Masterpiece Classic

Downton Discussion: What You Need to Know About Episode 5

The second series of Downton Abbey rolled along through its fifth episode this week, bringing with it some good and some bad – but nevertheless all very major - plot twists. As we reach the end of the war, there are adjustments and consequences for all our favorite characters – and it will be incredibly interesting to see how these events shake out over the last few episodes.

Click through for a look at some of the big moments from Downton Episode 5 and a rundown of all my (occasionally run-on) thoughts on the night’s major developments. Chime in with your opinions in the comments – on some of these bigger plot twists, I would dearly love to hear how other people reacted!

Preview a Scene From Tomorrow’s All New Downton Abbey!

Downton Abbey Series 2 continues tomorrow night at 9pm on Masterpiece Classic. After last week’s emotional tearjerker, what might we be in store for this week? Who knows, but it’s probably wise to basically prepare yourself for anything.

So, click through to take a sneak peek at a scene from tomorrow’s all new episode. This preview clip involving Mary and Matthew being, well, Matthew and Mary, and is heartbreaking and moving and frustrating and a little bit…ominous at the very end. What do you all think? Any predictions to share?

 

Shirley MacLaine Joins the Downton Abbey Cast for Series 3

If you follow our Friday News Roundup posts at all, then you've probably seen the persistent rumors that mention virtually everyone in the entertainment industry as possibly taking part in the upcoming third series of mega-popular period drama Downton Abbey, from Judi Dench to Joan Collins to Harrison Ford. Well, finally some confirmed casting news has emerged about Downton Series 3, which is slated to go into production next month.

You may have heard a bit about this already, but yes, it’s true and official: Oscar-winner Shirley MacLaine has signed up to enter a cage match with Maggie Smith’s Dowager Countess join the Downton cast in the new season. MacLaine, who has starred in many great films such as Terms of Endearment, Postcards from the Edge, Guarding Tess, The Apartment and (my personal fave) Steel Magnolias, will play Martha Levinson, the mother of Lady Grantham.

"Shirley MacLaine is a great actress and she's as American as the day is long," says MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton. "I can't wait to see her go toe-to-toe with Maggie Smith's Lady Violet."

It’s been a personal wish of mine for a while to learn more about the Crawley family background and how Lord and Lady Grantham’s marriage came about, so the introduction of American family for Cora is extra exciting, if you ask me.

Plus, I can only imagine the vitriolic sniping that’s sure to ensure when Martha and Violet face off. Get the popcorn ready.

Source: PBS

Downton Discussion: What You Need to Know About Episode 4

The second series of Downton Abbey continues, as we rolled through the fourth episode this week. While I didn’t completely love this episode quite as much as last week’s, it was still full of loads of drama and a great many twists and turns that will doubtless have long-lasting repercussions for everyone at Downton, both upstairs and down. And I’m just guessing that it probably made you cry.

Click through for a look at some of the big moments from this episode, a few nitpicks and some speculation about the back half of the season. Feel free to chime in with any thoughts, observations, and things I might have left out in the comments!

Preview a Scene from Tonight's New Downton Abbey!

A brand new episode of Downton Abbey airs tonight at 9pm on Masterpiece Classic! Is everyone suitably excited? Given how fantastic last Sunday’s episode was, I am expecting great things as several storylines kick into high gear.

Click through for a look at a scene from tonight’s installment. If you’ve missed anything, you’ve still got a few hours to catch up on the full episodes available online. Or hit our archives for a look through the big things you’ll need to know.

Downton Discussion: What You Need to Know About Episode 3

The second series of Downton Abbey rolls on, as we’ve just finished the third episode this week. After a somewhat slower episode last week, things are cracking right along once again on both the war and the home fronts. Full disclosure: I will definitely may have some nits to pick once we get into the specifics of this installment, but I feel I should say that as a whole I loved this episode to pieces. It's probably my favorite of the second series thus far.

We continue to see how the war abroad is bringing about significant changes in the day-to-day life of Downton, there’s some drama, emotional upheaval, character development and more. Click through for a look at some of the big moments from this week’s episode, and share your thoughts in the comments!

A Look at the BBC’s New World War I Drama “Birdsong"

The BBC’s long-awaited television adaptation of Sebastian Faulks' best-selling novel Birdsong premiered in the UK last night, taking over the Sunday night drama spot from Sherlock. (And given that Sherlock got nearly 10 million viewers an episode – huge numbers for the Beeb – Birdsong has some rather big shoes to fill!)

Reviews from the UK are rather glowing thus far and people are throwing around phrases like “achingly bleak and romantic,” “a triumph,” and “a glorious tale of love and war.” Okay, okay, you got my attention TV reviewers. I'm intrigued.

The World War I drama stars Eddie Redmayne (My Week with Marilyn, The Pillars of the Earth) and Clémence Poésy (In Bruges) as Stephen and Isabelle, two young lovers who have a fairly all-consuming – and, yes, tragic – affair. Longing looks and angst abound. And then, of course, there’s the whole problem of the war.

Birdsong is written by Abi Morgan, who also penned recent films The Iron Lady and Shame. According to the BBC press release, the series “moves between 1910 and 1916, telling the story of Stephen Wraysford's passionate and erotic, but ultimately doomed, affair with Isabelle Azaire before the war, and the enduring effect it has on him as he fights amidst the blood and gore of the trenches.”

Click through for a look at a BBC preview for yourselves. Birdsong is slated to debut in America this Spring on Masterpiece.

Get a Sneak Peek at Downton Abbey’s Third Episode!

A brand new episode of Downton Abbey airs tonight at 9pm on Masterpiece Classic! Hope everyone is suitably excited! (You should be. I watched a screener of this episode. It’s really good.)

Click through to whet your appetite for tonight with a sneak peek at a scene from the newest installment. If you’ve missed anything – you can catch the first two episodes online or read up on what happened.

Downton Discussion: What You Need to Know About Episode 2

The second series of Downton Abbey continues! In the season’s second episode, the main plots revolving around the war didn’t advance very far, but we got lots of smaller character moments to make up for it.

We continue to see how the war is affecting everyday life at Downton, as well as impacting those who live there. Click through for a look at some of the big moments from this week’s episode, and share your thoughts in the comments!

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