!!!''"Give me a child until he is seven and I will give you the man."'' [[subscript:Jesuit maxim]]

The ''Up'' Series comprises (at present) eight television documentaries following 14 English people's lives from the age of 7 upward. Beginning as an episode of the [[{{ITV}} Granada]] Television ''World In Action'' series in 1964, "Seven Up!" aimed to show the different attitudes and prospects of children from different social classes. It proved so popular that the children were revisited seven years later, and every seven years after that. Film director Michael Apted (''GorillasInTheMist, Film/TheWorldIsNotEnough, Film/TheVoyageOfTheDawnTreader'') was involved with the original programme as a young researcher and chose the child participants, and has made every subsequent instalment over the decades since.

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[[folder: The films so far are: ]]

* ''Seven Up!'' (1964)
* ''7 Plus Seven'' (1970)
* ''21 Up'' (1977)
* ''28 Up'' (1984)
* ''35 Up'' (1991)
* ''42 Up'' (1998)
* ''49 Up'' (2005)
* ''56 Up'' (2012)

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[[folder: The people featured are: ]]

* Three upper-class boys from a posh pre-preparatory school in Kensington: John Brisby, Charles Furneaux and Andrew Brackfield.
* Suzanne (Suzy) Lusk, also from a wealthy family, attended a posh private school
* Bruce Balden, also privately educated
* Two middle-class boys from Liverpool, Neil Hughes and Peter Davies
* Nicholas (Nick) Hitchon, who grew up on a small farm in Yorkshire
* Three girls from working-class London: Jackie Bassett, Lynn Johnson and Susan (Sue) Davis
* Tony Walker, from the East End of London
* Symon Basterfield and Paul Kligerman, from a children's home in London. Symon was the only non-white person featured; he had a black father and white mother.
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!!Tropes associated with the ''Up'' Series:
* TheSixties: ''Seven Up!''
* TheSeventies: ''7 Plus Seven'' and ''21 Up''
* TheEighties: ''28 Up''
** EightiesHair: Quite a bit of it.
* TheNineties: ''35 Up'' and ''42 Up''
* TurnOfTheMillennium: ''49 Up''
* TheNewTens: ''56 Up''
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* AustralianAccent: Paul, after his father takes him to Oz in his youth.
* BoisterousBruiser: Tony and Symon, aged 7 at least.
* BritishBrevity: Probably the best example: ten episodes in 42 years...
* TheBusCameBack: John didn't appear in ''28 Up'' but returned for later editions to publicise his Bulgarian charities. Symon missed ''35 Up'' as he [[spoiler:was going through a messy divorce]]; he returned for the later versions.
** Peter dropped out after ''28 Up'' after his comments about Margaret Thatcher cost him his job. He's finally returning in ''56 Up''.
* BritishAccents: Pronounced.
** Neil and Peter have Scouse accents reminiscent of Music/TheBeatles.
** The public school kids speak classic Received Pronunciation ("Stop it at ''once''!").
** Yorkshire: Nick, of course. Elements of which is still detectable in later life in America.
** East London: Jackie, Lynn, Susan and Tony
* UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem: Forms a major part of it, as the creator, Michael Apted, initially wanted to show the unfair privileges private education granted.
** TheGoodOldBritishComp: Jackie and Susan attend one
** {{Oxbridge}}: John, Andrew and Nick all go to Oxford. Charles didn't make it, and said he was glad in a sense to have avoided the "prep school-Marlborough-Oxbridge conveyor belt". Neil didn't make it either, leading to a HeroicBSOD.
* ChuckCunninghamSyndrome:
** Charles dropped out after ''21 Up'' and never returned. He attempted to sue Apted for using some of the footage of him in later films.
** Nick's wife refused to be interviewed after ''28 Up'' after many fans said she didn't deserve him.
* DriverOfABlackCab: Tony
* [[BritainIsOnlyLondon England Is Only London]]: Ten of the 14 were Londoners or boarding in London when the show was made.
* FirstNameBasis: The participants' surnames are never mentioned.
* FollowTheLeader: Many versions followed, in the USSR, USA, South Africa, Australia, Denmark, New Zealand, Netherlands...
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: ''Seven Plus 7'' has perhaps the most memorable shot of the whole series, where Suzy's dog chases down and kills a rabbit in the middle of her interview, then presents her with it. Complete with Apted saying "I think your dog has something for you."
* LondonGangster: Apted suspected that Tony would become one, and filmed him driving around "rough" areas in ''21 Up'' for use in later films. However, Tony went on to achieve law-abiding success.
* LongRunner
* MyNaymeIs: Symon
* ParentalAbandonment: At 7, Symon and Paul were in a children's home; Symon's mother was clinically depressed; Paul's father's reasons are not given.
* PornStache: Paul
* ShrinkingViolet: Nick and Suzy in ''Seven Plus 7'' make almost no eye contact with the camera.
* TokenMinority: Symon is the only non-white (although, in fairness, 1 in 14 is far higher than the actual proportion of non-whites in 1960s England).
** To a lesser degree, the female participants fit here as well. Only 4 of the 14 children were girls -- while the programme aimed to show children from different ''class'' backgrounds, equal ''gender'' representation was not particularly considered in 1964. Apted has stated since that one of his regrets is that they did not take feminism into account, and consequently included fewer girls and did not select them on the basis of any possible careers they might choose.
* ATouchOfClassEthnicityAndReligion: The original documentary's hypothesis, based on the quote at the top of this page, was that the UK's class structure is so strong a person's life path would be set at birth: at seven years old, the children's lives would already be representative of what they would grow up into. The assumption is that those born into the 'higher' classes of society will do better for themselves than those from the 'lower', who will struggle to progress up the social ladder. (The producer of the original programme had at one point thought to line 20 children up on the street, have three of them step forward and narrate ''"of these twenty children, only three will be successful"''... an idea which was not used, [[ValuesDissonance perhaps mercifully in hindsight]].) The idea of class immobility held up in most, but not all, cases as the series has progressed: the children from the working classes have by and large remained in those circles, though Tony seems to have become more middle class.
* WalkingTheEarth: Neil, to an extent, in ''28 Up''
* YourCheatingHeart: Tony admitted he was feeling tempted to cheat on his wife at 35, and by 42 he had actually done it. The marriage survived, and both he and his wife are remarkably willing to talk about it to the cameras.
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