The BEST Episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs

Every episode ever - ranked by fan votes!

Last Updated: Jul 5, 2020

Network: ITV1

Covering a span of 27 years (1903-1930), Upstairs, Downstairs follows the lives of the wealthy Bellamy family residing upstairs at 165 Eaton Place, London, as well as the lives of those employed in their service living downstairs. Richard Bellamy, the son of a poor parson, is married to Lady Marjorie, the daughter of the wealthy Earl and Countess of Southwold, whose family money provides for the Bellamy's lavish lifestyle. As an influential member of the Conservative party, the Earl secures a seat in Parliament for Richard, with the expectation that he will support conservative policies. He tries his best to please his wife's family but, being a Liberal at heart, Richard finds it's not always that easy. These political and financial differences are a reoccurring source of contention for the Bellamys. On the surface, the lives of the family living upstairs couldn't seem more different than those of the servants living below but, strangely enough, through the years their lives often intersect, becoming increasingly entwined as time goes by. The addition of real-life events, like the tragic sinking of the RMS Titanic and the horrors of World War I, incorporated into the storylines add a touch of authenticity and realism to the show.

A Special Mischief

#1 - A Special Mischief

Season 2 - Episode 10 - Aired Dec 29, 1972

While her parents are away, Elizabeth gets involved in the suffragette movement. Rose attempts to keep her out of trouble but the situation ends badly, requiring Elizabeth to seek help from Julius Karekin, an influential man she just met.

star 9.50
34 votes
Directors: Raymond Menmuir
Writers: Anthony Skene
All the King's Horses

#2 - All the King's Horses

Season 5 - Episode 15 - Aired Dec 14, 1975

(Audio commentary available on some DVDs). The Wall Street crash hits Eaton Place. October, 1929. After making a killing on Wall Street, James returns to England with his spirits renewed. His homecoming is a joyous one for the Bellamys, despite Richard's doubts as to the soundness of his son's speculations. Indeed, his fears are prophetical; the stock-market crash wipes out James and Rose, who invested her savings on the strength of James' advice. Enraged, Richard berates James over this and past failures, opening old and still painful wounds.

star 9.26
62 votes
Directors: Simon Langton
Writers: Jeremy Paul
Whither Shall I Wander?

#3 - Whither Shall I Wander?

Season 5 - Episode 16 - Aired Dec 21, 1975

(Audio commentary available on some DVDs). After nearly 30 years, the Bellamy saga ends with the sale of 165 Eaton Place and a fresh beginning for every member of the household.

star 9.25
63 votes
Directors: Bill Bain
Writers: John Hawkesworth
A Patriotic Offering

#4 - A Patriotic Offering

Season 4 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 14, 1974

Unable to communicate with the Belgian refugees they're expected to look after has left the staff feeling put out, frustrated, and angry. They want the refugees to leave but, after hearing their tragic stories, things change and they're sorry to see them go. Meanwhile, Edward is caught in the middle between those who love him and want him to be safe, and everyone else who make him feel guilty for not enlisting; but after hearing the refugees' stories, he decides to do what he thinks is right, and Daisy is not pleased.

star 9.23
86 votes
Directors: Derek Bennett
Writers: Rosemary Anne Sisson
Facing Fearful Odds

#5 - Facing Fearful Odds

Season 4 - Episode 12 - Aired Nov 30, 1974

Virginia Hamilton returns to Eaton Place, seeking Richard's advice for her son who is facing a court martial. Meanwhile, Edward is scheduled to go back to France, and James is wallowing in self-pity.

star 8.90
60 votes
Directors: Raymond Menmuir
Writers: John Hawkesworth
The Understudy

#6 - The Understudy

Season 5 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 9, 1975

On the eve of an important dinner party for a French diplomat, Hudson suffers a heart attack.

star 8.87
60 votes
Directors: James Ormerod
Writers: Jeremy Paul
Noblesse Oblige

#7 - Noblesse Oblige

Season 5 - Episode 14 - Aired Dec 7, 1975

Better the devil you know than the one you don't is the lesson Mrs. Bridges and Ruby learn after a terrible row. Upstairs, Lord Stockbridge proposes to Georgina, but there's a catch.

star 8.85
60 votes
Directors: Cyril Coke
Writers: John Hawkesworth
Will Ye No Come Back Again?

#8 - Will Ye No Come Back Again?

Season 5 - Episode 12 - Aired Nov 23, 1975

Hudson is back in his element when the Bellamys travel to Scotland for their summer holiday.

star 8.80
61 votes
Directors: Bill Bain
Writers: Rosemary Anne Sisson
The Wages of Sin

#9 - The Wages of Sin

Season 2 - Episode 12 - Aired Jan 12, 1973

With Sarah expecting his baby, she and Thomas are planning to wed, but concerns that the news might not be well received causes Sarah to claim a stranger is the father. Unaware of the truth, Lady Marjorie thinks Thomas is making a huge mistake and threatens to sack him unless he changes his mind, which he refuses to do. Later, when Thomas informs her they'll be working for a neighbor, Lady Marjorie fears they'll divulge the family secrets and demands Richard do something to ensure that doesn't happen.

star 8.73
33 votes
Writers: Anthony Skene
Peace Out of Pain

#10 - Peace Out of Pain

Season 4 - Episode 13 - Aired Dec 7, 1974

Rose receives excellent news, James is depressed about his slow recovery, Richard is courting Virginia, and the Great War is winding down to a victorious conclusion, but there's still one more casualty to be claimed.

star 8.67
85 votes
Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy
On with the Dance

#11 - On with the Dance

Season 5 - Episode 1 - Aired Sep 7, 1975

Eaton Place is enveloped with uncertainty. Edward and Daisy have moved on and been replaced with Frederick Norton, James' servant from the war, and Lily. The newlyweds, Richard and Virginia, and her children, Alica and William, have plans to move into their own home. There's not enough work to keep everyone busy and the house is far too large for James to live there alone, so he decides it's time to sell the house and gives the servants a month's notice.

star 8.66
87 votes
Directors: Bill Bain
Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy
The Property of a Lady

#12 - The Property of a Lady

Season 2 - Episode 6 - Aired Nov 24, 1972

Thomas is approached by a blackmailer who claims to have love letters from Lady Marjorie to Captain Hammond.

star 8.64
36 votes
Directors: Derek Bennett
Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy
The Joy Ride

#13 - The Joy Ride

Season 5 - Episode 4 - Aired Sep 28, 1975

When James buys a small airplane, Virginia defies Richard, putting the entire household through quite an ordeal.

star 8.62
86 votes
Directors: Bill Bain
Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy
The Hero's Farewell

#14 - The Hero's Farewell

Season 4 - Episode 10 - Aired Nov 16, 1974

Lady Prudence commandeers the Bellamy drawing room for a worthy cause. Another London bombing, another close call, and another tragedy is heaped upon the tattered nerves of those at Eaton Place.

star 8.54
87 votes
Directors: Bill Bain
Writers: Rosemary Anne Sisson
A Family Secret

#15 - A Family Secret

Season 3 - Episode 4 - Aired Nov 17, 1973

James has been secretly courting Hazel Forrest, and soon discovers she's a master at hiding secrets because she's been hiding a really big one from him.

star 8.45
59 votes
Directors: Derek Bennett
Writers: Alfred Shaughnessey
The Nine Days Wonder

#16 - The Nine Days Wonder

Season 5 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 2, 1975

The entire household comes together when a General Strike is called throughout Britain in May 1926

star 8.44
61 votes
Directors: Simon Langton
Writers: Jeremy Paul
An Object of Value

#17 - An Object of Value

Season 2 - Episode 9 - Aired Dec 15, 1972

After her father dies, Lady Marjorie has her mother, Lady Southwold come to Eaton Place. When a valuable broach goes missing, finger pointing causes a disruption throughout the household. Meanwhile, Thomas' hopes for a career change are dashed when his potential employer tries to impose himself on Sarah.

star 8.31
61 votes
Directors: Raymond Menmuir
Writers: Jeremy Paul
Missing Believed Killed

#18 - Missing Believed Killed

Season 4 - Episode 11 - Aired Nov 23, 1974

Grasping at straws, the Bellamy family continue to search for any information to indicate James is still alive, but when Trooper Frederick Norton, James' servant, arrives to deliver James' personal belongings, Hazel loses all hope.

star 8.29
85 votes
Writers: Jeremy Paul
If You Were the Only Girl in the World

#19 - If You Were the Only Girl in the World

Season 4 - Episode 7 - Aired Oct 26, 1974

Hazel has a little fling with Lt. Jack Dyson, whom she met at the tea party for wounded officers, and is seen by one of her lady acquaintances. James and Georgina meet in France and share a moment of passion.

star 8.28
87 votes
Directors: Raymond Menmuir
Writers: John Hawkesworth
A House Divided

#20 - A House Divided

Season 3 - Episode 2 - Aired Nov 3, 1973

When none of the family members are listed among the Titanic survivors, they must be presumed dead and the entire household goes into mourning. When routine household tasks begin to fall through the cracks, Hazel steps up to help whenever she sees a need. Her thoughtful effort is lost on the servants who feel like she's imposing herself into their lives and trying to take Lady Marjorie's place. It also causes concern for her parents who seem to think the Bellamys will soon have Hazel mopping floors. Everyone is stunned when an unexpected visitor arrives.

star 8.26
87 votes
Writers: Rosemary Anne Sisson
A Place in the World

#21 - A Place in the World

Season 5 - Episode 2 - Aired Sep 14, 1975

After James' Letter to the Editor garners strong public approval. the conservative Tory party, hoping to cash in on his moment of popularity, invite him to run for Parliament as a Tory. James accepts but everyone soon realizes that his progressive views for moving the country forward are not aligned with the party views which want to go back to the way things were before the war. Meanwhile, Edward and Daisy are struggling financially but realize they have friends who love them at Eaton Place.

star 8.26
87 votes
Writers: Jeremy Paul
Wanted: A Good Home

#22 - Wanted: A Good Home

Season 5 - Episode 5 - Aired Oct 5, 1975

Spring 1922: When William goes off to Prep School, Rose gets Alice a new puppy so she won't be lonely, but when Richard and Virginia go on holiday and leave Miss Treadwell in charge, the entire staff lines up against her when she tries to dispose of the "filthy creature".

star 8.21
86 votes
Writers: John Hawkesworth
Another Year

#23 - Another Year

Season 4 - Episode 9 - Aired Nov 9, 1974

This difficult year finally comes to bumpy close. Helen and Richard meet Mrs. Charles Hamilton who wants Richard to help get her pet project off the ground. Edward is home on leave but all is not well. A bombing in London brings a familiar face back to Eaton Place.

star 8.01
85 votes
Directors: Cyril Coke
Writers: Alfred Shaughnessy
Home Fires

#24 - Home Fires

Season 4 - Episode 6 - Aired Oct 19, 1974

The reappearance of Gregory Wilmot throws Rose into a tailspin. Lady Prudence butts heads with Helen over a tea party for wounded officers.

star 8.01
86 votes
Directors: Bill Bain
Writers: Jeremy Paul
A Suitable Marriage

#25 - A Suitable Marriage

Season 1 - Episode 5 - Aired Nov 7, 1971

December 1905: Elizabeth falls for a young German baron, whom her father is suspicious of. Richard quickly uncovers the Baron's secret, but as it turns out, Baron Klaus von Rimmer is hiding another secret, which Rose accidentally stumbles upon. The events of the evening compel one of the servants to betray not only the family, but the country as well.

star 8.00
115 votes
Directors: Joan Kemp-Welch
Writers: Jeremy Paul