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News by drewjoana posted 7 months ago
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Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess of Grantham with her son’s mother-in-law, Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine, photographed in the Octagon Room at Basildon Park, in West Berkshire, England. (Click image to enlarge.)
If Downton Abbey has a message (aside from the fact that you really can own too much silver), it is that life goes on. Matthew Crawley may end up dead in a ditch, but he leaves behind a baby boy for Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) to raise. Sybil, Mary’s youngest sister, may perish after childbirth, but she has the good manners to make sure her baby girl survives. The tale of how these two tykes grow up and connive for control of Downton Abbey should make for an excellent Season 11, but for the moment all we need to concern ourselves with is Season 4, which starts on January 5 on PBS. There will be a few new characters, such as Cora’s rascally brother (played by Paul Giamatti) and Lady Shackleton (Dame Harriet Walter), a dear friend of the Dowager Countess of Grantham’s. (One can only assume that the mystery of where Lady Shackleton spent the first three seasons will be addressed.) But most of the household, up and down, returns, and while the...
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Opinion by DR76 posted 8 months ago
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"DOWNTON ABBEY" – Series Three (2012) Retrospective

It took me a while to get around watching Series Three of "DOWNTON ABBEY". I had been inclined to watch it, while it aired on PBS last winter. But in the end, I decided to wait until the DVD release was offered through Netflix.

I suspect that some of my reluctance to watch the show's Series Three could be traced to my major disappointment over the lackluster Series Two. In fact, a part of me is amazed that the series' shoddy look at World War I could end up with an Emmy nomination for Best Drama. But I figured that series creator, Julian Fellowes, would make up for the Emmy-nominated disaster known as Series Two with an improved third season. In the end, Series Three proved to be an improvement. Somewhat.

What did I like about Series Three of "DOWNTON ABBEY"? It possessed three plot lines that I found a good deal to admire:

[i]1) The estate's financial crisis
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Opinion by DR76 posted 10 months ago
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"THE WRONG CLASS"

After three seasons of viewing Britain's ITV series, "DOWNTON ABBEY", it occurred to me that there was something off about Julian Fellowes' portrayal of one of the major characters. That character is Matthew Crawley. And it is an error that I am surprised Fellowes had made.


"DOWNTON ABBEY" began with news of the sinking of the White Star liner, the R.M.S. Titanic in April 1912. This famous event also caused the deaths of James and Patrick Crawley, the heirs presumptive to the Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham. This disruption in the line for the Grantham earldom forced Lord Grantham to seek his next heir, due to the fact that the title and estates only pass to male Crawleys and not to any of his three daughters. Lord Grantham's new heir turns out to be his third cousin once removed, Matthew Crawley.

Introduced at the end of the series' first episode, Matthew is a solicitor from Manchester, who lives with his widowed mother, former nurse Mrs. Isobel Crawley. When he receives word that he is to be the Earl of Grantham's new heir, Matthew does not seem particular pleased. He is very reluctant...
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