7 questions on costume dramas

Midweek quiz

The same night costume drama Downton Abbey returned to British TV screens, it trounced all comers at the Emmy awards - and other period pieces such as Mad Men and Mildred Pierce also did well. Test yourself on corset-constrained telly.

Maggie Smith in character in Downton Abbey

1.) Multiple Choice Question

Highclere Castle in Berkshire stars as the fictional Downton Abbey. In the new series - set in 1916 - the stately home is turned into a military hospital. What was Highclere itself used for during World War I?

Downton Abbey - scene from episode three
  1. Hospital for TB patients
  2. Military hospital
  3. Home for evacuated children

2.) Multiple Choice Question

Which grand dame of British acting was co-creator of ITV's acclaimed Upstairs Downstairs in the 1970s?

Grand dames of costume drama
  1. Liz Smith
  2. June Brown
  3. Alison Steadman
  4. Eileen Atkins

3.) Multiple Choice Question

Which costume drama ranked highest on the British Film Institute's list of the 100 greatest TV programmes?

Filming a costume drama
  1. Brideshead Revisited
  2. I, Claudius
  3. The Jewel in the Crown
  4. Pride and Prejudice

4.) Multiple Choice Question

A notable non-speaking character in Brideshead Revisited was Sebastian Flyte's teddy bear - the pampered aristocrat's constant companion. The bear's name?

  1. Archibald Ormsby-Gore
  2. Archie
  3. Aloysius

5.) Multiple Choice Question

The landmark 1970s series I, Claudius featured Livia, a powerful and scheming matriarch. Which TV hit more recently named a character in her honour?

Livia, played by Sian Phillips
  1. The Sopranos
  2. EastEnders
  3. Seinfeld
  4. The Tudors

6.) Multiple Choice Question

Who lived at 165 Eaton Place?

House of Eliott, Duchess of Duke Street
  1. Servants and masters in Upstairs Downstairs
  2. Dressmakers Beatrice and Evie Eliott (The House of Eliott, left)
  3. Ambitious cook Louisa Leyton (The Duchess of Duke Street, right)

7.) Multiple Choice Question

And finally, comedian Johnny "Monkey!" Vegas starred in a costume drama with Carey "Oscar nominee" Mulligan. True or false?

Johnny Vegas, Carey Mulligan
  1. True
  2. False


  1. Highclere was a hospital for wounded soldiers under the auspices of Lady Almina, the fifth countess - who was, incidentally, the illegitimate daughter of banking tycoon Alfred de Rothschild.
  2. It was Dame Eileen Atkins, pictured here in series one of the BBC's recent Upstairs Downstairs remake. Her co-creator was Jean Marsh, who played parlourmaid Rose Buck.
  3. Brideshead Revisited was the highest ranking costume drama in the comprehensive poll conducted in 2000. The ITV series came in at number 10, just ahead of the BBC's I, Claudius.
  4. It was Aloysius. The relationship between stuffed toy and grown man was said to have been inspired by John Betjeman, who brought his teddy Archibald Ormsby-Gore - Archie for short - to Oxford University.
  5. It's The Sopranos, in which crime boss Tony Soprano's manipulative mother was called Livia.
  6. It's the servants and masters of Upstairs Downstairs. Eaton Place is near Sloane Square in London.
  7. It's true. In the BBC's adaptation of Bleak House, he played Krook, who spontaneously combusted, and she was the fragrant Ada Clare.

Your Score

0 - 3 : In the cellar

4 - 6 : Downstairs

7 - 7 : Upstairs

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