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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
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The much anticipated Downton Abbey Special delivered the highlight of the Christmas TV viewing schedule in style. There was plenty of action with the central plot featuring Mr Bates on trial for murder at a time when convicted murderers were often hanged and the impact of this on the Downton Abbey household above and below stairs. However, there was a good measure of dramatic sub plots featuring blackmail, romance, ambition and betrayal - in fact all the things one would expect from Downton!

This is probably the best ever episode of Downton Abbey so should definitely not be missed.

The timescale here took us from the end of 1919 into the beginning of 1920 so this will be the starting point for Season 3 which should hit our screens later in 2012. Downton Abbey Series 1 attained critical acclaim and earned the series the title of the most popular costume drama since Brideshead Revisited - The Complete Collection (Digitally Remastered) [DVD] almost 30 years ago - given the number of period dramas both ITV and BBC churn out this is quite an accolade. Reviews for Series 2 were more mixed although personally I really enjoyed it, but few would have had much to complain about with this two hour special. This has hopefully set the standard for Series 3 which we now know will include Shirley MacLaine. I cannot wait to see her playing opposite Maggie Smith!
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on 26 December 2011
This is a fantastic episode, undoubtedly the best yet. It is bursting with cracking drama and both tense and happy moments. I was afraid as a christmas episode it may either be too sad or too sickly happy, however the balance was perfect. With superb writing and superb acting the weeks of waiting certainly paid off. With the excitement and anticipation building up to this episode, downton once again did not fail to live up to and exceed epectations. I went to sleep on christmas day with a very large grin accross my face. It's truly a must see masterpiece of television, guarranteed to leave you smiling for days and with a warm feeling of satisfaction at the perfect conclusion to a truly epic series.
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on 25 December 2011
On Christmas Eve I said to my husband 'Only one more sleep till Downton.' He snorted, thinking I was joking. I was not.

Christmas at Downton is certain to join the annual, unmissable Christmas treats that people watch every year along with It's a Wonderful Life and The Snowman.

I spent two blissful hours this Christmas evening at the Big House, among the people I have got to know so well. There are lots of little hints sparkling all the way through about future plot lines, so it leaves us hungering after series three. Very tantalising.

How very very glad I am that I had pre-ordered the DVD. It should be here around the 28th, and I will watch it all again before the end of the holidays, then I will test my will power by putting it away and trying not to get it out before December 2012. (No promises, though!)

I will give away none of the story in case some people have not seen it yet. Well, maybe just one tiny thing? Thomas dances with the Dowager Countess.....there now, that alone makes it worth owning the DVD, don't you think?
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on 27 January 2012
Absolutely essential viewing if you love the series.Beautifully ties up all loose ends at the conclusion of Series Two with more than a hint of what is to come in Series Three.Can't wait now for Series Three - and, hopefully, beyond.
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on 13 October 2012
Purchased for my wife who is a great fan of the series to provide a memory jog of the different characters before the screening of the current series. I must confess that although i detest soaps I enjoyed the pace of the story and blast it I am hooked!
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on 16 March 2012
I am such a fan of Downton Abbey. This was a great addition to my collection of Downton Abbey DVDs and everything Highclere Castle. I recommend this DVD to anyone who has not seen it. Can't wait for Season 3. I will be ordering from the UK as we Yanks won't get it till fall.
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on 27 December 2011
Downton Abbey was on my must watch Christmas list and I spent most of Christmas Day looking forward to watching it. I was not disappointed. The storylines were fantastic with Mr Bates going on trial for murdering his wife, Mary trying to decide if she should marry to keep her secret and the Dowager Countess speaking her mind as usual.
I don't want to give too much away but the ending was fantastic and I spent most of the episode on the edge of my seat awaiting the fate of Mr Bates.
I can't wait for series 3. Until then I will have to make do with watching my Downton Abbey dvds.
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on 25 January 2012
My special treat ! I discovered this series on french TV, and couldn't wait to see the next episodes. Following the Crawley family is a real pleasure. I like the way it is funny and very dignified at the same time! It is definitely worth the money.
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on 11 January 2012
This is actually an addendum to my previous review of "Downton Abbey" (Season 1 & 2) DVD pack.

Having now finally found the time to watch this, I must say I am as impressed as ever. I had suspected a cheerful "Christmas Carol"-style account, and I was gifted with a thrilling, fascinating and highly involving eighty minutes episode that rounds Season 2 up and leads directly into what I really hope will reveal itself to be a very promising Third Season.

Allow me to apologize for my silly enthusiasm here. Give me pause, but it is indeed so very rare to have good TV these days, and when it comes our way, I simply cannot stop cheering at it. I know it is childish, but as Siskel would express it, I can only give it a big and firm two thumbs up.

Even in "Christmas at Downton Abbey" you get your usual thrills and frills, together with some tense moments distributed here and there.

It has tragedy, cheer, comfort and resolution contained in it and this is indeed a Royal Christmas gift from all who were involved in producing it.

As I had mentioned beforehand, the actors and actresses are all in top condition and glisten like the Christmas ornaments on the beautiful tree they so sumptuously displayed in the opening scenes.

I simply love how the entire story moves and flows like a never ending river only to conclude with a very pleasant surprise. I won't reveal anything here, less I spoil your contentment. Suffice it to say that to those who have still a sentimental or romantic streak it will come as a welcome, dignified and ultimately, inevitable ending.

Can I say more?

Yes I can, at least on the technical part of it. The entire series presented here in DVD format, is crystal clear and the sound is pleasant and clear also.

I can do just one thing. Recommend it to all those who love good story telling and good acting. I thank the entire cast and all those behind them for giving us proof that entertaining movies don't always come with expensive special effects or chases, but that there are still professionals at work who can still do so with good, intelligent and solid scripts.

My final bow goes to all of them. Bravo! Continue with the good work. You have made me a fan of you all. Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!
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on 5 September 2016
Downtown Abbey at Christmas. Bought as a gift, and the gift was requested. They love it.
Said the DVD was awesome, can't comment on content as I didn't watch it, but they said the quality was perfect.
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