If you’re tired of the soapie drudgery of “Downton Abbey” check out the funny side of the servants and the Lords. The show takes place in the late 1920’s in the home of the upper class Meldrum brothers. It’s a warped family. The staff includes the law abiding and rule following James Twelvetrees (Jeffrey Holland) and con man Alf Stokes. Paul Shane) is the butler. His daughter Ivy (Su Pollard) is a parlor maid.
Pilot episode: December 29,1988 – France 1918. On the battlefield Privates Alf Stokes and James Twelvetrees jump in a foxhole. It looks like a dead man is in it too. Stokes takes his watch and then a ring. James is disgusted with him. Then a moan. The man is alive. They carry him back to the hospital area.
He’s The Honourable Teddy Meldrum (Michael Knowles). He’s grateful they saved his life. Stokes wishes he’d have robbed him of his other ring. James tells him he wants nothing to do with him. James then serves Teddy a glass of champagne.
1927. James is on Teddy’s household staff. The butler dies and James wants the job. He’s been on the staff for nine years and feels it’s time he moved up. Stokes is doing a really bad western act with his daughter Ivy in a music hall. Stokes was fired from his butler job for being dishonest. They’re fired after one night.
He blackmails his former employer and ends up as butler at the Meldrums. Teddy can’t stay away from the servant girls and has made several pregnant over the years. Now he’s done it again. His brother Lord George (Donald Hewlett) wants a plain girl hired that may make him keep his distance. Stokes sends for Ivy. He tells her not to say she’s his daughter.
Stokes tries to train her for serving at a dinner party. It’s a disaster and he tells her to put a bandage on her finger so she can get out of serving. Teddy starts to get interested in her and Cissy Meldrum (Catherine Rabett) who likes to dress like a man is winking at her. All this sets up the show for its twenty-six episode run.