Upstairs Downstairs was a great show to work on, fun , relaxed , with a great cast and crew.
The first day on set there was a Tech Strike. The techs would not work in color unless they got more money so we filmed the first 6 episodes in black and white.
I didn’t come back until Rose’s Pigeon, which is still going out after all these years. Upstairs Downstairs is still a well loved show.
Rose’s Pigeon was an intense episode, emotionally exhausting, and at times filmed in narrow quarters.
It was so good to be reunited with so many of the other actors from the previous episodes, and there was an upbeat atmosphere, mingled with an intensity dictated by the writing and subject material of the episode.
‘The constable' who wrestled me out from my hiding place, dislocated my shoulder during one of the last shots. Everything was high strung, and tense. We were all very much into what our charters were portraying. Everyone had gotten so into their roles. I didn’t realize what had happened until almost a half an hour after the shot was completed. And then IT HURT !!!
John Hawkesworth the Producer and Co-Creator of Upstairs Downstairs , and I worked together on The Gold Robbers. After Upstairs Downstairs we worked together again in a series called QED, filmed in England for American television, for CBS . Sam Waterston and I worked on it. It goes out as The Mastermind in England now.
Upstairs Downstairs was really a high quality show, especially for its time, when most shows were taped rather than filmed. There were high quality props, clothes, lighting and camera shots.
Angela Baddeley and Gordon Jackson and Jean Marsh would always bring delicious treats in for us during the rehearsals. Angela made cakes for us. Rehearsals were an absolute delight.
One of the favorite actresses on the show (she shall rename nameless) was quite nearsighted. She told me a story that happened to her during our show but not on our show.
She was called in to a Producers office for an interview on a part . Taking off her glasses she walked into the interview room. As she made her way across the floor, she saw a lovely little cat in the middle of the floor and exclaimed..
.”Oh a kitty, I love cats”. She bent down to stroke its ear only to discover it was a paper bag in the middle of the floor. She was not called back for the part. But she sure is a good actress and considerable fun to work with.