In the new episode of "Upstairs, Downstairs" to be shown on WETA (Channel 26) Sunday at 9 p.m. everybody get fired.

Everybody, Mr. Hudson the butler, Mrs. Bridges the cook, Rose the star, Ruby the Klutx - the wholes downstairs cast is gently told to clear out.

There's hardly anybody left upstairs, either. Lord Bellamy and his new wife and stepchildren prefer the Hyde Park Hotel, and James has closed off one room after another and taken to stroking his mustache sullenly in his bedroom.

But if you British serial addicts think that means you, too, are free - to spend Sunday night with the children, or to spend more time with the Forsyte family - you are mistaken.

In the nick of time, just when Hudson is saying that maybe be can get job as a porter in a club, and there isn't dry eye in the house - on any floor - all is saved. The Bellamys Senior move back in, the rooms are not only opened but also redecorated, and the staff is back in business.

And so are we all, for another 16 weeks. This stuff is going to go on, taking the Bellamy establishment from 1919 to 1930, with installments to be shown every Sunday at 9 p.m., and repeated on Thursday at 8 p.m.

The producer has promised that this will positively conclude the saga, which began in 1903, story-line time, which was 1971 in television-showing time, and has been slowly dragging through the decades ever since.

The sense of time one gets from it is increasingly curious. Because your emotions get tied up with property owners and specialized household servants, you have a tremendous interest in preserving the institutions which support them both. This is particularly evident in the new series, where tow servants - Edward and Daisy - who have tried to make it on their own in modern commerce, are pathetically grateful to be taken back into the life of service they made such a point of escaping.

Yet, as a modern viewer, you know you are being pulled toward a society in which great staffed houses can no longer exist. It is with a sinking feeling that one watches every sign of what we used to call progress, in this world, time can only make things worse.

But cheer up. At the end of the month, the Palliser series starts on WETA, and while the Bellamys are falling apart in the Jazz Age, you can start all over again, back in the Victorian era, when there was order in the world.