|2.1 (14) The New Man
2.2 (15) A Pair of Exiles
2.3 (16) Married Love
2.4 (17) Whom God hath Joined...
2.5 (18) Guest of Honour
|2.6 (19) The Property of a Lady
2.7 (20) Your Obedient Servant
2.8 (21) Out of the Everywhere
2.9 (22) An Object of Value
|2.10 (23) A Special Mischief
2.11 (24) The Fruits of Love
2.12 (25) The Wages of Sin
2.13 (26) A Family Gathering
After the success of the first set of thirteen episodes, London Weekend Television commissioned a second season, again of thirteen segments. A problem arose because it was deemed necessary to keep the show set within the reign of Edward VII, who died in 1910. The previous season had ended in 1909 thus giving the production team only a scant few months in which to set all thirteen episodes. In order to solve this dilemma, the production team "turned the clock back" one year to 1908 causing a temporal paradox worthy of an episode of Doctor Who as we effectively see Elizabeth and Lawrence arrive back from their honeymoon before they left for it! So that the viewer did not get confused, the idea of explicitly showing introductory caption cards giving the date of each episode was abandoned.
Most of the cast from the first season were happy to return but Simon Williams was starring in a stage play in the West End and was unable to appear in more than two episodes (although he maintains he was never approached to do more than two!) We do, however, get introduced to one of the series' best-remembered characters - Ruby, the dim-witted kitchen-maid played by Jenny Tomasin.
The season contains some real gems. Guest of Honour is the famous "king comes to dinner" episode which has probably been reshown more times than any other episode. Your Obedient Servant sees Hudson parading around London dressed as a toff in order to impress his brother, a well-known engineer. Out of the Everywhere sees Sarah doing the correct thing, for once, as she saves Elizabeth's baby from the clumsy hands of an elderly nanny.
On the other hand, both of the multi-episode sagas concerning Elizabeth's lovers (Lawrence Kirbridge and Julius Karekin) can get slightly tedious in parts as the characters concerned are not really likeable enough to interest the viewer.
The Property of a Lady is another episode of interest as it is very much a prototype of the sort of adventures that Thomas and Sarah would face in their spin-off series made six years later.
The series ends on a wonderfully enigmatic note with the younger members of the household standing on the balcony listening to the murmur of thousands of voices drifting across from the crowds outside Buckingham Palace who have gathered because of the death of King Edward.
For original showings in the USA (as part of PBS' Masterpiece Theatre), the first two British seasons were conflated into a single season of thirteen episodes (thus losing the other thirteen episodes, which were eventually shown under the banner of "The Missing Episodes" in the late eighties). These "lost" episodes are marked with a #. This combined season won an Emmy for Outstanding Drama Series and an Emmy nomination for Jean Marsh as Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series.
For a legend/key to the episode guide click here.
Factfiles have been added for each episode. These detail character backgrounds, continuity points, and bloopers. Click on the icon on the left of each episode's entry. These are being updated to include the original TV Times listing in each case.
Grateful thanks are due to John Iodice – all of the synopses have been supplied by him and are used with permission.
Additional notes for the episode guides and Factfiles...
In addition to the listed writer/s, it should be assumed that the script-editor, Alfred Shaughnessy, also had story input into each episode to a greater or lesser extent. Shaughnessy's own scripts were edited by John Hawkesworth, the producer. All episodes (except A Suitable Marriage) were story-lined by Shaughnessy.
Episodes marked with a # are those omitted from the initial US run (see above).
Episodes marked with a † are those omitted from the German (ZDF) run of episodes.
Names in square brackets are uncredited on the episode's on-screen titles.
The cast lists credit extras and walk-ons where the information is available, but these details should not be considered exhaustive. Spellings of names in these cases is sometimes uncertain!
All timings are from the UK DVDs of the show as released by Network - these will vary slightly on other releases of the show (e.g. US DVDs). Timings are given as mm'ss". All the Factfiile notes are drawn from what was actually shown on the screen - additional or contradictory material from the novelisations (etc) is not included. To print a Factfile, press CTRL-P.
For episode 4 onwards, the ATV, HTV, and Westward regions (and Ulster from ep. 11) showed the episodes a day later than the LWT transmissions indicated below.
Any comments/additions, please email me (address in pink on the front page).
Regular cast: Rachel Gurney (Lady Marjorie Bellamy), Gordon Jackson (Hudson), David Langton (Richard Bellamy), Jean Marsh (Rose), Jenny Tomasin (Ruby), Angela Baddeley (Mrs Bridges), John Alderton (Thomas Watkins), Christopher Beeny (Edward), Pauline Collins (Sarah), Nicola Pagett (Elizabeth Kirbridge), Patsy Smart (Roberts), Ian Ogilvy (Lawrence Kirbridge), Raymond Huntley (Sir Geoffrey Dillon), Donald Burton (Julius Karekin), Joan Benham (Lady Prudence Fairfax), Jane Carr (Joan), Dorothy Frere (Mrs Fellowes), Simon Williams (James Bellamy)
UK: 21 October 1972
US: 27 January 1974
Germany: 27 September 1975
Studio rec: 20 June 1972 (2/13)
Elizabeth and Lawrence Kirbridge return to England and to the married life that awaits them. They'll live in Greenwich; Rose will attend to Elizabeth and Lawrence has requested a manservant. Elizabeth engages a charming Welshman, Thomas Watkins, for her husband and Thomas takes a shine to Rose. Lawrence's nonchalance and slight indifference toward his new bride fills Elizabeth with a sense of foreboding and distress. (John Iodice)
Pair of Exiles
UK: 28 October 1972
US: 3 February 1974
Germany: 11 October 1975
Studio rec: 6 June 1972 (1/13)
Word gets to Lady Marjorie and Richard that James is gambling, drinking heavily and running with the wrong crowd. What they don't know is that James is having an affair with their former parlourmaid, Sarah. Sarah tells James that she is carrying his child and James is forced to visit Eaton Place to break the news to his parents. A plan is made: Sarah will stay out of sight during her confinement, at the Southwold estate. Lady Marjorie is livid and stunned with Richard and family solicitor, Sir Geoffrey Dillon, when she's informed that James will be shipped off to an Indian regiment at the behest of her father, Lord Southwold. (John Iodice)
UK: 4 November 1972
US: ca. Autumn 1988 #
Germany: 25 October 1975
Studio rec: 4 July 1972 (3/13)
Lawrence is unwilling to perform his conjugal duties as Elizabeth's husband, telling her that he loves her in a very spiritual and platonic way. Lawrence confides in his publisher, Sir Edwin Partridge, that he finds the sexual act quite repulsive and subtly suggests that Sir Edwin act as his surrogate. The opportunity presents itself when Lawrence throws a soirée for some literary friends at the Kirbridge home in Greenwich. With some heady words and lots of champagne, Sir Edwin is all too able and willing to seduce Elizabeth and oblige Lawrence, his young protégé. (John Iodice)
This episode had a working title of Poetry And Porcelain.
God hath Joined...
UK: 10 November 1972
US: 10 February 1974
Germany: 1 November 1975
Studio rec: 19 July 1972 (4/13)
Elizabeth returns to her parents and tells them that she has left Lawrence and wants to end her marriage. Lady Marjorie and Richard are very distressed at her news, but Sir Geoffrey Dillon is summoned. Elizabeth explains to him that their marriage was never consummated which, Sir Geoffrey tells her, is sufficient grounds for annulment. Elizabeth will have to be examined by a prominent physician... who discovers that she is three months pregnant. Richard is livid with his beloved daughter, whom he trusted and believed and accuses her of lying to him and her mother. Even worse, Elizabeth tells Richard that Lawrence is not her baby's father. Thomas, who has promised Lawrence unswerving loyalty, is offered a job as chauffeur for the Bellamys and Lawrence is disgusted when Thomas accepts the offer. It is agreed that Lawrence will make himself scarce abroad and, in time, the marriage will be dissolved. With Lawrence gone and the Greenwich household dissolved, Rose is back to her old duties. By default, Thomas Watkins is now also a member of the staff of 165 Eaton Place, much to Hudson's annoyance. (John Iodice)
Writer: Jeremy Paul
UK: 17 November 1972
US: 17 February 1974
Germany: 15 November 1975
Studio rec: 30 August 1972 (6/13)
After confirmation from Buckingham Palace, Lady Marjorie informs Hudson that His Majesty, King Edward VII, will dine at Eaton Place. Excitement, giddiness, nerves and hard work abound in preparation for the royal visit. The King arrives promptly and dinner is served. Thanks to the redoubtable efforts of the crackerjack Bellamy staff, all goes very well. However, in the middle of the evening, a very pregnant Sarah arrives at the servant's door. Hudson summons Lady Marjorie and tells her that Sarah has returned and is in labour. It's a tricky business getting Sarah to an upstairs bedroom out of sight of the dinner-party guests. Sadly, the outcome of the birth is unfortunate for Sarah. However, Lady Marjorie generously promises her a safe haven at Eaton Place, at least until she can regain her strength. (John Iodice)
Writer: Alfred Shaughnessy
Property of a Lady
UK: 24 November 1972
US: ca. Autumn 1988 #
Germany: 29 November 1975
Studio rec: 16 August 1972 (5/13)
When dishevelled Michael Dooley appears at the front door of 165 Eaton Place, requesting to see her Ladyship, Hudson turns him away. Later on, Dooley discovers Thomas in the garage and tells him that he possesses torrid love letters Lady Marjorie wrote to her late lover, Captain Charles Hammond. His price for them – £100. Thomas informs Lady Marjorie in private that these letters have surfaced and that Dooley is asking £200 – a handsome profit for him and why not? Visibly shaken, Lady Marjorie relies on Thomas' discretion to get hold of her correspondence, no matter what the cost. Richard senses his wife's anxiety and Thomas informs him of this plot to extort her Ladyship, and is offered another £200 expenses by Richard to sort out the problem. Now with £400 in tow, the letters from Dooley, and Sarah prodding his conscience, whatever will Thomas do? (John Iodice)
[Alfred Shaughnessy and Peter Wildeblood]*
* This episode was largely rewritten by script-editor Alfred Shaughnessy, leading Wildeblood to ask for his name to be removed.
UK: 1 December 1972
US: ca. Autumn 1988 #
Studio rec: 13 September 1972 (7/13)
Richard Bellamy's brother, Arthur, visits Eaton Place, while Hudson prepares for a visit from his renowned brother, Donald, and his wife and daughter. Arthur proves to be a most disagreeable sort, but Richard is abundantly patient with him. Hudson spends a lot of time and money in his efforts to impress his brother, a celebrated bridge engineer. Ultimately, both Richard and Hudson content themselves with their own sense of identity. One cannot select one's siblings, but the bond between loyal and dedicated butler and good and decent master of the house is unshakable. (John Iodice)
Writer: Fay Weldon
of the Everywhere
UK: 8 December 1972
US: 24 February 1974
Germany: 13 December 1975
Studio rec: 26 September 1972 (8/13)
Elizabeth arrives home to stay with her parents and they await the arrival of the beloved Nanny Webster. The years have taken their toll – Nanny is disagreeable, she resents Sarah's presence in the nursery, she is very fussy about the food but, worst of all, she is feeble and the safety of baby Lucy is compromised. Elizabeth is indifferent at first but Sarah finally convinces her that she needs to become more attentive and involved with her child's care. Elizabeth tells her Ladyship that Nanny Webster is quite unsuitable for the post. In her singular, kindly and inimitable way, Lady Marjorie gently suggests to Nanny Webster that she return to her retirement at Southwold. No hurt feelings and no arguments from Nanny. Nanny departs and beautiful baby Lucy will now be looked after by a capable and willing Sarah. (John Iodice)
Terence Brady and Charlotte Bingham
Object of Value
UK: 15 December 1972
US: 3 March 1974
Germany: 27 December 1975
Studio rec: 10 November 1972 (some material rec 9 November) (11/13)
Lady Southwold and her imperious companion, Miss Hodges, come directly to Eaton Place from Westminster Abbey, where a memorial service was held for the late Lord Southwold. Miss Hodges spots Roberts outside Lady Southwold's bedroom and demands of her what she is doing. The two women exchange some sharp words and Roberts goes off in a huff. Later that evening, as she is dressing for dinner, Lady Southwold is unable to find a diamond brooch she received from her late husband. All are baffled and Hodges tells Richard about Roberts' mysterious behaviour earlier that day. Richard instructs Hudson to question the staff and Roberts becomes distressed that anyone would think her possible of theft. Thomas' furtive behaviour also makes Hudson suspicious, so, until the brooch is found, no one below stairs is above doubt. (John Iodice)
This episode had a working title of Profit and Loss.
UK: 29 December 1972
US: 10 March 1974
Germany: 10 January 1976
Studio rec: 10 October 1972 (9/13)
Elizabeth involves herself with a group of young upper-class women who are suffragettes. A plot is hatched to demonstrate in front of the home of an MP who sits on a committee with the Home Office. Rose is suspicious and worried that Elizabeth will find herself in trouble. She follows Elizabeth to the demonstration and all of the assembled women are arrested, including Rose. A wealthy entrepreneur, Julius Karekin, witnesses the melee and posts bail for Elizabeth before she is jailed. Rose remains behind bars and witnesses the horror of forced-feeding and the overall bad treatment the imprisoned women receive. Elizabeth visits the home of Karekin and begs him to use his influence to have her fellow activists and Rose released. Karekin is a parvenu and complies and a traumatized Rose returns to Eaton Place. For Karekin, attaching himself to Elizabeth and, by extension, to the Bellamy name may prove very useful... (John Iodice)
Writer: Anthony Skene
Fruits of Love
UK: 5 January 1973
US: 17 March 1974
Germany: 24 January 1976
Studio rec: 24 October 1972 (10/13)
Shrewd and successful Julius Karekin romances Elizabeth and very subtly enlists her to ask her father about an incipient contract deal between the British government and the Turkish navy. Meanwhile, Sir Geoffrey apprises Lady Marjorie and Richard of the terms of Lord Southwold's will. Lady Marjorie's brother, Lord Hugo, owes thousands in gambling debt, so the Eaton Place townhouse must be sold for settlement. Lady Marjorie is deeply distressed, but Richard is pragmatic. Together, they consider more modest, but suitable sections of London where they may be happy. To ingratiate himself with the Bellamys, Julius buys Elizabeth a hat shop to manage. When Lady Marjorie learns of Elizabeth's liaison with Julius, she strongly disapproves – such men are vulgar upstarts of commerce, who seek entrée into the great drawing rooms of fashionable London. However, Julius is warmly received by her Ladyship and Richard after he buys the lease of the house for Elizabeth, who then happily bestows it to her parents as a gift. (John Iodice)
Wages of Sin
UK: 12 January 1973
US: 24 March 1974
Germany: 21 February 1976
Studio rec: 24 November 1972 (12/13)
Mrs Bridges confronts Sarah when she notices the girl's increased appetite and weight gain. She asks Sarah if she's pregnant again and Sarah confirms it, but tells a tall tale about the child's supposed father... Thomas tells Richard that he's in love with Sarah, despite her condition, and wants to marry her, even though he never lets on to Richard that he is the father. Lady Marjorie is infuriated at Thomas' offer. When he persists, Thomas is taken aback when her Ladyship tells him that they must leave instantly because she has never allowed servants to marry. Making a veiled threat, Watkins insinuates he can cause embarrassment to the Bellamys by divulging the many scandals which occurred during his employment. Richard understands that every man has his price and offers Watkins £500 to realise his dream of starting his own garage business. In exchange, Watkins will take Sarah and never reveal to anyone anything he witnessed during his engagement with the family. (John Iodice)
In this and the subsequent episode, Jane Carr appears as Joan and takes lines originally written for Christopher Beeny as Edward, who had been seriously injured in a motorbike crash at the time of recording.
UK: 19 January 1973
US: 31 March 1974
Germany: 6 March 1976
Studio rec: 8 December 1972 (13/13)
James returns from India and the family are reunited just in time to celebrate her Ladyship's birthday. James has brought over his fiancée, Phyllis Kingman, the daughter of a middle-class family out in India. She's a bit coarse with the servants, much to the chagrin of Lady Marjorie. Meanwhile, Elizabeth's relationship with Julius is over. He has used her and has moved on, leaving her quite dejected. James introduces Phyllis to his sister and Elizabeth is curt and surly with her. Richard comforts his beloved daughter with encouraging words of love and reassurance. The next day, Elizabeth apologizes to Phyllis and that evening, the family are enjoying an evening of relaxation. But as bold as brass, Sarah and Thomas Watkins arrive at the door of 165, manage to circumvent Hudson, and make their way to the drawing room to wish her Ladyship a happy birthday. Sarah has brought a gift for her and Lady Marjorie is both amazed and touched. Hudson ushers Thomas and Sarah downstairs to visit the staff. But when Richard receives a call from Buckingham Palace, the mood turns very sombre and all celebration is at an end – King Edward VII has died. As Big Ben tolls solemnly, the Bellamys think upon His Majesty's short reign and the events of the last ten years and they wonder what awaits them in the decade ahead. (John Iodice)
Writer: Alfred Shaughnessy