Masterpiece Classic

12 Days of Downton: A Downton Abbey Series 2 Wishlist

With Series 2 of Downton Abbey just days away (finally – our countdown is in single digits!), it seemed worthwhile to think about what the ideal new season would look like. There are so many plot points from Series 1 to deal with – not to mention that pesky World War – that anything can happen.

So, click through for my personal wish list of what I’d like to see the most in Downton Series 2. This list is completely spoiler-free (I stayed away from the one topic that I’ve seen spoilers for, as I figured it wasn’t fair to come up with predictions influenced by things that I knew would actually happen!), so feel free to take a read through and tell us what you’d most like to see in Downton’s new episodes in the comments.

12 Days of Downton: One Week Until Downton Abbey Series 2!

It’s officially the New Year, and while that means fresh starts and new beginnings and all that manner of thing, it also means we’re officially one week way from the US premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2!

We’ve still got a whole week of Downton celebrations coming up for you here at Telly Visions this week, but do drop us a comment if you’ve something specific you’d like to see or talk about!

A couple quick Downton-related tune-in tidbits for you:

  • If you missed our re-broadcast of Series 1 and still need to catch up in time for the new episodes – or if you just want to see what all the fuss is about for yourself at last – we’ll be re-airing the entire first season one more time before new episodes start. Tune in at 3pm on Sunday, January 8, for another chance to see the whole thing. We’ll be showing all four episodes back-to-back-to-back-to-back, leading in to the Series 2 premiere at 9pm.
  • In case you weren’t aware, the Downton Christmas special that just aired in the UK last weekend, will be broadcast in the US, and you won’t even have to wait any extra time. It’ll air as the final episode in this Series 2 run, so we will be all caught up with the folks across the pond once we're through.

12 Days of Downton: Highclere Castle, or, The "Real" Downton Abbey

A character that is probably just as important to Downton Abbey as the Crawley family or the servants who work for them, is the house they all inhabit. Hands up: Is there anyone who wouldn’t want to live on such a gorgeous estate? I mean, just to get to stroll around those grounds regularly would probably be enough for me. It’s beautiful!

Click through for a look at the actual house that serves as our beloved Downton Abbey and learn about some of the things that make it unique.


12 Days of Downton: A Guide to Forms of Address and Other Social Minefields in Downton Abbey

For those of us who’ve grown up on this side of the Pond, another potentially confusing bit of Downton Abbey is the complicated system of proper forms of address among the all the British upper classes. (Also known as the “Who are these people?” or “Who are they talking about, again?” effect.)

For example, though I used “Lord Robert” repeatedly in my post about Downton and the entail problem for the sake of clarity, this is actually a huge faux pas, as he would never be called that by anyone he interacted with, be they servants, family members or peers. But, why? What are we supposed to call him instead? (Answer: it often depends on who is doing the talking.)

But, click right on through to the rest of this post, and I’ll try to explain some of the occasionally bizarre rules of the British peerage and the forms of address that would be used by the characters who inhabit the world of Downton. (And please, British scholars out there, jump on in if you’ve got more in-depth reasoning for some of these rules or if you can add some clarity!)

12 Days of Downton: Celebrate Maggie Smith’s Birthday with the Best of the Dowager Countess

Happy Birthday to the Dowager Countess herself! Dame Maggie Smith turns 77 today.

The Oscar, BAFTA and Emmy Award-winning actress is well known for fantastic performances on both stage and screen, including The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Travels with My Aunt, A Room with A View, Gosford Park, and her turn as Professor Minerva McGonagall in the Harry Potter films.

Her amazing performance as Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham, is a major highlight of Downton Abbey. The delightfully imperious head of the Crawley family gets all the best lines, and Smith’s impeccable delivery is fantastic.

So, what better way to celebrate the birthday of such a great lady than to relive some of her best Downton moments? Click through for the most memorable scenes from the Dowager Countess – and be sure to share any favorites that may have been left out in the comments!

12 Days of Downton: Photos from Series 2!

We’re 12 days away from Downton Abbey Series 2 – and yes, that means our 12 days of Downton celebration is really going to be more like 14, but consider it bonus material, really.

Today we’re taking a look at some of the gorgeous promotional photos from Series 2, and, while we’ll get around to talking about Downton fashion later in the week, it seems necessary to say that every character just looks exceptionally lovely in these! I am apparently doomed to covet Mary Crawley’s wardrobe.

Click through for a look, featuring Michelle Dockery, Dan Stevens, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith and more.

Our Countdown to Downton Abbey Series 2 Starts Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is fabulous, not only because it’s Christmas for those that celebrate, but because it officially marks two weeks until the premiere of Downton Abbey Series 2 in the U.S. Hurrah! (I’m almost as excited for the Dowager Countess’ return as I am for Santa; just saying…)

To really get in the spirit for our return to Downton, we’re planning a slew of features and fun things here at Telly Visions, as well on our official WETA website. Things are kicking off tomorrow afternoon with a marathon rebroadcast of Series 1, starting at 5pm on TV 26 and WETA HD. We’ll air the entire first season back-to-back-to-back-to-back, so this is a perfect time to refresh your memory about the Crawley family drama or perhaps finally see what all the buzz is about for yourself.

Here on the blog we plan to cover all the reasons you should watch this amazing show in the first place, dish about previews and cast Q&As, share some new photos, talk fashion, look at some history, and celebrate some of the amazing actors that bring the series to life.

However, I thought it might be fun to ask you, the readers – what about Downton fascinates you? It’s been ages since I’ve seen a series like this sort of capture such a large piece of the public imagination, and I think that’s awesome. So, what would you like to talk about over the next couple of weeks? And what do you think would be fun for those of us who are (I assume) all such huge fans of this drama? More history? Trivia? Character studies (from the in-depth motivational analysis to the more basic “Who are all these people?” variety)? Something silly? Open to any and all suggestions – and would appreciate it!


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