Monday, 27 February 2012

Upstairs Downstairs: S2 Ep1 - A Faraway Country About Which We Know Nothing

On TV: Sunday 19th February 2012
Channel: BBC One 9pm
Episode Type: 1/6
In 1 Sentence: The glamourous drama is back but is it as gripping as before?

BBC Summary: As 165 Eaton Place reopens its doors, two new arrivals make their mark. But whilst Sir Hallam's forthright Aunt Blanche disrupts life upstairs, feisty new maid Beryl struggles to adjust to life in service. Meanwhile, Lady Agnes' concern for her children reveals a dark secret about Mr Pritchard. Sir Hallam's preoccupation with burgeoning Nazi Germany leads him into dangerous waters, and a chance meeting with an unexpected face unlocks a hidden desire within.

My Review: Upstairs Downstairs was actually my first review here on Enthralled on New Years Eve 2012 (hopefully you’ll say I’ve improved since then!). And so it returns for a second series this time a little longer and on a bigger scale; last series was played over consecutive night making it ‘event television’, but this year it will be shown over six weeks. This change in broadcasting may give it a different feel as playing it over three nights made it an intense experience which fitted with the gorgeously warm glamour of the 30s. Perfect for a Sunday night you might say. Which is why I know the BBC have made the right decision with the changes as it’s just what we need on a cold february night with school/work the next morning!
But is it as good this time around? Well the old favourites are back and while it takes a little while to settle back in and remember the hierarchy it soon comes flooding back. In terms of the Downstairs staff I felt a little detached from them, but I’m sure they’ll come into prominence in later weeks as the war really gets going. 
Which is, coincidentally, how the show opened - with the introduction of the imminent second world war lingering over London which leads to Sir Hallam going off to Germany later in the episode to do his politics stuff. But that’s not what was most interesting about the trip as viewers were in for a surprise involving a family member there. 
Overall everything dazzled on screen and while the acting and plot weren’t outstanding they were beautiful enough for Sunday night viewing. Much more exciting than Call the Midwife, I look forward to more drama, secrets and betrayal...
Score: 8/10

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