“Upstairs Downstairs” Unveils A Lesbian

With “Downton Abbey” so completely overshadowing it, I’d forgotten that the reboot of “Upstairs Downstairs” was coming back for another season. But so it is, returning to PBS’ Masterpiece on Oct. 7. It is taking a more overt approach to human sexuality than its 1970s predecessor, with one character — Claire Foy’s Lady Persephone — painted as a notorious Nazi sympathizer and professional party girl who hops into bed with just about anyone. The new season of “Upstairs Downstairs” introduces a lesbian to the staid 165 Eaton Place of 1936 in the form of Alex Kingston’s Dr. Blanche Mottershead (pictured), an archaeologist. Is Mottershead some kind of arcane lesbian slang?

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