If you've noticed I haven't posted an abundance of new writing in April you'd be correct. Oh, I'm still busy as heck trying to create enough of my new Hub Pages to make it a worthwhile resource, but April has been a down month for me in terms of research time. Those precious hours are being eaten up by my most recent DVD purchase, the entire 5 season run of Upstairs, Downstairs, the original from the early 1970's, not the newer run (though that's bound to happen next).
I'd never seen any of Upstairs, Downstairs before, though I'd certainly heard about it. Currently I've just made my way through the Spring of 1925 in Season 5, so I should reach the end of my journey by sometime this weekend at the latest. I must admit it all started a bit slow and during Season 1 I found myself admiring the Edwardian culture being shown more than the characters or storylines. Somewhere along the line that changed with my becoming completely hooked during Season 4, which chronicled the World War I years.
But sometime before that, the Titanic perhaps, I fell hard for the show, and I think I know why:
1) Nobody's safe, Upstairs, Downstairs happily killed off or made to disappear anybody at anytime, regardless of status in the house or in the cast.
2) I find myself upset from time to time with even my favorite characters as every so often they become petty or annoying -- or human. Lady Marjorie, cool your engines, girl!; Watkins, you seem like a decent fellow, but I'm not too sure; Rose, how could you swipe that opportunity out from under Daisy; Edward, calm down, at least you have work!; Mr. Hudson behave yourself, pull yourself together man!
Perhaps it's too soon, after all, there are about 9 episodes left for me to watch, but I think if I had to pick right now my favorite character would be the Bellamy family patriarch, Richard, played by David Langton. He seems at times to be the most human of the lot, perhaps because he married into the Southwold riches, as well as sometimes one of the least human, usually because of his political involvement. He very often comes across as the voice of common sense, usually amongst the younger Bellamy household members, and he also seems to have much more understanding towards the group of servants downstairs.
Of course with the years flying by in Season 5, and Richard being the eldest of the group, I'm a little worried about what might happen to my favorite character over these final 9 episodes (don't spoil it for me until the calendar flips to May please!), but at least he's had a long life, longer than some others who've shared the Bellamy name.
I haven't touched any of the extras on the Upstairs, Downstairs set yet, but will likely make my way through them after watching the final episode, perhaps even reporting on it a little more here after having absorbed everything.
I know Upstairs, Downstairs comes a bit later than nearly all of the topics covered on this site, but it's 19-oughts to 30's setting makes it a perfect fit for my own interests, so perhaps you'll feel the same. I wasn't familiar with many of the cast members before watching, except Lesley-Anne Down, but clicking through their IMDb pages I got a kick out of discovering that Raymond Huntley, the actor who played the very stiff Sir Geoffrey Dillon, Southwold family lawyer, was the first to play Dracula on the stage in 1924!
Shoot, I just found Thomas and Sarah and Amazon has it on sale! I think I know my next purchase.