Rhode Island PBS brings you yet another high quality period drama, Upstairs Downstairs, on Friday nights at 9 on Masterpiece Classic. On October 26, we air the entire three hours of the first season from 2010. The new six-hour season for 2012, continues the story and airs in two-hour segments on November 2, 9 and 16.
Here is a synopsis of each season:
It's 1936, and 165 Eaton Place sees its first stirrings of life after years of neglect when the house's new master, Sir Hallam Holland, and his wife, Lady Agnes, cross the threshold. Though dust shrouds every surface, Lady Agnes is stirred to proclaim, "This house is going to see such life!" And with relish, she sets about an extravagant restoration and enlists the help of a staffing agency and its owner, former longtime 165 Eaton Place housemaid, Rose Buck. Rose brings her cherished memories and high standards to the project, assembling a motley staff ranging from seasoned snobs to fledgling teens. Upstairs, the unexpected arrival of Hallam's mother, Lady Maud — returning from India with a Sikh secretary and a monkey in tow — introduces both eccentricity and tension as she interferes with Agnes's management of the house. Somewhat in over her head in her new position, Agnes is further tested upon the arrival of her devil-may-care younger sister, Lady Persie.
In the year before WWII, 165 Eaton Place reopens its doors and welcomes viewers back into the lives of its inhabitants, upstairs and down. Lady Agnes and Sir Hallam’s family is now complete with the addition of two small children, but Sir Hallam is drawn into dangerous waters by his preoccupation with the threat of Nazi Germany and the return of troubled Lady Persie. Lady Agnes catches the eye of charismatic American multi-millionaire Casper Landry, and Sir Hallam’s aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead, has made herself comfortable in the house after Lady Maud’s death. Meanwhile, life downstairs adjusts to the absence of Rose and the addition of the spirited new nursery maid, Beryl. With upstairs and downstairs harboring life-changing secrets, and the menace of war creeping ever closer, the smooth running of Eaton Place threatens to come to a halt.