Backstairs with Upstairs, Downstairs

Patty Lou Floyd, Author St. Martin's Press $15.95 (180p) ISBN 978-0-312-00996-0
An estimated one-billion viewers in 70 countries watched the British PBS/TV presentations of Upstairs, Downstairs. Floyd, an Oklahoma freelance writer who was granted access to producer John Hawkesworth and others responsible for the series, here files an absorbing report, marred slightly by her intrusively arch tone. She makes clear that excellent writing, directing, editing and acting distinguished the weekly episodes, but that the vital element in the series' success was the authentic representation of human beings adhering to a class code by which masters and servants coexisted. Beginning in the serene Edwardian era, events at the imposing Belgravia Square address move forward through the 1920s when ""the walls were breached''; the ``for sale'' sign went up outside 165 Eaton Place in 1929. Now that the series has been re-released in the U.S., the book should enjoy a wide readership. The pages are packed with details about the Bellamys, Mrs. Bridges, Rose, Hudson et al., including an amended script of their final tragedy, and synopses of the program's 55 episodes. Photos not seen by PW. (May)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1988
Release date: 01/01/1988
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