Tag Archives: Art Malik

Upstairs Downstairs

On returning to 165 Eaton Place I felt awfully confused. It was a mere year since we were last there. How could I have forgotten? And how come that woman looked so familiar, while still leaving me wondering who on earth she might be?

Upstairs Downstairs

So, encountering River Song back in 1938 was perfectly normal. They do time travel in Cardiff, after all. It’s thanks to nerdy Daughter that I now know they weren’t in London at all, but in Cardiff. It would explain the Resident IT Consultant’s concern over the hill in the park. No such hills in central London.

But what had happened to the old woman? And did they already have a child? I had no recollection of him at all. Not to mention the lack of a housekeeper. But, I slowly found my footing again and it was fun.

Not as fun as Downton Abbey, which of course is the thing that has come between us and messed with my brain and my memories. But you just don’t kill off the dowagers! And why bring out the ‘shameful’ sister only when she can be a nuisance, rather than a member of the family like everyone else?

Upstairs Downstairs

Where Downton is soapy, Upstairs Downstairs is probably more ‘realistic.’ Fewer servants seems more normal. Having the butler cook dinner in a tight spot makes sense. And then there is the war. The Kindertransport brought tears to our eyes, with Kristallnacht bringing reality home.

Upstairs Downstairs

At the risk of sounding too fluffy, there is also the gorgeous Art Deco interiors and the dresses to be considered. Not to mention J F Kennedy being sick. Was it the oysters?

Upstairs Downstairs

I was never a regular viewer of the old Upstairs Downstairs. Not sure why. I think I was of an age when it sounded boring. But you still knew a lot about it, even in distant and foreign lands like mine. And it’s not every servant who makes it onto Sesame Street. (Put down the ducky?)

We enjoyed the new mini series over Christmas. The Resident IT Consultant cried at all the right times, while the Grandmother fell asleep.

I like Art Malik, but you wonder at the apparent shortage of Asian actors. Was quite taken with him without the turban, flowing beard and all. I often wonder about those things.

Not too keen on Keeley Hawes, but thought Ed Stoppard did a passable job. And we got a history lesson, having to sort out the order of princes available for becoming King, but I do wonder about the gravelly street. In fact, when I start wondering about authenticity I know I need to stop before I get grumpy.

The Guardian had a piece about people enjoying the idea of having servants rather too much, forgetting that most likely we would all be the servants. I’m sure we can rise above that notion and learn something from both Upstairs and Downstairs. I’d have hated being a servant, but I really wouldn’t have liked having servants around at all times, either.

But a nice 1930s dress would be welcome, as would the china. And the radios and the car.

Poirot v Branagh

Well, well, well. Hadn’t expected that at all. I had expected a slight problem deciding which to watch and which to record, when Poirot came head-to-head with Branagh’s Wallander on Sunday night. But when discussing the logistics, it soon became evident that the witch household wanted to watch Poirot, and could see no point in even recording Branagh.

Oh dear.

So we settled down to our third fresh Agatha Christie in eight days. The Christmas effect…

Martin Shaw was lovely, despite being the one who did it. In fact, he was lovelier than he usually is, so maybe we want him bad more often. (Though how on earth can you have a retired actor going round doing the work of the police? Private detective I can understand, but an idiotic actor?)

And Art Malik. He could have hung around a bit longer before snuffing it.

This was pretty good, and didn’t feel as silly as some ITV ‘based on’ episodes. I watched the Peter Ustinov and Tony Curtis film not long ago, and that really was weird. Tony Curtis was running around wearing shorts most of the time, so Martin Shaw was far more dignified. I almost wanted him to get away with it.