An adaptation of Flora Thompson's autobiographical novel "Lark Rise To Candleford", set in 19 century Oxfordshire, in which a young girl moves to the local market town to begin an apprenticeship as a postmistress.
Lord Crawley sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard the Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley, a Manchester lawyer, suddenly is next in line and accepts moving onto the vast estate with his even more modernist, socially engaged mother, who clashes with his lordship's domineering, conservative mother, the dowager. Marrying off the daughters is another concern. Meanwhile, the butler presides over a staff which serves the family, but also lead most of their entire lives in the servants' quarters, intriguing amongst themselves. Written by
When the first series was broadcast, Julian Fellowes, the creator and executive producer, was annoyed at newspaper articles which printed viewers' criticisms of anachronisms (e.g. TV aerials and double yellow lines in shot), especially the newspapers' assumptions that *all* such criticisms were valid - for example the word "boyfriend" was wrongly thought to be an anachronism when in fact it appeared in print in 1889, long before the time when Downton Abbey was set. At the time, he said "They think to show how smart they are by picking holes in the programme to promote their own poshness and to show that their knowledge is greater than your knowledge". However in an article in Radio Times on 17 September 2011, coinciding with the start of the second series, Fellowes apologised and commented "I behaved rather badly by getting the hump". See more »
Although Robert and Cora Crawley both have blue eyes, their daughter, Mary, has brown eyes. This was thought biologically impossible in the Davenport Model (1907), although not very common, two blue-eyed parents can produce children with brown eyes. Eye color is a complex trait that depends on the state of several interacting genes. The gene that usually decides the issue (blue eyes or brown eyes) is the OCA2 gene on chromosome 15. But it comes in different strengths. A person with a weak form of the OCA2 gene will have blue eyes. Likewise a person with a strong form will have brown eyes, but individuals also have other eye-color genes that each has a say in the final eye-color outcome. For example, if one of these lesser genes is strong, it can make the weak form (blue) of OCA2 work much more effectively - almost like the strong form (brown). Then the eye color may be brown. In fact, the resulting color can be any shade of brown, hazel, green or blue depending on the interactions. See more »
Brilliant, stylish, clever entertainment with witty script...
DOWNTON ABBEY is the kind of "Masterpiece Theatre" material that the British do with such finesse that one can only sit back and marvel at the sets, costumes, music, and above all, the performances that are all on an extraordinarily high level.
The moment the first series ended, I wanted to see more--so no doubt I'll be ordering my copy of Season 2. Central among the gifted performers are Maggie Smith (as the Dowager Countess Violet), Hugh Bonneville as the Earl of Grantham, and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora, his American wife. But all of the lesser roles are played to perfection with special mention for Brendan Coyle as John Bates, Joanne Froggatt as Ana, Michelle Dockery and Laura Carmichael.
Complicit in schemes involving wicked behavior are two of the downstairs help played brilliantly by Siobhan Finneran and Rob-James Collier as Thomas, both of whom cast a shadow over the household.
The plot has dialog that is always witty and good for a quick chuckle or a gasp of disapproval and the character motivations are all played out in a convincing manner true to each person involved.
Very compelling to view the fluid story unfold with its many sub-plots and shadings of the class warfare that existed in the U.K. then and now.
Absolutely one of the most rewarding and richly satisfying shows from Great Britain that have come along in recent years. The color photography amid location settings create the proper atmosphere for the entire story which takes place just before WWI among a wealthy titled household undergoing some major changes inside the castle walls.
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