By Richard Marson
As a child, Richard Marson was fascinated by and fell in love with Upstairs, Downstairs. Years later, when he was himself working in the television industry, he produced and directed the 25th anniversary documentary about the series. This led him to research and write what he hoped would be the ultimate book about the making of a major TV drama, from first idea to final frame.
For this special edition of that book, he has revisited the original text to fully revise and update it, unearthing a plethora of new information and tracking down some important new contributors. The book is packed with rare photographs and illustrations, many in colour, from the archives of those who worked on the production. It also includes the first publication of Rosemary Anne Sisson’s long lost screenplay for the proposed Upstairs, Downstairs film, as well as the original document which first sold the idea for the programme and a charming short story, written by producer John Hawkesworth, in which Christmas comes to 165 Eaton Place.
Some comments from those who made the series:
“Excellent...very true, accurate, well researched and interesting.” –, Script Editor
“It’s incredibly impressive. Amazing. I’m actually quite in awe.” –, Hazel
“A book that really gets under the skin of Upstairs Downstairs - the mood, the detail and the good times.” –, James
“What a terrific achievement...extensive and meticulous research so carefully put together. It is an invaluable chronicle of the series.” –, Daisy
“It brought back all the good memories. I’m glad others look back at that time with the same warmth that I do.” –, Emily
“You really do have a knack of presenting facts in such an interesting way, and that’s not just because I was so closely involved.” –, Director
“Extraordinary achievement – fascinating to read. What a blast!” –, Director
“Precise and exhaustive research is matched by a shrewd but affectionate and sensitive delineation of the characters of all those involved. And out of this, the remarkable magic of Upstairs, Downstairs somehow emerges...” –Writer
“Really well done with the book. You did a great job. It is a true, honest and highly entertaining account.” –and , Writers
“Your diligency, the amount of research and detail make it very interesting to read. It was like re-living the series again.”, Make-Up Designer
“Both accurate and thoughtful. I don’t agree with everything – but who could? Well done!” –, Executive Producer
“I think it is very good and very fair. Well done, it can’t have been easy.” –, Producer