Aired Sunday September 30th, 2012 at 8:00 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Upstairs Downstairs Season 2
While Europe teeters on the brink of war, life goes on upstairs and downstairs at 165 Eaton Place— elegant, serious, sexy, and chaotic as ever—on Upstairs Downstairs Season 2,the second season of the Emmy-nominated sequel to the long-running PBS series, coming to KUED beginning Sundauyl October 7 at 8:00 p.m.
Leading up to season 2, KUED will repeat the entire first season Sunday, September 30 from 8:00 to 11:00 p.m.
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 as Lady Agnes Holland, the beautiful mistress at 165 Eaton Place; Ed Stoppard as her diplomat husband, Sir Hallam; and Claire Foy 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 as the fractious gourmet cook, Mrs. Thackeray; Adrian Scarborough as the resourceful butler, Mr. Pritchard; Neil Jackson as the beefy chauffeur, Harry Spargo; and Art Malikas Amanjit Singh, the private secretary to Hallam’s recently deceased mother.
Guest stars include Alex Kingston as Hallam’s freethinking aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead; Emilia Fox, as Blanche’s former lover, Lady Portia Alresford; and Michael Landes 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 English-woman.
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; the notoriously hedonistic Duke of Kent, youngest brother to the king; and British Foreign Secretary Lord Halifax, who was later to concede the contest to become wartime prime minister to Winston Churchill.
Hallam’s post as Principal Private Secretary to Halifax, and earlier to Anthony Eden, parallels the career of the real-life Oliver Harvey, who kept a riveting diary about the bitter dissension in England’s inner circle on how to deal with Hitler, a plot element that moves steadily to center stage in Upstairs Downstairs Season 2.
The series also addresses other burning issues of the day: lesbianism, adultery, and sexual license in high places; conscientious objectors; home-grown fascism; war mobilization; and the lure of America—its money, style, and apparent safety an ocean away, far from the drumbeat of war.
Meanwhile, as Europe flirts with catastrophe, many just flirt.
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