It's an ancestor to fan favorite Downton Abbey.

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If you're anything like us, you can't wait for the Downton Abbey film to hit theaters, which it's set to do later this year. Cue the British period dramas. We have plenty of recommendations in that department, and one of our perennial favorites just happens to have a great deal in common with Downton Abbey.

Have you watched Upstairs Downstairs? The first iteration of the series aired in the UK from 1971 to 1975. It's set in a well-to-do home in London's Belgravia neighborhood during the first half of the twentieth century, when the aristocratic residents of the home and the members of staff who work there live through a period of great change. The series stars Gordon Jackson, David Langton, Jean Marsh, Angela Baddeley, Christopher Beeny, and Jenny Tomasin.

But Upstairs Downstairs didn't exactly end in 1975. Decades later, an Upstairs Downstairs reboot was produced by Masterpiece and the BBC. It premiered in 2010 and aired for two seasons. It stars Keeley Hawes, Ed Stoppard, Adrian Scarborough, Neil Jackson, Anne Reid, Claire Foy, Art Malik, and Dame Eileen Atkins, who co-created the original 1970s Upstairs Downstairs series alongside Jean Marsh (who also starred as Rose in the original series).


The 2010 BBC version picks up where the fifth and final season of the 1970s version left off. Amazon describes it this way, "It's 1936, and six years since parlor maid Rose left Eaton Place, fate brings her back as housekeeper to its new owners, Sir Hallam and his wife Lady Agnes. Rose soon finds she has her work cut out as she recruits a new 'downstairs' family to help run the elegance and finery if the 'upstairs' world, it soon becomes apparent there lies a labyrinth of secrets, lies and scandal."

Both versions of Upstairs Downstairs—the original and the sequel—are currently available to stream via Amazon.

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Is Upstairs Downstairs one of your favorite British dramas? What shows have you been watching and enjoying lately?