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What Were Your Impressions Of The Season Four Premiere Of Downton Abbey?

Courtesy/PBS

Courtesy/PBS

Downton Abbey season four debuted last evening on PBS Masterpiece Classic here in America in a two-hour episode where it seemed much went on with the downstairs crew, and perhaps not as much with the upstairs gang?

When we pick-up it is six months since the shocking death of Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).  Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) has become the steely widow, who showed little emotion and was not in the land of the living!  She even called her baby, little George, a “poor little orphan!”  However, those who care for Mary and witness her wallowing in her grief finally make a major breakthrough, but not before it brought Mary and the viewing audience to tears with some exquisite performances.

Tom Branson (Allen Leech) tries to bring Mary back to life by suggesting she play a more active role in the running of the estate.  But it seems to fall on deaf ears.   You see,  Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) keeps wanting the duties of running the place and keeps saying to everyone that he wanted to protect Mary from dealing with “death duties” because she is just not ready!  However, the Dowager Countess (Maggie Smith) told her son he just wanted sole control of Downton, once again!  And wasn’t Maggie Smith superb when she goes to see Mary and tells her she “loves her”, and tells her she has a choice to join the land of the living … or not?

Later, after Tom fails with Mary, he enlists Mr. Carson (Jim Carter) for help, since Carson and Mary always had a strong connection and friendship.  When he goes to speak to Mary she is a cold as ice.  He leaves her with this statement, “You’re letting yourself be defeated.”   Later after a family dinner gone awry, where Mary storms off from the table, she goes to see Carson and apologizes and breaks down in his arms.   This is the first time we see Mary in tears over losing Matthew!    Next, Lord Grantham finds a letter from Matthew written before his season three trip to Scotland where he names Mary as the sole heiress to his fortune.  After wanting to hide it, he does come forth with it and tells Mary, and once again she cries in beautiful performance by Michelle Dockery!

Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) is certainly getting out and about these days now meeting up  with Michael Gregson, who wants her to move to Germany with him so he can get out of his marriage!  Edith invites Gregson to meet the “fam” at Downton!  We shall see how that goes!

One of the other major side story involved Mr. Carson , Isobel (Penelope Wilton) and Mrs. Hughes (Phyllis Logan)…. Isobel is still grieving the loss of her son Matthew.  So Mrs. Hughes decides to help out Mr. Carson’s old theatre friend who fell on terrible bad times … who wrote a letter to Carson … which Carson threw in the trash … that was retrieved by Mrs. Hughes … that is how she knew all about this!

Mrs. Hughes brings Mr. Grigg to stay at Mrs.  Crawley’s to give her purpose in helping someone else while she is still grieving the loss of her son, and to have her in essence … come back to life!   After getting Mr. Grigg better he prepares to leave for his job at the Opera House in Belfast.  Grigg was leaving on a train and Mr. Carson shows up… finally!  The two men have the long awaited conversation!  We learn that in their younger years, Alice, a woman Mr. Carson had feelings for, chose Mr. Grigg over him. Their marriage was loveless.  Grigg revealed she should have picked Mr. Carson.   As the train was about to leave the station, the two men shook hands and parted as friends.  And of course, in the touching ending … Mrs. Hughes walked off by Mr. Carson’s side.  When will these two admit they have feelings for each other?  Ever?

In addition, there was Lady Rose (Lily James) stepping out dancing which turned into a disaster at first, but may have brought her a new beau in her life!  Anna (Joanne Froggart) and Bates (Brendan Coyle) looking like they are being set-up for more trouble by the recently brought back Edna and conniving Thomas Barrow ( Rob James-Collier), and there was a very heartbreaking story involving the financial struggles of Mr. Moseley (Kevin Doyle) and more!

So, do you give the season four premiere of Downton Abbey a thumbs up? Or, a thumbs down?  What was your favorite part in the episode?  Did you need the hankies?  Let us know!

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jimh(leave it to beaver)
jimh(leave it to beaver)

Im a first time viewer…and i enjoyed it!!!

brian
brian

I will not give any spoilers since I viewed the entire season…. but as a whole, this season has a lot of very humorous wit. It is so very good. Loved every minute. A big bonus is Shirley Maclaine’s return in the “Christmas day” episode, which in the U.S. is the season’s finale.

Mark Y
Mark Y

There was a lot of story to follow. Was Cora always so thick headed? Will Robert never learn? He can’t handle the estate and the money! Is the Dowager turning over a new leaf? Will Mr. Moseley ever come out on top? Bates and Anna had better look out – they’re loved by many but not by all. Michelle Dockery and Penelope Wilton soared last night.

Derrick
Derrick

Wonderful episode……….

toscanti
toscanti

Love this show and glad it is back on the airwaves.

mo
mo

Sounds good. I have yet to watch the ep.

Diva4
Diva4

At first it seemed rather slow and not up to previous seasons but as the story developed I was completely engaged and enjoying and it lived up to my high expectations. There is a lovely dynamic between Tom and Mary.

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey Movie Project Moving Forward; Projected For Production In 2018

Courtesy/PBS

It looks like all of those earlier reports months ago about a production being put together for Downton Abbey: The Movie, may finally becoming to fruition. Numerous items detail that motion picture project is moving forward with production slated for sometime next year.

Michael Edelstein, president at NBCUniversal International Studios, told the AP: “We are working on getting the script right and then we’ve got to figure out how to get the (cast) together. Because as you know, people go on and do other things. But we’re hopeful to make a movie sometime next year.”

Currently, the cast and writer Julian Fellowes have been on hand at the Downton Abbey exhibition which debuted in Singapore. However, some notable members of the company seemed surprised by the news including Laura Carmichael (Edith): “Well, tell my agent, because we’re still waiting to know. We’re hoping that will happen soon.”

Variety reports that an NBCUniversal spokesman confirmed the studio hopes to put the movie into production in 2018.

The Downton Abbey exhibition however, is set to travel to the United States and Australia with dates to be announced. (more…)

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Downton Abbey

SAG AWARD NOMINATIONS: Downton Abbey Scores Drama Series Ensemble Nod; This Is Us Star Sterling K. Brown Tapped For Two!

Courtesy/ITV

Nominations were announced this morning for the 23rd Annual SAG (Screen Actors Guild) Awards for performances in motion pictures and television.

The awards ill be handed out Sunday, January 29th at the Shrine Exposition Center in Los Angeles. The ceremony will air live at 8/7c (5 p.m./PT) on both TBS and TNT.

For its sixth and final season, the British period soap, Downton Abbey once again made the finals in the Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama.  They will go up against, The Crown, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things and Westworld.  On the snub side: the widely acclaimed and highly-rated This Is Us failed to score a nomination in the category.

In addition, this is the first time that Dame Maggie Smith did not wind up with a Lead Actress in a Drama Series nomination for her performance as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey. (more…)

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Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey's Maggie Smith Shares Emmy Acceptance Speech; Asks Jimmy Kimmel To Direct Her To The Lost & Found To Get Her Trophy!

Courtesy/MasterpiecePBSTwitter

Leave it to the grand dame Maggie Smith to have fun with Jimmy Kimmel’s rant last night on the 68th annual Daytime Emmy about how perennial winner Smith never is on-hand in Los Angeles on Emmy night to collect her trophy when he name is called!

Smith, who has been nominated 9 times for an Emmy and has won 4 overall and 3 of them for her work as the Dowager Countess on the beloved British period soap, Downton Abbey, used social media via the Masterpiece PBS Twitter account and shared her acceptance speech on Monday, alluding to Kimmel’s last gag about her during the live telecast.

For Minnie Driver and Michael Weatherly were presenting the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category, and when Smith was announced as the winner, and the duo were accepting the the award on Smith’s behalf, Kimmel came out from the wings and intercepted the trophy and let Smith know she has to retrieve it herself! Kimmel said, “No, no, no, no, no.  We’re not mailing this award to her. Maggie, if you want this it’ll be in the lost and found”.

Masterpiece PBS twitter shared, Dame MaggieSmith graciously accepts her #Emmy award — @jimmykimmel, please advise on the location of the lost and found! #DowntonPBS.

Smith’s acceptance speech read: “I was very astonished and pleased to win the award. I feel the Emmys has been overly generous to me. If Mr. Kimmel could please direct me to the lost and found office I will try and be on the next flight.”  She signed it, “Love, Old Maggie” (more…)

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