34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on 11 November 2013
This has seen a return to form; no random, melodramatic storylines, some shocks and well executed arc to the story. Ok, it is not as fresh as Series 1 but it never could be. This has been a thoroughly enjoyable series with several storylines which are clearly being planted and not rushed.
To be truthful, I can't wait for the Christmas special!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 December 2013
THIS 4TH SEASON OF DOWNTON ABBEY CONTINUES TO REFLECT THE SUPERLATIVE EDITING AND CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT OF ITS PREDECESSORS.A FIFTH SEASON IS EAGERLY ANTICIPATED AS THE STORYLINE APPROACHES THE DEPRESSION 30'S.BEING A CANADIAN TRANSPLANT TO THE U.S.,I LAMENT THE COMPARATIVELY LAME,MIND-DEADENING TRIPE THAT PASSES FOR AMERICAN CONTEMPORARY DRAMA ON THE SCREEN IN RECENT YEARS.THAT DOWNTON HAS TWEAKED THE HOPES OF THE CULTURALLY ATTUNED CANNOT BE DENIED GIVEN THE VIEWING RATINGS THUS FAR.UNFORTUNATELY,I HOLD LITTLE HOPE THAT QUALITY OF THIS CREATIVE GENRE HAS AWAKENED THE ENTERTAINMENT MOGULS TO EMULATE THEIR BRITISH COUSINS (HOWEVER FEW) IN EFFECTING A REVIVAL OF AN INCREASINGLY RARE GEM OF WHAT REMAINS OF OUR INSIPID "WESTERN CULTURE." TKANE RANDOLPH,OHIO USA
59 of 71 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2013
I was just about to place my order for the latest series series 4 of Downton Abbey until I realised that the cost of £34.99 was only a penny less than the complete series 1-4 plus the two Christmas editions. As the complete set is around 30 hours compared with 8 hours for series 4, this makes no economic sense. Plus the fact that the blu-ray discs for the previous series are only about a third what Amazon are currently attempting to charge, I cannot help but feel that we are being taken for a bit of a ride bearing in mind the close proximity of Christmas.
I have cancelled my order until the price drops to a more realistic level and Amazon apologises for attempting to rip off the public.
David Riley, Poole
32 of 39 people found the following review helpful
With a global audience of over 125 million, Downton Abbey Season 4 is probably the most anticipated show this year. This number of followers is set to increase as Chinese State TV has, apparently, just started to broadcast it, although what the average Chinese television viewer will make of the antics of the Crawleys I shudder to think! This time round we pick up six months on from the tragic end to the Series 3 Christmas Special.
Downton has moved with the times, and, as usual, great care has been taken to make the setting, including all the small details, correct for the period. Hence clothes and hair styles have changed and advances in technology, such as telegrams, telephones and even new fangled electric kitchen gadgets are evident. The cast has all the significant characters who survived the last series, so Maggie Smith continues as the matriarch who dominates every scene she is in and can always be relied upon for a caustic comment. There are some new faces to look out for, one of whom is Kiri Te Kanawa, the New Zealand opera singer as well as a couple of other well known characters in cameo roles.
More of the scenes this time round have been filmed on location in London. Meanwhile at Downton itself, the antics and interaction of those `below stairs' continues to contribute some very interesting story lines and their trials and tribulations are, in many ways, one of the most interesting aspects of the show. Above stairs initially Lady Mary is, understandably, rather subdued whilst Lady Edith takes a much more prominent role, having, perhaps, been somewhat overshadowed previously. In advance of this series the producers publicly promised no more deaths, at least for a while, but I will not be giving away any key parts of the plot here as I certainly do not want to spoil the enjoyment of anyone who has missed the series on TV!
Downton Abbey has certainly continued to go from strength to strength and has confounded those critics who thought it would peter out after a couple of series. If you enjoyed the previous seasons then Season 4 is unlikely to disappoint, and there is every sign that the show is set to continue. I do not believe any announcement has been made about Season 5 yet but apparently some of the key figures have already signed contracts for it. However, personally I would not be surprised to see it run up to the 1930s in due course. I certainly hope so!
For those interested in extra features, included with this set are 'A Making' , The Downton Diaries and New Arrivals.
The UK version of this DVD set does not include the Christmas Special 2013, and this will doubtless be issued separately following the Christmas Day showing. However, the North American DVD set will include this episode which is the finale of Season 4, when it is issued early next year. Also, for anyone outside Europe who is tempted to buy this set in advance of their locally issued version, please note that this is a Region 2 DVD which will only play on a Region 2 or Region Free DVD player.
on 4 December 2013
I live in Cyprus and so it is difficult to watch Downton Abbey when it comes out on television, as a result of which I purchase the DVDs which I have just finished watching. As each new series comes it is an improvement on the last which seems almost impossible to imagine, I find myself almost believing that the characters portrayed are real which is very scary and a sign of excellent acting. It isn't just the story lines, or the actors but also the costumes and the sets are so redolent of the early 1920s that if there were anybody alive who lived in that period, they would have to agree they are jolly accurate. To think we have to wait almost a whole year before the next series comes out! But, in the meantime, we have the Christmas special to look forward to, however, Amazon I have not found any mention of the possibility of pre-ordering it, why is that? I want it and I want it now or I am going to jump up and down and scream and shout until I am sick!! I have already signed up to be alerted once the next series is becoming available to purchase, why not the 2013 Christmas Special?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 April 2014
I have been addicted to Downton Abbey since the first episode and found it difficult to wait week to week for next episode !!!! I have watched every episode and have continued to enjoy series 4 and the the additional specials .Cant wait for next series and all it will offer !!!!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2014
While I enjoyed watching this series i felt it lacked the fascination of the last series.I think too much emphasis was put on the lad who didnt return daisies affection and not enough on other characters.hope the next series captures the warmth of earlier series.
on 11 May 2015
Episode with Blake and Lady Mary saving the pigs are good, and the season finale was quite interesting. Though I have to point out that the storyline of Bates finding the note (spoiler alert for episode 9) is not believable. In previous scenes, Lord Grantham and Lady Mary didn't made it clear to Bates why they needed the forged letter, the only reason given to Bates was "it is for an honourable cause". When their plan failed, Bates happened to know exactly what to look for in the overcoat pocket?! Disappointed that Fellowes didn't check with script supervisor - it was non-sensical. Overall - I would like to see more of Charles Blake in season 6, his forward thinking could shake up Lady Mary's storyline.