Upstairs, Downstairs
Out of costume
Before UpDown 2

Gordon Jackson (Hudson) and David Langton (Richard) together in the 1957 British film Seven Waves Away (US: Abandon Ship). The film concerns the real-life story of a group of shipwreck survivors in a lifeboat. Their troubles get worse when the captain (Tyrone Power) decides to start chucking the weakest members of the party overboard in an attempt to increase the odds of the stronger members surviving! You can also see Clive Morton who played Mr Makepiece in the UpDown episode A Change of Scene.

Simon Williams pictured with his sister Polly during their childhood, above, and, below, in 1995. Recognise her face? She played in the UpDown episode Tug of War as Lady Viola Courtney, a nurse training alongside Georgina. She married actor Nigel Havers in 1989 but sadly died in 2004 after a four-year battle with cancer.

A young Nicola Pagett. Her early years were spent in the Middle and Far East so she had some idea of what it was like to be surrounded by servants when it came to her Upstairs, Downstairs role.

The nineteen-year-old Nicola Pagett in one of her earliest screen roles in the 1965 Danger Man episode The Mirror's New. She played the French mistress of a member of the diplomatic core being investigated by secret agent John Drake (played by Patrick McGoohan). Complete with natty hat, à la mode red plastic dress ... and a vary variable French accent!

Nicola Pagett in Granada's 1968 serial The Caesars. She featured in the last episode as Messalina alongside Freddie Jones as her husband Claudius. The show covers almost identical territory to the BBC's later (and more famous) I, Claudius in 1976 and it's worth noting just how much Derek Jacobi's celebrated later performance as Claudius owes to Freddie Jones. Despite having rather slow opening episodes (a trait shared by its BBC counterpart) the serial doesn't quite deserve its modern-day obscurity. Part of the problem may be that The Caesars was shot in black and white – one of the last period dramas to be made this way – and the surviving copies appear to be rather murky. Click picture for a larger version.

Nicola Pagett in one of her first film roles. She played one of the romantic interests of Christopher Matthew's character in Come Back Peter (1969) – a low-budget sex comedy. Click on the image for a much larger version.

Can you spot the future UpDown star in this group shot from the early BBC soap The Grove Family? A young Christopher Beeny played Lennie Grove, the trouble-attracting youngster of the family, and is pictured in the back row. The show is credited as "the first continuous television narrative drama [i.e. soap] in Britain" and ran for nearly 150 episodes between April 1954 and June 1957, all (somewhat hair-raisingly) transmitted live. Sadly only two episodes (including the last) still survive, but the series did spin off a cinema film, It's A Great Day, in 1955.

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