Monday, 19 September 2011

For Love or War: The Downton Abbey Experience Episode 1

The drums of war beat, and the drama rolls. The first episode of Downton Abbey begins with a bang as we are treated with an unsentimental view of the First World War. Times are a’changing, but not for the better certainly, as a generation of young men ge
ts decimated. Still, Downton Abbey drew the heavy guns as it not only managed to divert viewers’ attention away from Spooks, which was airing at the same time, but also captured four Emmy awards as well, the very same night. What fanfare!!
It was wonderful to be back in the world of Downton Abbey. The cruelty of war features heavily in this episode, not only to those who go to fight, but to those who are left behind who are made to feel inadequate because they are not fighting. One of my favourite scenes – nicely underplayed – involved a White Feather Girl who give Branson a white feather (symbolizing cowardice).
 Still, this episode of Downton Abbey isn’t just about the havoc wreaked by the WWI. It’s about the same problems and the same people we got to know in Season one. Needless to say, love is  trembling on the lips of more than one character, even if not on Matthew’s, who is engaged to be married to a certain Lavinia Swire.
Blackmail and the threat of scandal still hangs over the Abbey like a giant crow, and those who were nasty last season are still as deliciously nasty as ever. Without giving away any spoilers for my friends in the USA, I can promise them that the drama continues much as it did last time, with Mr. Bates playing the sacrificial victim, Lady Sibyl as restless and unconventional as ever, and the indomitable Dower Countess as — indomitable as ever.
A very satisfying beginning, with lots packed in. Bring on the next one. 

2 comments:

  1. I am eagerly looking forward to the US premier. The gents look fantastic in that brilliant red, and I love the dress designs for this show.

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  2. Oh, the red regimentals are spectacular, Mary, though a huge contrast to life in the trenches. Matthew looks perticularly good in his (leer).

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