It was cancelled after two seasons. They're saying it couldn't compete with Downtown Abbey even thought the two shows were nothing alike.
I wish BBC had given it more time. Downton Abbey is an old money fantasy that hides away in a country manor with very little references to any real-world situations or actual function in society. They occasionally reference historical issues but no one really seems connected to them.
Upstairs/Downstairs on the other hand, had a politician who was seeing WWII unfold, while messing around with his uptight wife's bad younger sister...and an OUT Lesbian Step-sister ... who all lived in London dealing with day to day realities on the brink of war.
Season 2 two ended with London about to be bombed. I would have loved to see this show go into the war.
And that Duke was totally gay too. I wonder if they were ever going to explore that.
Oh, and it strikes me as ironic that they brought in Alex Kingston as a lesbian supposedly in order to "sex up" the show - then they turn around and gave her the most dowdy, unflattering make up, bad hair and basically all around unsexiest look I've EVER seen this actress wear in any performance ever.
I thought it got a rougher ride than it deserved as well. Agnes was really gelling into an interesting character. The problem for me was the Downstairs people were so goddamn boring. Downton has a better cast of servants and they're more interesting.
[quote]Oh, and it strikes me as ironic that they brought in Alex Kingston as a lesbian supposedly in order to "sex up" the show - then they turn around and gave her the most dowdy, unflattering make up, bad hair and basically all around unsexiest look I've EVER seen this actress wear in any performance ever.
We're talking about an academic English lesbian in the thirties. You were expecting Jean Harlow?
I loved it and I agree OP. I would've loved to see more of it.
[quote]We're talking about an academic English lesbian in the thirties. You were expecting Jean Harlow?
I get that but... this is Alex Kingston. She doesn't need to be Jean Harlow to be so hot but they went out of their way to make this character unattractive. They hid her whole body in overcoats and ruined her hair.
As far as the downstairs... they were starting to pick up . Prichard's alcoholism - for fear fo the war- and Percy's spy drama and suicide made the drama of the last episode worth watching.
I didn't expect to like Alex Kingston on the show but I really did. She had a directness and practicality that was terribly English. I had the feeling the lesbian storyline was pretty half hearted.
[quote] with very little references to any real-world situations or actual function in society.
except the Great War
It took too long to get the sequel underway, and Jean Marsh and Eileen Atkins were just too old to drive it well. The terrible producer and the silly scripts killed it. Atkins fled the second season because of the ridiculous plotting - intended to update the treatment but ultimately betraying the vision of the series. The second season was hopelessly tawdry and stupid.
I don't think the reboot was that great and can live with the cancellation. What bothers me more is the prospect that a future, better, reboot/sequel is now probably out of the question.
The reboot may have received better acceptance if they had brought in more familiar characters - in a plausible way. Elizabeth Bellamy could have come to England to purchase back the house. Or maybe just someone of Virgina's kids etc.
R8 is right - it was a disaster. I wanted it to be a success. The producer, Heidi Thomas, is to blame. She made the bad decisions - everyone of them. What a shame. I don't know why she went so wrong on this one. She has had many successful productions. I am no fan of Call the Midwife, but Cranford, Ballet Shoes and Lilies were all good. Lilies was mean-spirited, though, and didn't get a second season.
The original Upstairs, Downstairs ended up being a completed tale. The central character had died and the others went their several ways in the final episode. The story was told. It never needed a sequel.
I loved it. It was up-and-down the first season, but the second was terrific. Can't believe they didn't renew.
Loved the actress who played the cook, and the story about her ungrateful nephew.