Downton Abbey - Series 1 [DVD]
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Sumptuous costume drama Downton Abbey, written and created by Academy Award™ winner Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park, The Young Victoria) boasts an all-star cast featuring Hugh Bonneville (Lost in Austen), Maggie Smith (Nanny McPhee and the Big Bang, Harry Potter), Elizabeth McGovern (Clash of the Titans), Michelle Dockery (Cranford), Dan Stevens (Sense & Sensibility), Penelope Wilton (Dr Who, Pride & Prejudice), Jim Carter (Cranford), Phyllis Logan , Siobhan Finneran (Benidorm), Joanne Froggatt (Robin Hood), Rob James-Collier (Coronation Street) and Brendan Coyle (Lark Rise to Candleford). This prestigious ensemble brings the world of Downton to life with splendour and passion.
Set in England in the years leading up to the First World War, Downton Abbey tells the story of a complicated community. The house has been home to the Crawley family for many generations, but it is also where their servants live, and plan, and dream, and they are as fiercely jealous of their rank as anyone. Some of them are loyal to the family and committed to Downton as a way of life, others are moving through, on the look out for betterment or love or just adventure. The difference is that they know so many of the secrets of the family, while the family know so few of theirs. But for all the passions that rage beneath the surface, this is a secure world, serene and ordered, and, at first glance, it seems it will last forever. Little do they know, family or staff, that the clouds of the conflict that will change everything are already gathering over their heads.
- Episode 1
- Episode 2
- Episode 3
- Episode 1 Commentary
- Episode 2 Commentary
- Episode 4
- Episode 5
- Episode 6
- Episode 7
- Deleted Scenes
- The Making of Downton Abbey
- A House in History - Downton Abbey
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Top Customer Reviews
Downton Abbey is the star, virtually a character in its own right. It contains two communities, each reliant on the other. Already the new century is beginning to threaten what both hold most dear.
Upstairs and down, everything rings true - a bygone age lovingly recreated. This is Julian Fellowes' brainchild, he deserving most credit, but praise goes to all who converged to create something extra special.
Dame Maggie Smith dominates but does not eclipse. Hugh Bonneville impresses as the enlightened Earl. Below stairs, Jim Carter is awesomely aloof butler Carson (with a secret that stuns), Brendan Coyle moving as the new valet with a limp and a troubled past. Lady's maid O'Brien and footman Thomas are enjoyably horrible, the one regret in the series that nice footman William did not give Thomas a far heftier thump.
Throughout there are lines to savour, especially from the Dowager Duchess. About the recently drowned heir: "He was too much like his mother and a nastier woman never drew breath." Recoiling from newly installed electric lights: "I feel I am on stage at the Gaiety." Disconcerted by a swivel chair but declining a replacement: "No, no - I am a good sailor."
Here is a production so full of fine things, one can only applaud - delight increased by news there will be a second season.
(Bonuses include two commentaries and behind the scenes features. Thank you to whoever removed those irritating pre-credits trailers. If only this could be done for all similarly afflicted television series when transferred to DVD!)
Wholeheartedly recommended, but by now you will have gathered that.
It follows a household on a large country estate from 1912 to 1914, both above and below stairs.It tries to merge historical facts with fiction.Julian Fellows has a very fresh and easy way of writing,the house is beautiful,and although all the cast are excellent,Maggie Smith stands out.She portrays her Dowager Duchess as very old school while the rest of her family try to bring her into the 20th century.It is done with great wit ......"Whats a weekend" she is heard to ask.
Well worth a look.
I was intrigued right from the beginning of episode 1, and for me there was not a dull moment in the entire series. The story follows the daily lives of both the residing family and the staff of the house, and I found both to be utterly fascinating.
Every character is lovingly drawn, every actor's performance absolutely spot-on, and every scene is done with incredible attention to detail. All of this --- along with the great writing and directing and the beautiful cinematography --- adds up to a series that is simply pitch-perfect!
If there is one complaint I have then it is that this first season was much too short! Only 7 episodes --- that really isn't much. I wish there had been more episodes, but from what I hear they are filming season 2 right now so I can look forward to that ... :o)
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