Lord Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) sees his family heritage, especially the grand country home Downton Abbey, as his mission in life. The death of his heir aboard R.M.S. Titanic means distant cousin Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens), 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 countess. 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
Downton Abbey is intended to be situated in the York Plain of North Yorkshire - characters occasionally refer to Thirsk and Ripon as being local towns. However in scenes of the village streets of Downton, the buildings are made of sandy Cotswold stone (as found in Bampton, Oxfordshire where these scenes were filmed), unlike the darker types of stone that are generally found in Yorkshire. 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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