Upstairs, Downstairs

Season 1 Episode 11

The Swedish Tiger

0
Aired Unknown Feb 20, 1972 on ITV
3.8
out of 10
User Rating
17 votes
1

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Episode Summary

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The Swedish Tiger
AIRED:
October 1908. James has a Swedish army officer, Captain Ryttsen, staying as guest at Eaton Place. Valuable objects begin to disappear. Suspicion falls on Sarah, who is under the spell of the officer's handsome batman.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • A candidate for worst ever Upstairs Downstairs episode, The Swedish Tiger tries something different, and fails.

    2.1
    I wondered why everyone had given this episode such a low rating on tv.com, but on watching it I soon found out. The first three minutes or so are silent, just a man fiddling with cigars and ornaments, and under-parlourmaid Sarah doing her usual I'm-too-good-for-this routine as she pretends to dust. By the end of all this you're crying out for some dialogue, but when the dialogue starts you're soon crying out for them to shut up again. The first main speaking scene is an extended verbal joust between James Bellmany and his sister Elizabeth, and it's horribly over-written, filled with neat verbal counterpoints and clever plays on words, but ending up sounding as if the scriptwriter is trying to be Oscar Wilde and failing by an embarrassingly wide margin. If they'd gone on like this all the time, the show wouldn't have lasted its first series.



    From there it goes downhill, with a baffling plot about Swedes stealing from the Bellamy household (most of the main characters are, wisely, absent), Sarah getting semi-implicated, and James displaying oddly relaxed views on larceny, as long as it's perpetrated by a gentleman. The only half-worthwhile dramatic development is Miss Elizabeth proving that despite her progressive leanings she's very much her mother's daughter, with a series of put-downs that leave Sarah firmly in her place, if equally firmly determind to claw her way out of it.



    This episode commits just about all the cardinal sins of TV drama, with unlikeable characters and an unfathomable plot, neither of them interesting enough to make you want to make any effort to understand them. What it did for Anglo-Swedish relations, meanwhile, is anyone's guess, as every single Swede portrayed is a crook.



    Most long-running dramas try something different now and again, and more often than not it fails. Upstairs Downstairs was no different.moreless
Jean Marsh

Jean Marsh

Rose Buck, housemaid

Patsy Smart

Patsy Smart

Maude Roberts, Lady Bellamy's maid

Gordon Jackson

Gordon Jackson

Mr. Angus Hudson, Butler

Simon Williams

Simon Williams

Captain/Major James Bellamy

Nicola Pagett

Nicola Pagett

Elizabeth Bellamy/Kirbridge

David Langton

David Langton

Richard Bellamy

Sven-Bertil Taube

Sven-Bertil Taube

Torkel Kraft

Guest Star

Peter Clay

Peter Clay

Jeweller

Guest Star

Geoffrey Whitehead

Geoffrey Whitehead

Captain Axel Ryttsen

Guest Star

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