"1920’s melodrama in a big hotel. To this day, I am in hiding from the creators of Upstairs Downstairs. Hush, is that Jean Marsh in my porch? First and last time I got (briefly) audiences over 10 million until this year."

The Grand

Drama set both above and below stairs in an opulent Manchester hotel after World War I. A cross between “Upstairs, Downstairs” (1971) and “The Duchess of Duke Street” (1976). The hotel is owned by brothers John and Marcus Bannerman, with John’s wife Sarah holding a casting vote. John is dull but reliable; Marcus is devious, unscrupulous - and in love with Sarah... Mr Collins is the head porter whose son died in the war but who is too proud to let his grief show. Kate Morris and Monica Jones are chambermaids who dream of bettering themselves: things look up for Monica when one of the long-term guests, Esme Harkness (an ageing prostitute!), takes her under her wing and teaches her how to be a lady.

Part 1

It's New Year's Eve 1919 and everyone at The Grand Hotel in Manchester is giddy with excitement. John and Sarah Bannerman (Michael Siberry and Julia St. John) are about to re-open their property in magnificent style, but amidst the revelry, an unexpected event casts both an emotional and financial pall. With the hotel deep in debt, the only person with the capacity to help is John's brother, Marcus Bannerman (Mark McGann). But his offer to save the hotel comes with a major condition: he wants to sleep with Sarah.

Part 2

Marcus believes the hotel would be more profitable if the staff lived on its own, which prompts a horrified response from John and Sarah in addition to a near-strike by the employees. Meanwhile, retired "lady of the evening" Esme Harkness (Susan Hampshire) receives a visit from an old client, instigating further scandal and whispers. Kate (Rebecca Callard)helps an employee rendered homeless thanks to Marcus, who is desperately seeking shelter for herself and her unborn child. Later, Marcus delivers intriguing new information that will allow the staff to remain at the hotel. But are there strings attached?

Part 3

Stephen Bannerman (Stephen Moyer) has become quite taken with Celia Sutton (Jayne Ashbourne), but without much cash to his name, he takes money from the hotel's till-without telling his father. When John Bannerman discovers the missing loot, he immediately suspects the staff. Meanwhile, Esme, a reformed "lady of the evening", recognizes Stephen's new girlfriend as one of her former "employees". Does he know of her past? Will Esme tell him, or will that information spoil her own closely guarded secret?

Part 4

Mr. Collins (Tim Healy) has a well-kept secret: his son was shot for desertion in World War I. When this closely guarded information surfaces, it leads Collins to financial ruin. Meanwhile, Sarah Bannerman directs the downstairs maid staff after an illness befalls Mrs. Harvey (Christine Mackie). Sarah's leadership skills will be tested in ways she never imagined as she deals with infighting, an upcoming mayoral visit and the inexplicable behavior of Mr. Collins.

Part 5

On the eve of what would have been her nineteenth birthday, John and Sarah blame themselves over the loss of their daughter Catherine. John deals with the grief through withdrawal, until he summons the courage to face the troubling issue. Elsewhere, Maggie Rigby, whose father is a friend of the Bannermans, arrives at The Grand to recover from a medical procedure. It doesn't take long for Maggie to take advantage of her father's wealth and good standing. In short order, she's stirring up trouble among the staff. Just as she's forced homeward, Maggie reveals the shocking truth behind her condition.

Part 6

Monica agrees to dinner with businessman James Cornell in his room, but after several scandalous twists, she goes from hotel employee to guest. Elsewhere, Clive's stray dog is believed to be rabid. When it decides to take a bite out of John, he fears the worst. Now facing his own mortality, John confides to Sarah that he wasn't in love with her when they married, eliciting an unpredictable reaction. Meanwhile, Marcus has a surprise announcement that will shock everyone who hears it.

Part 7

Marcus and Ruth plan to be married, but privately, John and Sarah try to give the future couple some much-needed perspective. Elsewhere in The Grand, a quiet night turns deadly. Monica, now the paramour of James Cornell, has tongues wagging among the hotel maids. But when James leaves her, Monica quickly enters a dangerous relationship with his friend, Jackson. Before the night is over, one of them will be murdered, while the other will discover a world of trouble.

Part 8

Facing execution by hanging, Monica hopes for a last-minute reprieve, while at the same time, an unidentified person has hired the best lawyers available for her defense. Now all Monica can do is pray and wait. At The Grand, the wedding of Marcus and Ruth goes on as planned, causing a wicked reaction from the staff, who feel it's a show of complete disrespect toward Monica. Although newly married, Marcus still has vivid feelings for his sister-in-law Sarah. She claims they will never be together, but a passionate kiss could lead things in a very interesting direction.




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