Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Upstairs, Downstairs - Series 3 (1973)

So, continuing on my watching Upstairs Downstairs, here is my review for Series 3.

Note: This review of Upstairs, Downstairs will contain spoilers from Series 1 and Series 2. If you have not seen Series 1 or 2 and do not want to run into spoilers, you may want to wait before you read this review. I suggest that you read my Series 1 and Series 2 reviews first before watching.

DVD Box Art
With under house parlor maid Sarah and chauffeur Thomas Watkins married, the staff of 165 Eaton Place is understaffed. Lady Marjorie Bellamy plans to visit her daughter Elizabeth in America and Richard Bellamy hires a new secretary who catches the eye of Richard and Lady Marjorie's son, Captain James Bellamy.

Poor Lady Marjorie. Early in the series, she takes a trip on the Titanic to see her daughter Elizabeth in America (yes, Elizabeth was written out of the series) and (as you may guess) did not return. From what I heard, the actress who played Lady Marjorie, Rachel Gurney, hated her character and wanted to call it quits on Upstairs Downstairs. They wrote her out by using the Titanic. I liked her character (though she did have that secret she was keeping in Series 1), so I was sorry to see her go. Her character was essentially replaced by Hazel Forrest, Richard Bellamy's secretary Spoiler and later Captain James's wife End of Spoiler.

Hazel Forrest, the new secretary.
For the most part, I liked Hazel. Or in other words, I had no reason to dislike her. And I started to like Captain James a little bit more; I even thought that he became decent thanks to Hazel. But alas! such things never last, do they? Spoiler Soon after they are married and take a trip to visit James's friend, Bunny Newbury, and his wife/James's former love, Diana, things began to get rocky. Suddenly, James was controlling over Hazel and he looked like a jerk part of the time. James also had an eye for Georgina, his step-cousin. I felt sorry for Hazel and started to dislike James like I did before. End of Spoiler

Speaking of Georgina (which if you didn't read the spoiler section, then I'm bringing her up), she comes later in the series: she arrives at 165 Eaton Place because both her mother and step-father (who was Lady Marjorie's brother) died in the sinking of the Titanic, leaving her an orphan. The first episode she was in, I liked her: she wanted to help people, and seemed like an overall good person. But after that, I started to not like her anymore Spoiler since she seems to be getting involved with Captain James End of Spoiler.

Daisy the maid with the newly arrived Georgina.
Downstairs there are few changes to the staff. Since underhouse parlor maid Sarah from Series 1 and 2 had married chauffeur Thomas, there was a time where the staff of 165 Eaton Place was understaffed. Enter new maid Daisy. Daisy is a sweet character and likes footman Edward and they grow close. Alfred from Series 1 returns for one episode (WHY?! We were doing fine without him!), but his is permanently written out of the series. Spoiler Rose also gets briefly engaged, but it didn't work out in the end. End of Spoiler Other than those main events and some episodes sprinkled here and there about the staff, it's all business as usual downstairs.

The scenery is pretty much the same as in Series 1 and 2. Most of the stories take place in 165 Eaton Place, the home of the Bellamys. The major difference there is that James becomes the master of the house after he inherits Lady Marjorie's money; Richard Bellamy still lives there, but now he's a dependent on James. We do get to see a little bit of Hazel's home, a nice, middle class house. And we also get a glimpse of James's friend, Bunny Newbury's, home (fancy!).

The costuming is a little bit different in this series than Series 1 and 2. The Edwardian Era has ended, so there are some new fashions of the 1910s. Hazel mainly wears the more fashionable clothing since she is fairly young, however her clothes are pretty plain (but this fits her character). The servants uniforms are pretty much the sames as last series.

Overall: 3.5/5
The series is getting better. The story lines are more interesting now. There are still some suggestive themes, but again, this series is still probably PG in content. I am continuing to watch this series and will hopefully have reviews for the last two series soon. Keep an eye out for them!

Upstairs Downstairs: Series 3 is available on DVD on its own or as apart of the Complete Collection. It has 13 hour long episodes.

1 comment:

  1. I've awarded you!



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