"Upstairs, Downstairs" to Become Movie; Playwright Hatcher to Write Script

News   "Upstairs, Downstairs" to Become Movie; Playwright Hatcher to Write Script "Upstairs, Downstairs," the landmark British television series of the early seventies, is being transformed into a movie.
Eileen Atkins and Jeffrey Hatcher
Eileen Atkins and Jeffrey Hatcher Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Eileen Atkins, who penned the original series with Jean Marsh, told Playbill.com that the Edwardian drama will reach the big screen with a script written by playwright Jeffrey Hatcher. "We've read his treatment," said Atkins. "They did ask us to do the script, but we didn't want to." Atkins and Marsh met with Hatcher this week to discuss the screenplay. Atkins said the producers are after her to play a part in the movie, but she is hesitant. "They want me to, but having avoided playing a role in it all those years on television, I really don't fancy suddenly turning up in the movie."

"Upstairs, Downstairs" was set in a large townhouse in Edwardian London. It depicted the lives of both the servants and their masters "upstairs." Extremely popular with audiences, it ran for five years from 1971 to 1975. The story followed the characters' lives from 1903 to 1930, and showed how the lives of the upper and lower classes intermingled and affected one another.

Hatcher's many plays include A Picasso, Scotland Road, Three Viewings and Turn of the Screw.