Upstairs Downstairs

A Perfect Specimen of Womanhood

Series 2 - Episode 3 A Perfect Specimen of Womanhood

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Review

Silly, vain Lady Agnes (Keeley Hawes) is making the lives of her servants a misery, what with her demands for egg-whites for her hair (it’s the protein) and her arbitrary rearranging of staff duties. But her insistence that Beryl and Eunice don shorts to do calisthenics is the final straw. Beryl can stand it no longer.

But it’s turmoil above stairs that threatens life as we know it at 165 Eaton Place when archaeologist Blanche Mottershead (Alex Kingston) swoons in the presence of a former lover. The fact that the object of her affections is a woman (Emilia Fox), who’s just written a thinly disguised novel about their forbidden affair, rocks everyone. “It’s in the Express!” wails Horrible Hallam at breakfast. And thus scandal breaks.

Summary

The house is rocked by controversy when the publication of a scandalous novel exposes Blanche's unconventional lifestyle, bringing the doctor face to face with the author of the book and her former lover Lady Portia Alresford. But when the passion between the pair reignites, the doctor becomes conflicted. Meanwhile, Persie reveals a shocking secret to Hallam, and Beryl's workload prompts her to take a stand - until a familiar old face appears to offer a few wise words. Emilia Fox guest stars, with Alex Kingston, Jean Marsh, Ed Stoppard and Claire Foy.

Cast & Crew

Mrs Rose Buck Jean Marsh
Lady Agnes Holland Keeley Hawes
Sir Hallam Holland Ed Stoppard
Dr Blanche Mottershead Alex Kingston
Mrs Clarice Thackeray Anne Reid
Lady Persephone Towyn Claire Foy
Mr Warwick Pritchard Adrian Scarborough
Mr Amanjit Singh Art Malik
Duke of Kent Blake Ritson
Harry Spargo Neil Jackson
Johnny Proude Nico Mirallegro
Beryl Ballard Laura Haddock
Eunice McCabe Ami Metcalf
Lady Portia Alresford Emilia Fox
Director Anthony Byrne
Producer Ann Tricklebank
Writer Heidi Thomas
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Drama