Revisited) as her diplomat husband, Sir Hallam, and Claire Foy (Little Dorrit) as Agnes’s obsessively defiant sister, Persie, who is in love with fascist politics and Nazis in particular.
Repeating their roles downstairs are Anne Reid (Bleak House) as the fractious gourmet cook, Mrs.Thackeray, Adrian Scarborough (Cranford) as the resourceful butler, Mr. Pritchard, Neil Jackson (Quantum of Solace) as the beefy chauffeur, Harry Spargo, and Art Malik (Jewel In The Crown) as Amanjit Singh, the private secretary to Hallam’s recently deceased mother (played last season by Eileen Atkins).
Jean Marsh (Sense and Sensibility), who was star and co-creator of the original Upstairs Downstairs and also of the sequel, appears in the new season in a cameo role.
Guest stars include Alex Kingston (ER, Moll Flanders) as Hallam’s freethinking aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead, Emilia Fox (Rebecca) as Blanche’s former lover, Lady Portia Alresford, and Michael Landes (Final Destination 2) as the American self-made millionaire Caspar Landry, whose latest venture is nylon hosiery—a convenient lure in his quest to seduce a certain aristocratic Englishwoman
And with Hallam’s diplomatic connections, a string of historic figures also make their appearance. These include an appealing young Harvard student named John F. Kennedy and his blustering father, the American ambassador…
“A Faraway Country About Which We Know Nothing”
Meet two new arrivals, upstairs and down, to 165 Eaton Place.
“The Love That Pays the Price”
Learn how a tragedy leaves the dreams of Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam, and a family member, in jeopardy.
“A Perfect Specimen of Womanhood”
See how Blanche’s and Beryl’s actions create changes upstairs and down.
“All the Things You Are”
Witness what happens as Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam drift further apart.
“The Last Waltz”
Trace the evolving relationships of three couples, upstairs and down.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
Experience Eaton Place on the eve of war and the events that change the landscape forever.