Starting Sunday, PBS revisits a piece of its own history, with an update/extension of Upstairs Downstairs on Masterpiece. I’ll admit not being a rabid fan of the original in the first place, but TIME film critic Mary Pols wrote an appreciation of the original on its 40th anniversary, while looking forward to the new edition. I’ll agree with her that the update, which takes place in 1936, seems a little superfluous (as opposed to this year’s Downton Abbey, a similar story that had its own distinct take on class and change in the Edwardian era).
Writes Pols, “If it weren’t for [Jean] Marsh, and the delight of seeing [Eileen] Atkins tromping around with a pet monkey and a cigarette holder, the new series would feel completely unnecessary. It’s not blasphemy, and there’s glitzy fun in there, but it is not nearly as tender and true as the original.”
The original, meanwhile, is available in a DVD set now. Will you be buzzing the new version for service?