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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A newly created Masterpiece.
When I first began watching this series on Masterpiece on PBS in the United States I kept thinking it was very familiar. Then it dawned on me - Gosford Park, it is just like Gosford Park. Well, that would be because they were both the brainchild of Julian Fellows and so are very similar because they cover approximately the same time period and the same English country...
Published on 14 Mar. 2011 by J. Lesley

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aesthetically flawless.Yet.....
An impeccable production.
The reproduction of the early 20th century era and the social environment in the U.K.,is,simply flawless.
Sets,costumes,acting,direction,and the overall atmosphere are exquisite.As are the several mini-stories that constitute the overall plot.
But,not being "a subject of the Crown"I could not help asking myself: "So...
Published 2 months ago by Lazaros K.


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A newly created Masterpiece., 14 Mar. 2011
When I first began watching this series on Masterpiece on PBS in the United States I kept thinking it was very familiar. Then it dawned on me - Gosford Park, it is just like Gosford Park. Well, that would be because they were both the brainchild of Julian Fellows and so are very similar because they cover approximately the same time period and the same English country house type settings. Just think Gosford Park meets Upstairs, Downstairs.

This set is divided into seven episodes, each approximately 45 minutes in length. The time period covered is between 1912 and 1914 with the first series ending just as war with Germany has been announced. And, yes, there is a second season which will begin filming in early Spring 2011.

The story covers the lives of the family members of the Earl of Grantham and the servants who work on the estate, Downton Abbey. We are treated to the visual feasts of a sumptuous home in the country along with splendid costuming which includes very good hair styles for the period. There are quite a few situations which are not strictly true to the time period but basically this series is loaded so much toward personal enjoyment that I was quite willing to overlook any particular error that was so obvious that even I caught it. My husband and I both simply sat back and enjoyed the stories taking place in the fabulous setting with this cast of characters we have already come to care about. I'm ready to pre-order my set for the second season right now!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars QUALITY FARE, 14 Nov. 2010
By 
Mr. D. L. Rees "LEE DAVID" (DORSET) - See all my reviews
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Two telegrams, both with devastating news: the loss of the Titanic; the outbreak of war. In between, over six hours of viewing that exhilarates.

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.
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206 of 224 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sumptuous drama!, 31 Oct. 2010
ITV have excelled themselves with such a lavish drama and stellar cast. Dame Maggie Smith delivers her lines with such character and timing, she simply has you in fits of laughter. You come to expect the BBC to produce the goods when it comes to period drama, but ITV have shown they are more than capable and each episode of Downton leaves you wanting more. I truly hope BAFTA recognise the drama as it deserves to win plenty of awards. Anyone who hasn't seen it yet should make every effort to asap as they won't be disappointed - I can't wait for the second series!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To keep in my favourites file for repeated playing!, 29 Jan. 2011
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Having wstched Downton Abbey devotedly on TV, and loved every episode, I just had to have a permanent copy to keep, and also purchased a second to send to my daughter who lives abroad which was greatly appreciated and enjoyed.

I think Downton is unique and cannot be compared with any of the earlier series of this kind - the characters are so believable. I think that the casting director should be greatly praised for an exceptional job, not forgetting the superb Julian Fellowes who wrote this memorable tale which covers the period from the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, with some brief reference to the Boer War at the turn of the century..a veritable brief history lesson. I just hope that the author does as equally an admirable job with the sequel, which I, for one, await with impatience.
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125 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Drama!, 8 Oct. 2010
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Normally the BBC are the ones for drama but ITV have proved themselves more than capable!!!! Julian Fellowes has done a fantastic job portraying an aristocratic family in the early twentieth century. The plots are well balanced and intriguing, and he makes sure to include the below-stairs as well as the up-stairs supported by a brilliant cast, including the legendary, Dame Maggie Smith. In conclusion, this drama is the creme de la creme and definitely deserves a second series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Downton Abbey, 7 Dec. 2010
By 
Sandra Martin (England) - See all my reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed this series.Written by Julian Fellows it is new, not adapted from any book.The characters change through out the series and the ones you hate at the beginning don't necessarily stay the same.
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bravo Julian Fellows, 2 Nov. 2011
By 
G. R. Donaldson (Great Britain) - See all my reviews
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Downton Abbey is without question the best tv drama ITV have produced since Brideshead Revisited. My girlfriend bought me the complete series one from amazon. Best gift ever. The series is visually stunning and the character development is on a par with any classic feature film. The stellar cast are without exception uniformly excellent. As a study of the contrast between the lifestyles of those above and below stairs Downton Abbey beats Upstairs Downstairs hands down. The sensitive dialogue by Julian Fellows of Gosford Park fame is a delight, wit and charm runs throughout each episode. I had never watched the series on television but the buzz about how good it is, is everywhere. What surprises me the most about this series is that it is not my normal type of viewing, its testament to its sheer quality that an anti costume drama type like me enjoys it so much. This series merits every plaudit bestowed upon it. I really cant think of a better way to spend a dark winter evening than with your Downton Abbey boxset. I will be ordering series two which comes out at the end of this week. Sheer brilliance.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly good...., 25 Dec. 2010
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Well.... we live in Italy and cannot get this live on ITV. So many friends have told us about this series that we felt we had to see it. The DVD's arrived just before Christmas and we can't stop! We are desperately trying to ration ourselves to one episode a day. We therefore hope and pray that series 2 is underway for what must be one of the best period dramas ever. We thought Cranford was unbeatable but....... So well done ITV for a change, you may take a bow!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely pitch-perfect!, 6 April 2011
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It is very rare that I find a television show that is so well-done and such a pure unadulterated joy to watch that there isn't a single thing I would change --- "Downton Abbey" is such a show!

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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Aesthetically flawless.Yet....., 25 Mar. 2015
An impeccable production.
The reproduction of the early 20th century era and the social environment in the U.K.,is,simply flawless.
Sets,costumes,acting,direction,and the overall atmosphere are exquisite.As are the several mini-stories that constitute the overall plot.
But,not being "a subject of the Crown"I could not help asking myself: "So what ?".What does the series provide me with apart from an aesthetic pleasure ? If I miss one or more episodes,is that a problem ? Do I really care about that ?
The answer ,I am afraid,was negative.Yes,I did watch the odd episode whenI came across it.And I enjoyed the great performances of all main characters,with particular emphasis to the one of my all-time "darling",the great Maggie Smith !
But that is all.Nothing memorable,nothing to linger in my mind for more than a few hours.
Enjoyable,yes.Aesthetically pleasing,most certainly.But that's about it,as far as I'm concerned.
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Downton Abbey Series 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free]
Downton Abbey Series 1 [Blu-ray] [Region Free] by Hugh Bonneville (Blu-ray - 2010)
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