Upstairs Downstairs series 2 episode 2

Do you remember that scene near the end of Close Encounters of the Third Kind? The mother-ship has finally set down and done the thing with the music and lights. It all goes quiet. Then the door opens and a bright light floods out. And inside the light you can just make out silhouettes.

You can? Good. Hold that thought.

Sir Hallam is holding a dinner party for ambassador Kennedy and his family, including his son ‘Jack’. At the dinner party Kennedy senior offers Sir Hallam a job in the States and the rumour soon spreads downstairs that the family may be leaving Eaton place. When Prichard appropriates the cook lady’s biscuits to serve to the guests it’s the last straw and she quits and heads off to stay unannounced with her nephew’s family.

But Sir Hallam has other things to worry about, namely Percie deciding that life in the Third Reich isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. He has to try to get her out of the country.

The family also collectively get upset at the plight of the Jews in Germany and start work to get some Jewish children out of the country and to safety in England. Cue shots of Alex Kingston pushing pins into a map of England to the strains of Jerusalem.

Really. Bloody hell.

The culmination of their efforts is a train that arrives at a London station late one evening. Expectant foster parents peer anxiously at the carriages. The platform is flooded with steam as the doors open. Though the brightly backlit steam we can see silhouettes appear.

Bloody hell, it’s Close Encounters. It looked a lot like this…


I even expected the dum, dum, dum, de dum theme to play.

If I have a criticism of this episode is that there’s not enough stuff going on in the house, which is the whole point of the show.

Next week (according to the trailer) the nursemaid gets into some unspecified bother and Alex Kingston snogs Emelia Fox.

Bloody hell.