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Masterpiece Classic: Upstairs Downstairs, Series 2 - A Perfect Specimen Of Womanhood

Airs Sunday, October 21, 2012 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: Emilia Fox as Lady Portia Alresford and Alex Kingston as Dr. Blanche Mottershead in UPSTAIRS DOWNSTAIRS. Hallam’s Aunt Blanche appears in a lesbian novel by a former lover, sparking a scandal that threatens the good name of Eaton Place. Meanwhile, Agnes’s demands on the servants bring social worker to set her straight.

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.

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.

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.
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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.

Jean Marsh as Rose.
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Above: Jean Marsh as Rose.

Alex Kingston as Dr. Blanche Mottershead.
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Above: Alex Kingston as Dr. Blanche Mottershead.

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.

Shown from left to right: Alex Kingston as Blanche Mottershead, Art Malik as Mr. Amanjit, Laura Haddock as Beryl Ballard, Amy Metcalf as Eunice, Adrian Scarborough as Mr. Pritchard, Anne Reid as Mrs. Thackeray, Neil Jackson as Harry Spargo and Nico Mirallegro as Johnny Proude.
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Above: Shown from left to right: Alex Kingston as Blanche Mottershead, Art Malik as Mr. Amanjit, Laura Haddock as Beryl Ballard, Amy Metcalf as Eunice, Adrian Scarborough as Mr. Pritchard, Anne Reid as Mrs. Thackeray, Neil Jackson as Harry Spargo and Nico Mirallegro as Johnny Proude.

Claire Foy as Lady Persie Towyn.
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Above: Claire Foy as Lady Persie Towyn.

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 Perfect Specimen Of Womanhood" (Episode Three) airs Sunday, October 21 at 9 p.m. - Blanche comes face-to-face with her former lover when a scandalous novel is published; when the passion between the pair reignites, she begins to consider a life away from Eaton Place.

Downstairs, Beryl’s decision to take a stand causes serious disruptions in the running of the house until a familiar face offers wise words.

Meanwhile, when Lady Persie reveals a shocking secret to Sir Hallam, the pair becomes ever closer as Persie is forced to make a life-changing decision about her future.

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Video

Preview: Upstairs Downstairs, Series 2 - A Perfect Specimen Of Womanhood

Your browser does not support this object. Content can be viewed at actual source page: http://video.kpbs.org/video/2291089466

Watch Upstairs Downstairs Season 2: Episode 3 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Above: In the third episode of season two, Blanche endures a torrid scandal while Persie scrambles to avoid an explosive one.

Video

Preview: Masterpiece Classic: Upstairs Downstairs, Season 2

Your browser does not support this object. Content can be viewed at actual source page: http://video.kpbs.org/video/2283865073

Watch Upstairs Downstairs Season 2: Episode 2 Preview on PBS. See more from Masterpiece.

Above: In season two, luminaries arrive at 165 Eaton Place, a servant departs from downstairs, and a family member is in danger abroad.

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