Lazy Sunday: Michael Apted’s Up Series

By Kay Gardiner
June 16, 2019
Time travel while knitting.

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29 Comments
  • I’m a Britbox fan. Not as many shows as Netflix, which I also subscribe to, but lots of really good shows. Vera is one, Shetland is another

  • And you can also rewatch all of Prime Suspect if you are so inclined, as I was recently. Important announcement: the new series of Endeavor premieres tonight!

    • If you haven’t watched the series Shetland which was on Netflix, it has moved to Britbox . This is one of my favorite series so I buckled under and subscribed!! I agree with the other suggested series, Prime Suspect!

  • One of the most powerful documentaries I’ve seen—so much of it has stayed with me over the years. Think about what it is for Michael Apted to have stayed with this project for all his life. And the way the lives of these children have been warped and shaped by the fact that they participated in this series—the voyeuristic element of documentary making is a part of what this is all about.

  • While you’re on Britbox check out Mary Berry’s “Country House Secrets”. (Yes, the Mary Berry of The Great British Bake Off). The first show is Highclere Castle where Downton Abbey was filmed.

  • I am so addicted to British TV, I have 3 PBS channels and BBC America, but I still subscribe to Acorn and Britbox. But I do get a lot of knitting in.

    • We just finished the first season of “Gentleman Jack”, and now have to wait with bated breath to see if there will be more. It’s a fabulous story based on the true diaries of Anne Lister, 1791-1840, a British landowner (in itself unusual) who openly lived as a lesbian, and was fiercely intelligent, curious and bold. Absolutely fascinating, and the acting, costumes
      and interiors in the series are phenomenal!

      • I’ve seen bits and pieces and love it. Such a different character than the one she plays in Scott & Bailey!

        • Will have to look out for that one!

      • Gentleman Jack is riveting and fascinating. Amazing performances, writing and directing. Sets, costumes truly impressive. I’ve been reading about Anne Lister since watching Gentleman Jack and her life is unique and interesting.

        • To say the least!

    • I’m obsessed with the Up series and have not missed one. I wondered if there would be a follow up 63, after the last one. Many of the participants seemed disillusioned and a bit resentful of the whole thing, but I am hooked. I’ve been resisting Britbox, but Shetland, and now this. Resistance appears to be futile…sigh.

  • I remember seeing the first installment of this serier – I am the same age as they are. Fabulous and so interesting. 🙂

  • Thank you for the heads up that 63 Up is airing. We do get BritBox….my DH loves everything British! He and I both look forward to your Sunday suggestions!

  • This sounds fascinating. I can’t wait for tonight, for Endevor to start.

  • Oh my. I think the last one of the series that I saw was 21 Up. I didn’t realize it had continued all this time. I agree, I think I’ll start at the beginning to refresh. Thanks for planning my entertainment schedule, again. 🙂

  • I had completely forgotten about UP. Back in the 80s and 90s I used the films (and they were still films: 16mm; projector and all) in my Developmental Psychology classes (in Canada, so the British background wasn’t quite as alien). I think the last one available when I last taught was 28UP. What an incredible task and journey…I may have to get Britbox just for this!

  • I’ve been thinking about BritBox, too! The question is: if I subscribe, will I ever get anything done, aside from knitting and inhaling British series? Also, I first came across Apted’s series with 28 Up. That was before the days of Youtube, so it took me a number of years to catch up with past installments. It’s such a unique series. It’s also been sort of like watching older (British!) siblings grow up and grow older, as I am, I think, about 5 years younger than the subjects.

  • Can you stream ALL seasons of Eastenders on BritBox? That might push me over the precipice.

    • I recently signed up for the trial to watch seasons 4 & 5 of Shetland so I’m not very familiar with Brit Box yet but, it looks to me like Eastenders is only 2017, 2018, and 2019.

  • I’ve been debating signing up for the free trial. Done.

  • Oh! I watched all the previous Up movies and was wondering when the next would come out, and if I’d ever even remember to look for it. So, thank you! I get Brit Box so I’m off to check it out.

  • Oh no, yet another temptation thrown my way! I tried to watch the Apted series years ago — must have been “35 Up”, but as a non-native English speaker, I was undone by the strong British accents. This was back in the dark ages of VHS tapes from the rental store; no close-caption included. I am assuming that CC is available on Britbox shows … but does anyone know for sure?

    • Yes, CC is available on Britbox. I haven’t watched this series so I can’t say how accurate the captioning is, but I had good luck with the captions for other Britbox programs I’ve watched.

  • Have you seen the series Detectorists? Created by and stars Mackenzie Crook, also stars Toby Jones and Rachael Stirling, with some appearances by her mum Diana Rigg (who plays her mum here). Utterly charming gentle comedy about two men who are members of a metal detecting club in rural Essex. Seasons One and Two are available via Amazon Prime, Season Three is on Acorn.

  • Actually watching the second episode of 63 Up at the same time as my daily checking of MDK. It’s definitely worth watching if you’ve followed the series, especially when one is around the same age as the participants! Understandably there is now more reminicising about their lives and they do discuss how they think having been part of the documentary has affected their lives. To me, they now also seem much more comfortable to engage with Michael Apted during the interviews, rather than just answering his questions.
    It seems that some of the filming crew have also worked on the series for many years, this is a lovely interview with the cameraman from the British newspaper The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/jun/01/seven-up-at-63-documentary-michael-apted-cameraman-george-jesse-turner-interview

    I’m already wondering if there will be a 70 Up.

  • I also am a fan of British TV and have Acorn, Britbox, PBS…. But, I could not find it on BritBox??? Would have liked to have binge watched that series….

  • Good one! It’s a remarkable feat to document a group of people over such a large span of time and create films. Not just oral histories and interviews or ethnographies. But little gems every 7 years. Terrific recommendation and I will dive in and revisit them on Britbox. Trial period you say? #swimminginsubscriptions

  • I subscribe to Britbox, but right now it only goes through 49 up? So excited to see 63 someday!