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The Daily Beast: "Alex Kingston's Journey Through Time"

Alex Kingston reprises her role as River Song in Saturday’s Doctor Who and travels back in time for the new season of Upstairs Downstairs . I talk to the former ER star about River, Downton Abbey , historical lesbians, and more. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, "Alex Kingston's Journey Through Time," in which I talk to Kingston about Doctor Who and "The Angels Take Manhattan," Upstairs Downstairs (which returns to PBS' Masterpiece on Oct. 7), Downton Abbey , River Song, historical lesbians, and more. Upstairs Downstairs isn’t typically known for its salaciousness. The costume drama’s legendary original run—between 1971 and 1975 on ITV—kept the characters’ sexuality more or less off-screen, but the recent BBC revival series, which returns to PBS’ Masterpiece on Oct. 7, has taken a more overt approach to human sexuality than its predecessor, with one character—Claire Foy’s Lady Persephone—painted as a notorious Nazi sympa

The Daily Beast: "Upstairs Downstairs Returns to PBS’ Masterpiece"

After 36 years, beloved period drama Upstairs Downstairs returns to American television on Sunday with new characters and the original co-creators checking into 165 Eaton Place. Over at The Daily Beast, you can read my latest feature, entitled " Upstairs Downstairs Returns to PBS’ Masterpiece ," in which I speak to Upstairs Downstairs ' Dame Eileen Atkins, Jean Marsh, Keeley Hawes, and Ed Stoppard about the new series, set in 1936 and launching on Sunday evening. Among the topics under discussion: how the period drama relates to today's viewing audience, the character of Lady Maud (complete with monkey Solomon) played by Dame Eileen Atkins, the rivalry with ITV's Downton Abbey , and the broad-sweeping political and social themes of the three-episode season. Upstairs Downstairs launches Sunday evening at 9 pm ET/PT on PBS' Masterpiece . Check your local listings for details.

Coming Home Again: An Advance Review of Upstairs Downstairs on PBS' Masterpiece

"Home is not where you live, but where they understand you." - Christian Morganstern My, how time flies: It's been more than three decades since Rose Buck (Jean Marsh) walked out of the front door of 165 Eaton Place and into the future. For those of us who grew up on Upstairs, Downstairs (created by Marsh and Dame Eileen Atkins) watching the repeats on PBS or on DVD later, the show--which depicted the lives of the wealthy Bellamy clan and their servants below stairs--defined the period drama, transforming the stuffy recreations of aristos into a soap opera teeming with the hopes and dreams (and failures and foibles) of both the masters and the servants of a great London house. While there have been countless adaptations of period-set literature over the years (Austen and Dickens remain always in style), recently viewers have seen a resurgence in open-ended, serialized period dramas. Lark Rise to Candleford may have perhaps started the trend in earnest, but it was th