The end to an incredibly great series
Lisa H | Foster City, CA USA | 12/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I watched this 16 hour-set in a mini-marathon over a four-day period (having seen many episodes of this and the other seasons on a piecemeal basis over the years). By the fifth season, the writers and cast were at their best and truly knew and understood the characters. The writers also seemed to reach the optimal balance between the Upstairs (aristocracy) and Downstairs (servants) characters. These episodes are all superb.The aftermath of WW1, the Roaring '20s and the stock market crash of 1929 are the great events affecting the characters in this fifth series. If you're a fan of the series, these closing episodes are a must. If you're interested in the early 20th century history, this series realistically shows how some people were affected by the events. And if you just enjoy good drama (i.e., PBS's Masterpiece Theatre), you'll love all five series of Upstairs Downstairs. Highly recommended."
Sags a Bit, But Still Great
John D. Cofield | 09/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The fifth season of Upstairs Downstairs runs from 1919 to 1930. It is my least favorite series, because 165 Eaton Place just doesn't seem to belong in the Roaring Twenties. Even so, there are some fine moments, but there is a pathos over the whole series. Its like everyone in the cast and crew knew this was going to be the last series and everyone was a bit depressed. Georgina is not very convincing as a flapper, especially when you realize that she'd be in her mid thirties by the time she finally gets married and settles down. The best caste members are Virginia, Lady Bellamy and incorrigible old James, who is as irresponsible as ever. The series ends with the onset of the Great Depression, and the final scenes, as Rose walks through the empty rooms, are unbearably sad."
It Just Gets Better
Dr. Rita Bigel-Casher | New York, New York United States | 02/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When television was reaching for the stars this series which lasted 5 years was like a rocketship in the anals of entertainment. Thirty years later it is still totally absorbing, sophisticated, and fun to watch. It is a classic that my husband and I re-visited recently over a period of several months. If you missed Upstairs Downstairs in the '70's don't miss it now if you can help it. A combination of a British soap opera, classical drama and comedy, we got totally involved in the family upstairs, and the second family of servants, downstairs. It's a hoot."
Not as good as the previous four seasons....
SereneNight | California, USA | 06/05/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I enjoyed the Final season, but I didn't care for it as much as the previous four seasons. Season Five, felt almost as though the writers knew the series was ending and they didn't need to 'try' so hard to pull it off. Several characters change radically: Daisy becomes a nagging shrew, and kitchenmaid Ruby shows a 'spark' of the original character design in that she is a bit 'larcenous,' (claiming in the end, that she planned to outlive Mr. Hudson and Mrs. Bridges and inherit the business).Favorite episode was: "Will they no come back again?" where the staff and master James and the rest go to Scotland for vacation. Hudson manages to handle things with his usual aplomb and dignity, and the staff are forced to confront a mysterious 'ghost.'The ending, I felt was sad and almost 'tacked on.' I would've liked a more 'happier ending' than the one which was given. Overall, while I enjoyed season five, it lacked the vitality and hopefullness of season four.... And, at least for me, has far less 'rewatch-ability.'"