on British ITV 1 in October/November 2010, it is being aired on US PBS Masterpiece Classic at the moment, but it can also be bought as a DVD ( HERE or HERE ). Second series coming in 2011. I can't wait! And, again, if you love period drama, you can't miss it!
: Downton Abbey Entailed? Understanding the Complicated Legal Issues in the new Masterpiece Classic Series).
The Crawleys of Downton are going to lose not only their grand manor house but the Countess of Grantham's (Elizabeth MacGovern) huge patrimony. She is, in fact , a very wealthy American heiress the Earl had married for convenience: her money had been indispensable to manage his wide estate. However, now, they love and respect each other deeply, though their married life, as in many other cases, had started more as a business agreement. This is what Mary, their eldest daughter, was supposed to do, too. A marriage of convenience with the younger heir of Downton, now drowned with his father in the Titanic tragedy. What now?
The batallion of servants living downstairs and running the house, cleaning the place, taking care of the family offer other gripping plots which are interwoven with those involving the ones living upstairs.
I loved the characters downstairs and their stories. Mr Bates's (Brendan Coyle) mysterious past and his newly-born, still timid, relationship with kind Anna (Joanne Froggatt); Mr Carson's (Jim Carter) generous and authoritative managing the staff and connecting the upstairs to the downstairs world; Mrs Hughes (Phyllis Logan) discreet and efficient presence as well as her unexpected past romance; the envious, ambitious and wicked pair , Miss O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran ) and Thomas (Rob James-Collier), and their plots to hurt whom they don't like; then Mrs Patmore's (Leslie Nicol) , the cook, story , which is sad and funny at the same time;
All these incredible stories remain open to new developments. The series ends with a cliffhanger: England is at war with Germany, the First World War has broken out.
Highclere Castle , in Hampshire, is a stunningly majestic country residence in the Elizabethan style. (Read about it and visit the official site) It has been already used as a location for films and TV series: the saloon appeared in the film The Four Feathers starring Heath Ledger; the exterior appeared as Lord Graves's house in the film King Ralph; it was Totleigh Towers, in the TV version of Jeeves and Wooster. Shots from both the interior and exterior are used as the imposing Mistlethwaite Manor in the 1987 version of The Secret Garden.
If you live in the US and missed the first episode, PBS will be making each episode available for a few weeks after its initial airing. Downton Abbey is available for online viewing from January 10 – February 22, 2011.