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First Two Series of a Superb Period Drama
on 11 October 2011
Downton Abbey is already close to an institution as the most popular costume drama for about 30 years, and produced by ITV as well despite this being very much on the BBC's home turf. So far we have two series, with a third promised which will take us up to the 1920s with doubtless more to come. This DVD set covers the first two series, with 15 episodes, 7 from the first series and 8 from the second.
The first series covered the period from 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, up to the start of the first world war in 1914 and much of the story line is about the matchmaking within the Crawley family where financial and social influences have a major bearing. Of course the interaction between the family and those who serve them `below stairs' is a continual contributor to the excellent story lines. The second series picks up two years on from the first series in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen and the action covers the period from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. In both series topical events of the period, political, economic and military are covered.
There are many superb individual performances but mention must be made of Maggie Smith. What a stroke of genius to cast her as Violet. She dominates every scene she appears in and often has some very funny lines.
This box set will appeal to, what the TV viewing figures suggest, will be the few viewers who may have missed out first time round and also to the many who enjoyed this superb production and will want to revisit it.