The initial read-through for Disillusion on 24th March 1975. Those who can be seen around the table (clockwise from left): unknown (presumably the director, Bill Bain), John Hawkesworth, Angela Baddeley, Alfred Shaughnessy, Gordon Jackson, Jacqueline Tong, Chris Beeny, Jenny Tomasin, unknown (quite possibly Jean Marsh), Gareth Hunt, Karen Dotrice, Lesley-Anne Down, David Langton, Hannah Gordon, unknown (probably the production assistant who, for this story, was Vicki Miller).
Keen fans will probably immediately recognise this as being from Season Five's The Nine Days Wonder. But a scene with Richard and James in the bus together never occurs in the finished episode. Hence, such a scene was presumably shot and then later cut from the episode before transmission (probably simply for timing reasons).
Another slightly curious shot. This is Susan Penhaligon as Mary rehearsing A Cry for Help in the first season. However, the curly auburn wig on her head is nowhere to be seen in the finished episode (in which she has her own, darker but straighter hair, pinned up). Presumably someone decided the wig looked daft between the dress rehearsal and the actual taping. Note also the cigarette Gordon Jackson is smoking!
The recording of a brief insert to Will Ye No Come Back Again. This shot was intercut into film sequences of the servants' drive to Scotland and showed them gagging at some "country smells". Unusually for Upstairs, Downstairs, the final result was not very convincing due to the mismatch between the film and video footage.
Jean Marsh enjoys a cigarette on the Upstairs, Downstairs set.
Most of the Upstairs, Downstairs recordings were made at LWT's Kent House studios (aka "The LWT Tower") on the South Bank of the Thames (main picture and inset). UpDown used all three main studios here, but Studio 2 was its main home. The complex changed its name in 1992 to The London Television Centre, but then became confused with the BBC's premises, so was changed again in 1996 to The London Studios. A variety of programmes continued to be made here and the 22-storey building functioned as the overall headquarters for ITV. In late 2012, ITV – previously only the tenant of the site – bought the freehold for £56 million.
As of late 2023, a decision still had not been made about what to do with the site.
Season One (and A Pair of Exiles) had been made at LWT's Wembley Studios (bottom left) which had been inherited from Associated Rediffusion after the 1968 ITV franchise shake-up. Once LWT moved to the South Bank in 1972, the complex eventually became Lee International Studios in 1978 and films such as The Elephant Man, Time Bandits, The Bride and Brazil were made here. The site changed back to a TV studio in 1989 and was occupied by Limehouse Television. Much of the original site was sold off at this point and only the massive Studios 5a and 5b remained in use. In late 1992, Limehouse folded and the site then became The Fountain Studios (bottom right). The remainder of the original site was now a large Lidl supermarket, a car park and a McDonald's.
Fountain closed its doors in late 2016 when its owner, Avesco, decided to capitalise on the site. After a year of varied sporadic use as a events facility, the site will reopen in late 2018 and contain a large theatre – The Troubadour Theatre – housed in the shell of the old studios, with bar and restaurant.
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It's a wrap! Cast and director Bill Bain at a party to celebrate the last episode of all.
Boxing Day 1975 – the cast says farewell to the viewer.