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Your Obedient Servant

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S2n07

Mr. Hudson (Gordon Jackson) dresses to impress for his brother.

Your Obedient Servant is the seventh episode of the second series (season) and twentieth episode overall of the 1970s period drama, Upstairs, Downstairs. Written by Fay Weldon and directed by Derek Bennett, this episode focuses on the family backgrounds of Richard Bellamy and his butler Angus Hudson.

PLOT

While Lady Marjorie Bellamy and their daughter, Elizabeth Bellamy are out of London, staying at Southwold, due to the continuous renovation of 165 Eaton Place and for her to help caring for her father, Lord Southwold, who is ill; Richard receives a message that his older brother, Arthur, a doctor, is coming to visit after a medical convention. He was not elected to the Royal Society, which makes him very disagreeable.

This occurs at the same time when Hudson finds out his more successful brother, Donald, a famous bridge builder, is coming to London, with his wife, Maudie and their daughter, Alice. Because of his brother's visit, Hudson is short-tempered and snappish to the rest of the staff, which irritates everyone.

During the continual renovation of the house, which includes the electrical system being renovated, the bells were replaced with an electrified system, and after a few fits and starts, it proves to be a success, and the electrified bells work through the remainder of the series. Hudson goes out to get himself all dressed to perpetuate a fiction about him being as successful as his brother, by exaggerating about his status in the Bellamy household.

Meanwhile, Arthur is condescending to his brother as well as the rest of the household, which angers everyone. However, at a luncheon, Arthur reveals that Hudson is at the same restaurant that they are. Richard finds out that this luncheon was a plot for Arthur to humiliate Hudson.

The humble Richard, realizing this, goes over to Hudson and meets his family, making the most of their visit and treating him as an equal, even using his first name, Angus. After finishing his visit with the Hudsons, Richard then proceeds to confront his older brother for his nasty plan and his condescending nature towards everyone else. Needless to say, the brothers part on acrimonious terms and Arthur is never spoken of or to again.

After the events of the day, Richard and Hudson talk and both realize that despite their siblings various successes, their bond that they have as master and servant are deeper and more loyal than even blood relations.

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