Disc News: Upstairs, Downstairs comes complete in March.

PBS made its name in the early ’70s for three things: Sesame Street, The Watergate Trials and high brow English dramas. The crown of the early years was Upstairs, Downstairs. The series proved there was an audience for something that wasn’t full of explosions, bleach blondes and man candy. Now the complete collection of all five seasons is coming out for folks who want something better than pregnant teens, dancing reality stars and screaming politicos. Here’s the press release form Acorn Media:

Iconic British series seen on Masterpiece Theatre and A&E

Featuring more than 25 hours of never-before-seen bonus material
New BBC revival starring Jean Marsh in her original role begins April 10th on PBS

UPSTAIRS, DOWNSTAIRS COMPLETE SERIES: 40TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

On DVD March 29, 2011

“Great fun and marvelous television” – New York Times
“One of the brightest gems ever to come over the ocean from the British”- Washington Post

Silver Spring, MD – The most popular and successful British drama series in television history, Upstairs, Downstairs Complete Series: 40th Anniversary Edition arrives on DVD from Acorn Media on March 29, 2011, featuring more than 25 hours of never-before-seen extras and collectible packaging with gold foil. Winner of seven Emmy Awards, two BAFTAs, a Golden Globe, and a Peabody, Upstairs, Downstairs tells the epic saga of life in Edwardian England. The series inspired the recent hit Downton Abbey and the contemporary and highly-anticipated BBC revival of the same name beginning on PBS’ Masterpiece Classic on April 10th. The beloved ITV drama series captivated viewers for five heart-tugging, humorous and satisfying seasons from 1971 to 1975, and has been seen by a billion people in 40 countries worldwide. The 21-disc collection contains all five series, in addition to a 5-part behind-the-scenes documentary, 24 episode commentaries, 25th anniversary retrospective, interviews with the stars and creators, and much more ($199.99; www.AcornOnline.com).

Upstairs: the wealthy, aristocratic Bellamys. Downstairs: their loyal and lively servants. For nearly 30 years, they share a fashionable townhouse at 165 Eaton Place in London’s posh Belgravia neighborhood, surviving social change, political upheaval, scandals, and the horrors of the First World War.

The ensemble cast of top British actors includes Jean Marsh (Agatha Christie’s The Pale Horse), Pauline Collins (Shirley Valentine), David Langton (The Spoils of War), Gordon Jackson (The Professionals), Simon Williams (Sword of Honour), and Lesley-Anne Down (North and South).

Bonus Features: 5-part documentary, The Making of Upstairs, Downstairs; 24 episode commentaries; 25th anniversary retrospective, Upstairs, Downstairs Remembered; interviews with the stars, composer, and editor; alternate pilot episode; essay by star and co-creator Jean Marsh; and more.

Acorn Media will concurrently release Upstairs, Downstairs, Series 1 and Series 2 as 4-Disc standalone sets ($49.99). Series 3 (4-Disc, $49.99), Series 4 (4-Disc, $49.99), and Series 5 (5-Disc, $49.99) will be released later in 2011.

Street Date: March 29, 2011 SRP: $199.99
DVD 21-Disc Set: 68 episodes on 20 discs, plus bonus disc – Approx. 57 hrs., plus bonus – SDH subtitles

Available at Amazon.com.

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