MASTERPIECE: CLASSIC "Upstairs Downstairs" on WXXI-TV

MASTERPIECE: CLASSIC "Upstairs Downstairs" on WXXI-TV

Sun, 04/17/2011 - 9:00pm

Shown: (left to right) Ellie Kendrick as Ivy Morris, Keeley Hawes as Lady Agnes Holland, Adrian Scarborough as Mr. Pritchard, Jean Marsh as Rose Buck and Nico Mirallegro as Johnny Proude

Credit: Courtesy of ©BBC/MASTERPIECE Co-production

A German-Jewish refugee comes to 165 Eaton Place as a maid, prompting a range of reactions from upstairs and down in part 2 of 3.

The fascist movement sweeping Britain culminates in crisis in Upstairs Downstairs part 2 of 3 airing Sunday, April 17 at 9pm on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

It’s 1936 and, sweeping away the cobwebs from the most famous address in MASTERPIECE history, a new couple moves into 165 Eaton Place. Thus resumes the romantic, moving, and epic story of Upstairs Downstairs, more than three decades after its last episode on PBS. Lavishly produced, beautifully acted, and eagerly awaited by millions of fans, Upstairs Downstairs is one of the jewels in the crown of MASTERPIECE’s 40th season. It airs in three one-hour episodes on MASTERPIECE Classic, Sundays, April 10, 17, and 24 at 9pm on WXXI-TV (DT21.1/cable 11/cable 1011).

The story opens in 1936, six years after the Bellamy family moved out of 165 Eaton Place at the end of the original series. Recently inherited by young Sir Hallam Holland (Stoppard), the house has been long vacant and its considerable needs are taken in hand by Hallam’s vivacious wife, Agnes (Hawes). Her first order of business is to hire servants, for which she retains Rose (Marsh), the proprietor of a domestic employment agency, although Agnes is unaware of Rose’s previous association with 165. After lining up a butler (Scarborough), a cook (Reid), a housemaid (Kendrick), and other staff, Rose realizes she may be of no further use to the new family.

And so it continues, just as it did thirty-odd years ago, with stories of the upper-class and working-class intertwining in complex and interesting ways against a backdrop of world events—in this case, the abdication crisis of Edward VIII, the growing belligerence of Hitler and Mussolini on the continent, and the rise of the British Union of Fascists under Sir Oswald Mosley.

Amid the triumphs, disasters, joys, and tears, it’s just like old times at 165 Eaton Place.