Something to get you through next Sunday night.
While Downton Abbey is on hiatus until the third season begins on PBS this fall, bereft fans of the series will need something to sustain them Sunday nights during the interim, so I have taken the liberty of devising my own miniseries from the outtakes of Upstairs/Downstairs, Brideshead Revisited, and Downton Abbey:
Lady Brideshead: Dear me, I rang seconds ago for the footman to move this foot stool to the other end of the drawing room? Whatever can be keeping him?
Lord Brideshead: Come now, my dear, we mustn’t be too harsh with the staff. It is World War I, you know, not to mention this nasty Spanish Influenza business. Perhaps you could move it yourself. Good footmen are terribly hard to find these days.
Lady Brideshead: I recognize that, Charles, but Wilson has been highly unreliable of late.
Lord Brideshead: I suspect he may be dallying in the pantry with the new undergarment maid, Betsy.
Lady Brideshead: My word, I wasn’t aware we had hired a new undergarment maid. Why wasn’t I told?
Lord Brideshead: You were busy discussing next week’s menu with Mrs. Ramekin about what to serve when the king comes to dine on Thursday.
Julia (their eldest and least attractive daughter): Oh, no — not the king again. He can be such a dreadful bore.
Lord Brideshead: Yes, and he’s become quite a freeloader since the coronation, but all in all he’s a decent enough chap.
Margaret (their conniving middle daughter): Is the Duke of Mannerly coming to call today? I was thinking of marrying him.
Lady Brideshead: I’m afraid he’s already engaged to Julia.
Julia: No, no, mother, I keep telling you — I’m engaged to Sir Basil Goodbody.
Margaret: Oh, then perhaps I shall marry the Duke, assuming he has a large enough endowment to keep me from being cast out into the streets.
Julia (titters): I assure you, he is quite well endowed!
Lady Brideshead: I am so sorry, my dear, for forgetting your engagement to Sir Basil. Is he that dark haired fellow with the smirk or the slender blond chap with the lisp?