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Upstairs Downstairs: Season 5 (1975)

Upstairs  Downstairs: Season 1
Upstairs Downstairs: Season 1
Upstairs  Downstairs: Season 2
Upstairs Downstairs: Season 2
Upstairs  Downstairs: Season 3
Upstairs Downstairs: Season 3
Upstairs  Downstairs: Season 4
Upstairs Downstairs: Season 4


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Season Info

Series five of the seminal British period drama "Upstairs Downstairs" sees the end of the First World War and uncertainty abounds as Richard Bellamy's plans unsettle Eaton Place. Action upstairs centers around James, who returns a war hero and newly-enthused politician, and throws a party which has tragic ramifications. Boredom sets in and he takes up with his best friend's wife. Downstairs, meanwhile, Hudson's professionalism comes into question when a young bridesmaid turns up. The program's

Network: PBS




Air date:

On with the Dance

The fifth and final season of Upstairs, Downstairs picked up the saga of the Bellamy household in the summer of 1919. Grieving over the death of his wife Hazel in the flu epidemic, James Bellamy (Simon Williams remains in seclusion at 165 Eaton Place. Meanwhile, Rose (Jean Marsh) comments ruefully on the fact that the house has more servants than necessary, forcing James to make a fateful decision. On a happier note, Richard Bellamy (David Langton) and Virginia (Hannah Gordon) go off on their honeymoon, while Edward (Christopher Beeney) and Daisy (Jacqueline Tong) return from theirs. Written by Alfred Shaughnessy, "On With the Dance" first aired in England on September 7, 1975, and in America on January 16, 1977.

Air date:

A Place in the World

February, 1920: Distressed over the plight of disenfranchised WWI veterans, James Bellamy (Simon Williams) publishes a letter on the subject. The ensuing public response causes James to consider following his father's example by entering politics. Meanwhile, newlywed servants Edward (Christopher Beeney) and Daisy (Jacqueline Tong) are laid low by the postwar recession. Written by Jeremy Paul, "A Place in the World" was seen in England on September 14, 1975, before its American TV premiere on January 23, 1977.

Air date:

Laugh a Little Louder, Please

Summer, 1921: With newlyweds Richard and Virginia Bellamy (David Langton, Hannah Gordon) still on their honeymoon, Richard's ward Georgina (Lesley Anne-Down) decides to throw a wild costume party at Eaton Place. Amidst the festivities, an unexpected tragedy strikes. Meanwhile, the downstairs staff prepares to greet the new governess for Virginia's children. Written by Rosemary Anne Sissons, "Laugh a Little Louder Please" was originally telecast in England on September 21, 1975, and in the United States on January 30, 1977.

Air date:

The Joy Ride

Autumn, 1921: James Bellamy's (Simon Williams) outlook on life improves when he takes up flying as a hobby. Upon the return of his young stepmother Virginia (Hannah Gordon), James invites her for a spin in his airplane. Joy turns to anxiety in the Bellamy household when the plane disappears and its occupants are reported missing. Written by Alfred Shaughnessy, "The Joy Ride" first aired in England on September 28, 1975, and in America on February 6, 1977.

Air date:

Wanted: A Good Home

Spring, 1922: With Virginia's son William in boarding school and her daughter Alice (Anne Yarker) in the hands of the new governess, the Bellamys embark upon a vacation abroad. Unfortunately, the governess, a behemoth named Miss Treadwell (Shirley Cain), holds not only Alice but the rest of the household in terrified thrall. The climax comes when Miss Treadwell demands that the little girl get rid of her pet puppy, forcing the other servants to rally round the poor child. Written by John Hawkesworth, "Wanted -- A Good Home" was originally seen in England on October 5, 1975; its American debut, courtesy of PBS, occurred on February 13, 1977.

Air date:

An Old Flame

Spring, 1923: Still searching for some meaning in life, James Bellamy (Simon Williams) has a romantic fling with his former sweetheart Diana Newbury (Celia Bannerman) -- who happens to be the wife of his best friend. By the time James comes to his senses, the Newburys are on the verge of splitting up, and he is poised to be named as co-respondent. Originally written by Elizabeth Jane Howard, "An Old Flame" was completely revised by John Hawkesworth, who received solo screen credit. First telecast in England on October 12, 1975, the episode debuted in America on February 20, 1977.

Air date:


Ultra-reserved head butler Hudson (Gordon Jenkins) shocks the Bellamy household when he falls in love with under-housemaid Lily (Karen Dotrice, who at 22 is more than half his age. Despite the remonstrations of Rose (Jean Marsh), Hudson is willing to face the consequence of his May-December romance. There is only problem: Lily may not be in love with him. Written by Alfred Shaughnessy, "Disillusion" first aired in England on October 19, 1975, and in the United States on February 27, 1977.

Air date:

Such a Lovely Man

Summer 1925: Richard Bellamy (David Langton) curries favor with millionaire Sir Guy Paynter (Robert Hardy), whose influence may enable Richard to attain an important government post. But things go awry when Sir Guy begins showering undue attention upon Richard's young wife Virginia (Hannah Gordon). And in the "downstairs" world, kitchen servant Ruby (Jenny Tomasin) announces that she has a new beau. Written by Rosemary Anne Sisson, "Such a Lovely Man" made its British TV bow on October 26, 1975, and was subsequently seen in America on March 6, 1977.

Air date:

The Nine Days Wonder

Britain's General Strike of 1926 affects everyone at I65 Eaton Place. Hoping to stave off full-scale class warfare, budding politician James Bellamy (Simon Williams) accepts a "proletarian" job as a bus conductor. Meanwhile, Hudson resumes his temporary wartime post as a special constable in the event of any and all riots. The trouble is compounded when several members of the household staff cast their lot with the strikers. Written by Jeremy Paul, "The Nine Days Wonder" was first seen in England on November 2, 1975, and in America on March 13, 1977.

Air date:

The Understudy

September, 1926: Hudson (Gordon Jackson) suffers a heart attack just before the French ambassador is due to arrive at 165 Eaton Place. While Georgina (Lesley Anne-Down), subbing for Virginia Bellamy (Hannah Gordon), does her best to entertain the ambassador and his entourage, a crisis looms in the servant's quarters. One of two candidates will take over Hudson's duties for the evening -- but which of the two is best (or for that matter, least) suited to the assignment. Written by Jeremy Paul, "The Understudy" originally aired in England on November 9, 1975, then in the United States on March 20, 1977.

Air date:


June, 1927: A somewhat libidinous film producer (Seymour Green) offers Georgina (Lesley Anne-Down) a part in his upcoming movie. While Georgina deals with this turn of events, her socialite chum Lady Dolly Hale (Madeline Cannon) brazenly propositions household servant Frederick (Gareth Hunt, in his last series appearance). Written by Alfred Shaughnessy, "Alberto" made its BBC debut on November 16, 1975. The episode first aired in America on March 27, 1977.

Air date:

Will Ye No' Come Back Again?

Vacationing at a Scottish Highlands fishing lodge, the members of the Bellamy household cross swords with taciturn groundskeeper McKay (Jack Watson) and his equally truculent wife (Georgine Anderson). As Hudson tries to get to the bottom of McKay's curious behavior, James Bellamy (Simon Williams) realizes with startling suddenness that he has fallen in love with his half-cousin Georgina (Lesley-Anne Down). Written by Rosemary Anne Sisson, "Will Ye No Come Back Again" was first broadcast in England on November 23, 1975. American viewers finally saw the episode on April 3, 1977.

Air date:

Joke Over

Summer, 1928: Once again, Georgina (Lesley-Anne Down) has become involved with her giddy society friends. The merry little group faces disaster and disgrace when they "borrow" Richard Bellamy's (David Langton) car for a fateful joyride. A grim courtroom scene caps this somber episode, which was written by Rosemary Anne Sisson. First seen in England on November 30, 1975, "Joke Over" subsequently aired in the United States on April 10, 1977.

Air date:

Noblesse Oblige

Summer, 1929: Georgina (Lesley-Anne Down has fallen in love with a handsome young marquis named Robert Stockbridge (Anthony Andrews). Despite her own lofty social standing, Georgina is looked down upon as "inferior" by Robert's aristocratic family. Meanwhile, the "downstairs" staff is again saddled with a troublesome new maid (Elaine Donnelly). Written by John Hawkesworth, "Noblesse Oblige" first aired in England on December 7, 1975, then in America on April 17, 1977.

Air date:

All the King's Horses

October, 1929: After making a killing in the American stock market, James Bellamy (Simon Williams) encourages the Bellamy household to get in on the gravy train. Impressed by James' enthusiasm, Rose (Jean Marsh) invests her life savings in a "sure thing." Inevitably, Rose, along with everyone else at Eaton Place, is wiped out by the Wall Street crash. Written by Jeremy Paul, "All the King's Horses" originally aired in England on December 14, 1975. Though the episode was made available to America's PBS stations on April 24, 1977, many markets ran it on May 1, 1977, due to their annual spring pledge drives.

Air date:

Whither Shall I Wander?

After five seasons and 68 hour-long episodes (only 55 of which were aired in the United States), the saga of Upstairs, Downstairs ended on a doleful note with the final episode, "Whither Shall I Wander?" In the summer of 1930, James Bellamy (Simon Williams) is dead, and the rest of the Bellamy household has been financially devastated by the Wall Street crash of 1929. To pay off James' creditors, it becomes necessary to sell 165 Eaton Place. Though most of the residents are philosophical about their reversal of fortune, Georgina (Lesley-Anne Down) faces an uncertain future, still wondering if she should marry the handsome Marquis of Stockbridge (Anthony Andrews). The final scene finds Rose (Jean Marsh) standing alone in the empty house, quietly and stoically reviewing the past 30 years in her mind. Written by John Hawkesworth, "Whither Shall I Wander" was originally telecast in England on December 21, 1975; most American PBS viewers first saw the episode on May 1, 1977.

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