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The Beastly Hun

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S4n03

Hudson (Gordon Jackson) gets a physical before military service.

The Beastly Hun is the third episode from the fourth series (season) of the 1970s period drama, Upstairs, Downstairs. It was written by Jeremy Paul and directed by Bill Bain. In this episode, Angus Hudson has animus at all things German especially after the sinking of the Lusitania.

This episode won actor Gordon Jackson, who played Hudson, an Emmy for Outstanding Single Performance by a Supporting Actor.

Plot

It is May 1915, and Hudson is reading out reports about German spies and horrific atrocities to the other servants. His histrionic rants are upsetting the rest of the staff.

Later, while helping Rose, Daisy and Mrs Bridges pack some items for the Front, Hazel finds a magazine belonging to Hudson called The Beastly Hun. Hazel is disgusted by what she reads, and orders Hudson to stop spreading these "stories" and he is forced to give in, but clearly his views have not changed on "those pigs, the Huns".

Within days, the Lusitania has been sunk by a German submarine and the anti-German feeling in Britain increases exponentially. This prompts Hudson into going and volunteering for the Army. However, he is turned away because of poor eyesight and given an exemption certificate.

Mrs Bridges then suggests that he become a special constable. He gets permission from Richard, although Hazel is not impressed that Richard did not ask her first, and within days Hudson has had his first shift.

On the evening of Hudson's first shift as a special constable, the Bellamy's local baker, Albert Schoenfeld, a second-generation British citizen, and his wife and son come round and seek refuge in the Servants' Hall. Their house has been attacked and vandalised because of their German surname. The attackers and vandals were people who had once done business with them.

Mrs Bridges, Rose, Ruby and Daisy, for whom the Schoenfelds had baked a special birthday cake days before, invite them in, but when Hudson returns he goes straight up to Mr Bellamy.

He says that they may stay the night, but must go to the police first thing in the morning. However, Maria Schoenfeld, aware of Hudson's feeling towards them, insists they go that evening, which they do, feeling ashamed of the people they thought they knew.

Following the sacking of Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty, Andrew Bonar Law and Arthur Balfour come round to Eaton Place and Richard is offered the post of Civil Lord of the Admiralty. This makes him part of the Government.

Also, Lt. Dennis Kemp, who had fallen in love with Georgina, is killed days after arriving at the Front. When Hazel tells Georgina this, she doesn't react, telling Hazel she refuses to "fall in love with any of them" because she doesn't "want to mourn them".

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