The 1915 Ford Madox Ford novel on which this dramatization was based has nothing to do with war except, perhaps, on a domestic level. The tale is narrated by a highly conventional, deeply oblivious husband who discovers that for the past nine years, his wife has been the mistress of his best friend, Captain Ashburnham, the apparently honorable "good soldier" of the title. It starred "Masterpiece Theater favorites" Jeremy Brett and Brett Ellis, the swashbuckling hero of Poldark. Against blocks of color, Chermayeff juxtaposes the dropped-out whiteness of the narrator's summer suit. The few details—book, high collar and buttoned vest—suggest his dispassionate nature.
Instead of exploring the period aspects of this literary classic, Chermayeff's design takes an utterly modern tack, playing up the romance angle. The thigh-high image of a lady's white stocking superimposed on the photo of a riding boot against a scarlet background manages to suggest a delicious situation in a decorous manner that would surely bring a smile to Jane Austen's face. This multi-part performance was part of the Drawing Room Intrigue series and originally aired on October 26, 1980.
Printed in 1977, it was put out by Mobil to advertise the 16-week television series showcasing American Diplomatic History from Versailles to Pearl Harbor. Hosted by Eric Sevareid, a distinguished front-line radio reporter and political commentator for CBS, this was a remarkable series. The design is simple but brilliant, starting with the flattened WWI doughboy helmet, followed by Churchill's homburg, and then finally the deep, inverted bowl-shape of WWII.
Five selected episodes of Upstairs, Downstairs capped Masterpiece Theater's tenth-anniversary programming in style. "Television's most popular series" engaged and enlightened its devoted audience with social and historical commentary on Edwardian England seen through the lens of domestic doings in the townhouse of a wealthy London member of Parliament. The poster here adapts Chermayeff's original 1974 design for the show's final season which garnered six Emmy awards. It features an affectionately drawn portrait of lady's maid Rose as played by big-eyed Jean Marsh, one of the series' co-creators. The red shape is an allusion to the giant bow at the back of the cap that was a standard part of the uniform at the time.