Manor House

Watch Manor House

  • 2002
  • 1 Season
  • 8.4  (553)

Manor House is a captivating and immersive documentary series from PBS that follows the lives of individuals living in a world long gone. The show focuses on the lives of both upper-class aristocrats, as well as their servants living in a grand Manor House in Kent, England.

The series is hosted by esteemed actors Derek Jacobi and Hugh Edgar, who guide viewers through the day-to-day workings of the estate. Alongside these household names are a cast of remarkable actors, including Anna Olliff-Cooper, who play the roles of those living and working within the manor itself.

What makes the show so unique in its genre is that it presents a truly authentic experience of life within the Manor House. Unlike fictionalized depictions of historical dramas, Manor House delivers a presentation that's both true to life and engaging. The show separates itself from others in the field by using meticulous research on the period, and by staying faithful to the source material.

Over the course of three months, the show transports its viewers back in time to the year 1905, where 13 hand-picked families are thrown together to live out this historic period drama. Each member of the household is encouraged to adopt the role of their character, thereby fully immersing themselves in their new and demanding way of life.

Throughout the series, viewers witness the complexities and nuances of the era firsthand. From the privileges and decadence of the upper class, to the back-breaking labor of the servants below them. The show doesn’t shy away from the harsh realities of life within this particular social order. For example, the class hierarchy that existed, the rigidity of the structure, and the oppressive nature of the roles that servants were given to play. The audience can sense the very real struggles faced by those working within the walls of the Manor House, and this makes for an authentic and gripping viewing experience.

During the course of the show, we follow the relationships of the two classes, particularly those between the various members of the family and staff. Through the interactions between these two groups, we see similarities, but also stark differences, that stick out due to the disparities in wealth, status, and freedoms.

With no modern conveniences at their disposal, the inhabitants of the Mansion House must survive on their wit and skill alone. The show does an admirable job of showcasing the ingenuity and resilience of the people in this era; the ways in which they adapted to a challenging and often difficult existence. It provides a window into the pains and joys of what it meant to live in this era, and it proves to be a fascinating and wonderfully rendered story.

Through the remarkable attention to detail and the engaging cast, Manor House offers an immersive experience like no other. The production design and costuming are both stunning, and the ambient noise of the manor adds to the overall immersive experience.

The series concludes with the departure of its members from the Manor House, each carrying with them a new appreciation for the difficulties faced by those in this era. By the end of the show, viewers have gained a deeper understanding of and respect for those who came before us. Manor House provides a unique and altogether enlightening venture back in time, and it does so with style, grace, and a tremendous amount of authenticity.

In conclusion, Manor House is an enthralling, immersive and authentic experience that transports viewers to a bygone era. The stunning attention to detail and the engaging cast make this a truly unforgettable experience that stays with you long after the end credits roll. Manor House is a show that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds, and it’s sure to leave its mark on those who embrace it.

Manor House is a series that is currently running and has 1 seasons (6 episodes). The series first aired on April 23, 2002.

Manor House
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Winners and Losers
6. Winners and Losers
May 28, 2002
The latter-day Edwardians prepare to leave the past behind them.
Days of Empire
5. Days of Empire
May 21, 2002
In episode five, events are being organized at Manderston to celebrate the British Empire's colonial prowess and success.
Tough Love
4. Tough Love
May 14, 2002
Sir John decides to host a weekend shooting party.
The Servants Revolt
3. The Servants Revolt
May 7, 2002
In this episode, the staff crisis comes to a head.
Making the Grade
2. Making the Grade
April 30, 2002
In episode two, the Olliff-Coopers are upstairs settling into a lifestyle of wealth and privilege, making plans for their first dinner party according to complicated protocols covering everything from the seating arrangement to the wines.
Upstairs Downstairs
1. Upstairs Downstairs
April 23, 2002
The series begins downstairs at Manderston, a 109-room Edwardian mansion in Scotland, where Hugh Edgar, architect cum butler, and Jean Davies, grandmother cum housekeeper, organize the junior staff.
Where to Watch Manor House
Manor House is available for streaming on the PBS website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Manor House on demand at Amazon.
  • Premiere Date
    April 23, 2002
  • IMDB Rating
    8.4  (553)