23 October 2011 | frenchmonkeys
I didn't see the original series so this isn't a comparison.
I found this series to be quite compelling, and keenly await the second, though not at all what I expected.
There was more consideration of personal stories relating to the horror of fascism in Europe than being a story about the running of an upper class household, but it was utterly compelling. I think that three episodes wasn't enough.
Eileen Atkins gave an authoritative role as the lady dowager, but wasn't permitted sufficient screen time to make the role as intriguing as it could have been. The same is true for her secretary, played by Art Malik. Two star performances that were unable to fulfil themselves properly. I hope that the second series addresses this.
Adrian Scarborough fitted the role of the butler, Mr Pritchard, with aplomb, and I'd like to see his other credited roles.
Like others, I find the score to be more than a little weak, and in addition to the truncated nature of the story being covered in a mere three episodes, and of course, the lack of Maggie Smith, was why this wasn't the success that Downton Abbey is.
Hopefully the four episode second series will provide a better score and more chance for characters to develop, because there's a lot here that's worth exploring. In the meantime, I'll be viewing the original Upstairs, Downstairs: I want more, perhaps not in such a rush to tell a long story in a short time.