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Monday, June 11, 2012

Small Screen Scenes: Downton Abbey Season One Episode Five Highly Recommended by Whom You Know Available Now From PBS Distribution

Episode Five starts with a bang with a bad memory for Daisy, a letter from Lord Grantham's sister Rosamund and good news for Gwen from Sybil.  Thank goodness things are changing for women.  But on Downton Abbey, the more things change the more they stay the same and Thomas is up to his old shenanigans, this time starting with a bottle of wine.  And he and O'Brien grill Daisy on her troubles and it gets worse: O'Brien plants evil seeds in the mind of Edith.  And the sisterly feud gets ever so more nasty, verbally of course.

The excitement never ends!

"It's easy to be generous when you have nothing to lose," says Lady Mary-pay attention to the undertones.  You know it's drama when the cook can't make the requested dessert for the lady of the house at a moment's notice at the request of a guest-and when two members of the staff look at each other a certain way-and when a maid escapes to follow her dreams with one of the Earl's daughters....and telegrams, telegrams, telegrams!  The ancestor of email!

Snuffboxes-how interesting to see what the Earl collects.  And poor Edith, barking up the wrong tree.  Not only has Sybil worn pants in the last episode (daring!) but she is figuratively wearing them these days as she becomes braver to become herself.  We continue to be in love with the library-how gorgeous!

And a flower show-how lovely!  Maybe he WILL shine by comparison: watch and you shall see!  Lady Mary is still on the meat market, so to speak.  Rumors rumors...unkind gossip...are the words from London true?  However, the world is changing.  Forty years of boredom...but we do wish that she'd be more careful with the toys that she's playing with.  A squabble with Edith simply is not worth it.  And who will win The Grantham Cup?  So unlike The Stanley Cup, but we can hear the Dowager Countess on about our comment there-What is the Stanley Cup would be right up there with What is a Weekend?  Ignorance is bliss apparently since she wouldn't know a Monday either!   

Finally, moonlight on Grantham and all is well.  Until a letter is sealed.

Whom You Know Highly Recommends Downton Abbey Season One Episode Five!
And, we are pleased to announce we have a star-studded interview and critique on what this series is based on.

Get your own copy, and start watching:







Special Extra Features Include “The Making of Downton Abbey” and “A House In History”

Arlington, VA November 1 -- PBS Distribution is pleased to announce the January DVD release of “Downton Abbey,” MASTERPIECE’s lead program for its 40th anniversary celebration. Written and created by Oscar-winning writer Julian Fellowes (“Gosford Park”), “Downton Abbey” is an epic British TV period drama which will air on PBS over four Sunday nights in January and will be released on DVD January 11, 2011. Special bonus features on the DVD include two featurettes:“The Making of Downton Abbey” and “A House In History.” The dealer order date is December 14, 2010.

A smash hit when it aired in the UK, “Downton Abbey” follows in the tradition of the Emmy Award-winning “Upstairs, Downstairs” (a MASTERPIECE THEATRE favorite when it aired in the 1970s), which portrayed the lives of a wealthy aristocratic family and the relationships they had with their servants. “Downton Abbey” features lavish costumes, beautiful cinematography, seamless direction, and impeccably accurate set design. The cast includes Dame Maggie Smith (“Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone”), Hugh Bonneville (“Notting Hill,” “Iris”) and Elizabeth McGovern (“Clash of the Titans,” “The Wings of the Dove”).
Quotes about “Downton Abbey’s” British Premier on ITV
“An impeccably polished stroll back to the past.”
--London’s Metro

“…a sumptuous, instantly riveting glimpse of a world – and family – on the verge of profound change.” 
--London Telegraph

“The whole thing looks divine, and has the distinct advantage of being an original story and so completely unknown to all the viewers.”
--The Yorker
Plot Details
Set in 1912, “Downton Abbey” encompasses all the drama, romance, and politics of this era and is comparable to any lavish period piece on the big screen. Dame Maggie Smith portrays the matriarch of the Crawley family, desperately trying to navigate and strategize so her son (Hugh Bonneville) can hold onto the multi-million dollar inheritance he married into. Elizabeth McGovern gives an outstanding performance as the mother to their four daughters, each dowry-endowed, to attract an appropriate suitor. The eldest, Mary (Michelle Dockery) is as interested in being married through arrangement as she is in socializing with the servants downstairs.

And as all the drama is happening upstairs, downstairs also has its share. The servants are shaken up with the arrival of a new valet, John Bates (Brendan Coyle). Bates arrives at Downton in the first episode to take the position, but the servants are not supportive when they see he is wounded from the war and is lame. The help is as fiercely possessive of their ranks as anyone above and Thomas (Rob James-Collier), the first footman, wants Bates’ job and will do anything to get it – including theft and deceit. Some of the other servants are loyal to the family and are committed to Downton as a way of life, but others are moving through, on the look out for new opportunities, love or just adventure.

Much like blockbuster epic films such as “Young Victoria,” “Sense & Sensibility,” “Gosford Park,” “Howard’s End,” and “A Room With A View,” “Downton Abbey” is an engaging series that fans of period pieces will love. The series is comprised of three discs which have an approximate running time of six hours. 


“Downton Abbey”
Genre: Drama
Price: $34.99
Running Time: 6 Hours/3 Discs
Street Date: January 11, 2011

Bonus Features

The Making of Downton Abbey (Running Time 13:09)
A House in History (Running Time 9:43)

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