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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 April 2017
terrific value - a bargain way to buy all three series.
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on 27 March 2017
all good
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on 2 March 2017
Ideal present
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 15 November 2014
Lovely boxset. It was great to watch it all over again
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 5 November 2012
This DVD set is a real treat as it includes all 24 episodes to date and is released just in time to give as the perfect Christmas present. There are seven episodes from the first series, eight each from the second and third, plus the 2011 Christmas special which was arguably the best single episode so far; it was certainly one of the most dramatic!

The three series so far have taken us from 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, up to 1920. The circumstances surrounding each series have been in contrast with each other. The first series ran up to the start of the First World War, and the one of the main thrusts of the story line was the matchmaking within the Crawley family and the various financial and social influences on the choice of a suitable partner.

The second series moves on to the war years, when Downton Abbey had been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen. The time setting is from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. This background contributes to some very interesting scripts, and whilst some felt that it did not live up to the first series, personally I thought it was excellent, but different.

The Christmas special and the third series take place from late 1919 into 1920. The first features a very dramatic trial, and in the third series the household is far more back to the life of an aristocratic family as it was in the first series although the estate faces major challenges in the post war period and a need to embrace change if Downton is to survive. A major feature of the show is the interaction between the family and those who serve them `below stairs' and there are many strong performances amongst both groups. However, a review of Downton would not be complete without mention of Maggie Smith who, as Violet has some very funny lines and dominates every scene she is in. Shirley Maclaine was introduced in the third series, presumably as a foil to Violet and in particular to please American viewers, and the rather frosty relationship between the two worked very well.

I am sure that there will be few viewers who have not seen Downton, which is the most successful costume drama since Brideshead Revisited some thirty years ago. However if there are any out there this will be an excellent introduction to the show for them. Even if, like me, you have seen every episode to date you will enjoy revisiting them. Although this is the definitive box set to date, purchasers should be aware that there will be another 2 hour Christmas Special in 2012. I imagine that this set was rushed out to take advantage of the Christmas trade, but it is a shame it was not delayed for a couple of months so that it could include the 2012 Christmas Special. Although no announcement has been made it will be very surprising if at least a fourth series does not follow next year.

For those of you interested in extra features, this set includes what was included in the individual DVDs for Series 1,2 and 3. This amounts to over three hours of additional material!
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on 6 November 2012
Can't recommend this series highly enough. It has been compulsory Sunday viewing for the whole of our family.

This box set not only includes series 1-3 but also the superb Christmas special - the one that includes that fantastic put down line by the the brilliant Maggie Smith. She is a pure delight in nearly every scene she appears in be it one of her biting throwaway comments or indeed just a withering look!

There is always a number of interesting storylines on the go at the same time and so many strong characters. There is always tension downstairs with the servants, some continuously trying to get on at the expense of their colleagues, others just trying to survive.

Upstairs the sisters seem to go from one predicament to another with the father often looking on exasperated!

I'm delighted with this purchase. Ideal winter present - shut the curtains and dive in.
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on 13 January 2013
Hello diehards - you must be if you get to this at what must be bottom of the heap of reviews.
I'd like to take a different approach - to consider out loud why so many of us worldwide enjoy this series. As a declaration, I am an American; I have seen the entire UK version to date through season 3 (and the Highland special - blech!).

I unabashedly love period movies. There's a steping into others' lives and roles which I find have an enlightening and character challenging aspects. There's a time travel element that's refreshing and momentarily liberating.

So what is it about "Downton Abbey"? We are certainly given privileged insight into their interior lives. Most of the main characters are given some complexity to provide interest and thought. The time period is close enough that we can somewhat identify with it and yet not. It's the lives of people we knew and loved - our grandparents and great-grandparents. Their lives ultimately did/do have a reflection in who we are, where we are, what we do, how we think about things and what and how we value things. The time period was a great upheaval and resulted in dramatic change for the entire world; it affected every single one of our families in the not so distant past. It's was time and a system of life styles still very much in remembrance - in photos, letters, behavior, - and even Mrs. Patmore's recipes.

Why do we like to see old kitchens?

Best regards always, H:
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on 7 December 2012
I'm a huge American fan of this series, and love that these DVD's are "as originally aired in the UK" instead of the edited US PBS version. For any Yanks hesitating to order from Amazon UK, don't. They are easy and efficient to order from and I had absolutely no trouble with the pounds to dollars conversion or shipping.
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on 12 December 2012
I bought this for my wife, as personally I am not a Downton Abbey fan. She thinks the box set is great.

As detailed in earlier reviews, there are in total 24 episodes, including the 2011 Christmas special. From around 1912 to the 1920's, the drama covers the ups and downs of various family/servants. Compulsive viewing for my wife by all accounts. I did notice though that we are having Downton Abbey aired on Christmas Day 2012, so perhaps might be worth waiting to see if the box set is updated.

Great value box set, delivered quickly, and at a great price. Highly recommended.
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on 20 November 2012
Was planning to buy the box set for a while, but waited until the new series was aired, so glad I did. I pre ordered this and it arrived 2 days after the final episode aired.. Brilliant ...
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