I have a new obsession. After finishing Boardwalk Empire (how juicy was the finale!), Downton Abbey and Parade’s End I was in need of a new period drama to feast my eyes on. For quite a while now I’ve been desperately searching the internet for some way to watch the BBC remake of the 1970′s classic Upstairs Downstairs, to no avail. Until last week. On a rare Saturday night in, I switched on the box and lo and behold the ABC was airing the very first episode of season 1! I knew lady fate had a reason for making me stay away from the bottle that night.
For those who aren’t familiar with the show, it is basically the original Downton Abbey. The original 70′s version ran for 5 seasons and spanned between 1903 and 1930. It was set in a large townhouse in London and depicts the lives of the servants “downstairs” and their masters (the family) “upstairs”. The BBC series resumes the story of 165 Eaton Place (the fictional setting of both iterations of the programme) in 1936, six years after the original series concluded.
It centres around Sir Hallam Holland, a young diplomat, who moves into the townhouse along with his wife, Lady Agnes, in January 1936 shortly before the death of George V. They engage former parlourmaid Rose Buck, now running her own agency for domestic servants, to find them staff as they renovate the house to its former glory after years of being mothballed.
Along for the ride is also Lady Agnes’ fiery young sister Lady Persephone, who is a total babe but pretty deluded and has this juicy romance going on with the chauffer, but basically they get into some weird nazi/fascist shit. Sir Hallam’s overbearing widowed mother is AMAZZZE, and she moves herself into the house along with her Indian secretary (who is a sweetheart) and her pet monkey. Downstairs, there’s all your regular maid troubles, like ‘What will I do if the paper arrives late and I don’t have time to iron it before Sir Holland comes down for brekkie!’.
Watch the trailer for season one here for a taste.
I don’t know why it’s so hard to find good photos of the show, these snaps aren’t even the best and serrrrriously do not do the interiors/costumes justice. Honestly it is such a visual feast watching it is like eating three Christmas lunches in a row, if Christmas lunch consisted of mink furs, finger waves and art deco EVERYTHING.
To keep the ball rolling, check out this amaze shoot Karl Lagerfeld shot in the spirit of Upstairs Downstairs/Downton Abbey for Harpers Bazaar US September 2011 issue. It’s totally sexy.
I don’t know how I’m going to stay in every Saturday night from now on…