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MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: Upstairs Downstairs, Season 2: A Faraway Country About Which We Know Nothing

Airs Sunday, October 7, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Credit: Courtesy of (c) Jane Hilton/BBC for MASTERPIECE

Above: The cast of MASTERPIECE CLASSIC: UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, Season 2. The saga continues at 165 Eaton Place, with new characters upstairs and down, in a six-part sequel to the much-loved MASTERPIECE series. Set in 1936, the lives of masters and servants have never been so captivating, as two new arrivals make their mark and Lady Agnes reveals a dark secret.

Original Series Tribute

Who were your favorite characters from the original UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS? View a slideshow featuring the most beloved characters and relive some of the most iconic scenes.

While Europe teeters on the brink of war, life goes on upstairs and downstairs at 165 Eaton Place— elegant, serious, sexy, and chaotic as ever—on UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS, the second season of the Emmy®-nominated sequel to the long-running PBS series, airing six episodes on Sundays, October 7 - November 11, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS Television.

The returning cast includes Keeley Hawes ("Wives and Daughters") as Lady Agnes Holland, the beautiful mistress at 165 Eaton Place, Ed Stoppard ("Brideshead Revisited") as her diplomat husband, Sir Hallam, and Claire Foy ("Little Dorrit") as Agnes’s obsessively defiant sister, Persie, who is in love with fascist politics and Nazis in particular.

Repeating their roles downstairs are Anne Reid ("Bleak House") as the fractious gourmet cook, Mrs. Thackeray, Adrian Scarborough ("Cranford") as the resourceful butler, Mr. Pritchard, Neil Jackson ("Quantum of Solace") as the beefy chauffeur, Harry Spargo, and Art Malik ("Jewel In The Crown") as Amanjit Singh, the private secretary to Hallam’s recently deceased mother (played last season by Eileen Atkins).

Jean Marsh ("Sense and Sensibility"), who was star and co-creator of the original "Upstairs Downstairs" and also of the sequel, appears in the new season in a cameo role.

Guest stars include Alex Kingston (ER, "Moll Flanders") as Hallam’s freethinking aunt, Dr. Blanche Mottershead, Emilia Fox ("Rebecca") as Blanche’s former lover, Lady Portia Alresford, and Michael Landes ("Final Destination 2") as the American self-made millionaire Caspar Landry, whose latest venture is nylon hosiery—a convenient lure in his quest to seduce a certain aristocratic English- woman.

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.

"A Faraway Country About Which We Know Nothing" (Episode One) airs Sunday, October 7 at 9 p.m. - As 165 Eaton Place reopens its doors, two new arrivals make their mark. Sir Hallam’s forthright aunt, Blanche, disrupts life upstairs, while 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 Nazi Germany leads him into dangerous waters, and a chance meeting unlocks a hidden desire.

MASTERPIECE is on Facebook, and you can follow @masterpiecepbs on Twitter.

Preview: Masterpiece Classic: Upstairs Downstairs, Season 2

Upstairs Downstairs, Season 2: A Scene from Episode 1

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