Lord Grantham 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 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
The series is filmed at Highclere Castle, set on 1,000 acres in Hampshire, a landmark estate owned by the Herbert family, the Earls of Carnarvon, since the late 17th century. It's open to the public during the summer, and can be rented for weddings and other events. The kitchen and downstairs were shot in a London studio because those parts of Highclere have been modernized. The servants' quarters were shot at the studio because the upper floors at Highclere are in need of repair. See more »
There are several episodes in the first and second season when a wedding band tan line is evident on Carson's ring finger. Jim Carter who plays him is married, but Carson was not. See more »
Beautifully produced, and for me one of the better programmes airing this year
I have to say I loved Downton Abbey, and thought it was one of the better programmes airing this year along with Luther, Sherlock and the stunning Channel 4 drama Mo. Downton Abbey was beautifully produced, well cast and interesting, when it was first advertised it looked as though ITV had a hit and from the first episode I think Downton Abbey lived up to that expectation.
I for one loved how elegant Downton Abbey was. The photography was beautiful and skillful, while the scenery was breathtaking and the costumes were exquisite. The scoring was also very good, often very hypnotic and beautiful. The direction was controlled, the episodes were well paced and for me the characters were believable my favourites being Violet and Robert.
The writing in general was another strength. It was witty in a subtle way, is often funny and could be heart warming and poignant too, the best coming from Violet and Mrs Hughes I felt. The only bit of dialogue that rang false, and this is such a minor criticism, is Robert's "Downton is my third parent and my fourth child" which came across as somewhat cheesy. And the stories were well written and as believable as the characters, not to mention pretty original.
And of course the acting was excellent. Maggie Smith was perfect as Violet. She plays this sort of character well, and she had such good timing and dialogue. Plus I love her in costume. Hugh Bonneville was dashing, and I cannot get over how beautiful Michelle Dockery was here. Jessica Brown-Findlay was also fine as another of my favourite characters Lady Sybil, and Phyllis Logan was always good value though I would love to see more of her if and when the series returns.
In conclusion, Downton Abbey was a wonderful series thanks to the great cast and production values especially and I cannot wait to see more. 10/10 Bethany Cox
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