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Series Two of the hit show Downton Abbey received a mixed response from
critics following the near universal praise of the first series。

Some aim to distract us; others seek to help us

Mad Men zeroes in on one particular ad agency in New York City and its
star creative director, Don Draper, in the ‘60s。 Although the
series, one of the most recent period dramas on TV, looks at life as
an ad man, it also gives viewers a looks at the ’60s through its
characters relationships, homes, career problems, racial issues and
families。 The seven-season series stars Jon Hamm as Don Draper,
Elisabeth Moss as Peggy Olson, Vincent Kartheiser as PeteCampbell。

And Benedict Cumberbatch was one of those who was left unimpressed with
the last series, calling it ‘f***ing atrocious’。

很不幸,被闪中了。我有华丽剧情结。看到中毒至深时,满脑子都是lord lady
cousin mama papa, 跟同事说话都想带点posh腔。


The Sherlock star launched his withering rant at the hugely popular show
while promoting his new BBC period drama Parade‘s End。


2.North & South (2004)

It was elementary to see that Cumberbatch was less than happy with his
new show being compared to Downton Abbey – and he was quick to air his
frustrations about the series。

Matthew and Mary – Season 3
Unfortunately, Series 3, episode 1 will find the dastardly Sir Richard
visiting Downton once more to talk to Mary. He is still madly in love
with her and he has some shocking pictures taken at the British Embassy
in Paris 2 years ago.
Mary is distressed. She recalls a game of sardines that went horribly
wrong. It began innocently enough with several people squeezing with
Mary into the wardrobe of her guest room at the Embassy.
Mary had no idea pictures were taken. Those present appear in the
pictures to be in various states of undress and Mary in one appears to
be being pleasured by the Dutch ambassador. Another appears to shows
Mary performing an intimate act with the wife of the Brazilian
ambassador. The whole thing is being avidly observed by the French
Minister of Sport and Recreation.
Mary is shocked as she doesn’t remember the game being half so lewd.
However Sir Richard assures her that photographic experts have checked
to make sure the pictures are not a fakes.
The upshot is that Richard is still in love with Mary and can’t let her
go. He threatens to publish all the Downton scandals in his papers
including the shocking photographs. Mary therefore breaks off her
engagement to Matthew knowing that this latest scandal, together with
the photos, would be too much for her parents or Matthew to live with
(you knew the Christmas episode was too good to be true!)
Matthew, thwarted once more in his quest for Mary, has turned his
attentions to a series of bland Lavinia lookalikes. The latest being
Lady Silvia, whom he has bought home for the weekend.
Carson the Butler, who has a distinctly over-fond affection for Lady
Mary, glares subtly and icely alternately at Lady Silvia and then at Sir
Richard, seated next to Mary.
But at this moment, Matthew is daydreaming and recalling the day he and
Mary first met. They shared a picnic on the lawn at Downton and Mary had
got cream from the strawberries in her hair. Mary laughed as she wiped
the cream away, Matthew turned to his Mother and whispered,
“There’s Something About Mary”


He told the September issue of Reader‘s Digest: ’We’re remembering that
there was a world before the First World War。 We’re living in a culture
now that’s revering, or having a nostalgia trip with, the beginning of
the 1900s。 Although Downton traded a lot on the sentiment in the last
series…but we won’t talk about that series because it was, in my
opinion, f***ing atrocious。‘

Fobidden Passion

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While in Britain,sniping about Cumberbatch‘s background and “all the
posh-bashing that goes on” frustrated him。

Later that evening, we see a shadowy dark figure full of menace,
stealing into the back entrance leading to the servant’s area.
It is none other than the sinister (but essentially good) John Bates,
Lord Grantham’s Valet, who was charged with murdering his first wife in
the last series. In the The Christmas special he is found guilty and
facing the death penalty, later commuted to life in prison.
Bates, unable to control his passions for Anna, has escaped from prison.
He sneaks into Anna Bates’s bedroom (his new wife) for a secret night of
Meanwhile, Lady Edith (the middle Crawley daughter) finds herself
strangely drawn to the new housemaid, Janet Egge. Edith is generally
disappointed in love and feels inferior to her prettier sisters.
Janet is strikingly attractive with strong features and a masterful
manner, unusual in housemaids. She has a way with Edith’s hair and
always chooses the right gown to make Edith look her best.
Janet also has firm hands and as she dresses Edith she often caresses
Edith’s neck and other parts of her anatomy.
Tonight Edith has a slight headache and Janet kindly massages the back
of her neck and her temples in order relieve the discomfort. “You’re
very pretty” said the maid, casually.
“No, No I’m so plain compared to my sisters.”
“That’s just the way you’re made to look, said Janet, straying
dangerously from the script. “They make you up to look plain but you’re
not. To me you’re much more beautiful than your ‘sisters’ and you have
fabulous legs!”
Edith is confused by such strange talk by a maid but at the same time
deeply flattered. As she rises from the bed, Janet kisses her warmly on
the cheek. Without knowing what she is doing Edith returns the kiss,
hungrily finding Janet’s sensuous lips.

This BBC mini-series follows Margaret Hale‘s move from a house in the
south of England to a house in the industrial north and the obstacles
she faces along the way。 The series, based on the Victorian novel by
Elizabeth Gaskell, takes place in the 1800s in the midst of a
cross-class love between Margaret and the dashing John Thornton。 This
show grips its viewers from the first episode, and more than ten years
later, it is still one of the best TV period dramas。 The four-episode
adaptation stars Daniela Denby-Ashe as Margaret, Richard Armitage as
John Thornton。

“It’s all so predictable。 So domestic, so dumb。 It makes me think I
want to go to America,” he added。

 Cora the Countess


Although he attended Harrow and was classically trained, Cumberbatch
told Radio Times: “I wasn’t born into land or titles, or new money,
or an oil rig”。

Cora and Isabel

3。 Reign(2013)

His upper-class image is likely to be reinforced next week when he stars
in the BBC period drama Parade’s End, playing an anguished Edwardian

Meanwhile downstairs, Isabel Crawley, Mother of Matthew (he who really
loves Mary) is sharing with Cora the Countess, wife to the Earl, how she
wishes to start a school at Downton for the wayward village children.
“We’ll teach them in the drawing room, they can dine with family and
sleep in the guest bedrooms..”
Cora is having none of it. After all, she spent the entire war with a
house full of injured soldiers. She grasps poor Isabel firmly by her
collar and, With her Mother Martha Levinson’s help (played by Shirley
MacLaine), drags Isabel from her chair and propels here to the front
door. Carson opens the door and Isabel is unceremoniously ejected from
Downton Abbey.
Edith wakes up in bed. She is very drowsy, naked and recalls a strange,
sensuous dream about Janet her maid. She remembers the phrase ’Tipping
the Velvet’ then becomes aware of something or someone warm beside her,
under the covers.
Later, as Janet dresses Edith, Janet tells her that soon everything will
be different. In the 1920’s they will be able to wear short skirts and
kiss in public. She talks of the Jazz age and the Charleston and how
women will soon have the vote and one day girls will be able to marry
each other. How the shortage of men, due to the carnage of the Great
War, makes it inevitable that the status of women must change.
These cultural and historical references, whilst helpful to the viewer,
confuse poor Edith. However, Edith emerges into the dining room at
dinner with a ‘cat that got the cream’ smile. She is looking forward to
an early bedtime and being tucked in by Janet.



 Robert Crawley, The Earl of Grantham with Carson His Butler

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Robert, the Earl of Grantham

Although the costumes or the story aren‘t authentic, this underrated
series is addictive。 Reign, loosely based on Mary, Queen of Scots,
is full of romance, political intrigue, drama, Queen Catherine’s
scheming and the scary world of the French court in 1557 France。 The CW
series stars Adelaide Kane as Queen Mary Stuart, Megan Follows as Queen
Catherine, Torrance Coombs as Sebastian。


Meanwhile, Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham (husband to Cora) is
returning from London on the train. He is secretly delighted to find his
first class carriage invaded by a noisy party of young women.
Whilst suspecting they don’t have first class tickets, their vivacious
personalities and good looks make him decide not to summon the guard.
He soon finds that his fellow travellers are all actresses and are on
the way to the village music hall at Downton run by his new son in law,
Tom, to perform in the Christmas Pantomime.
The girls produce a bottle of gin that is passed around. The Earl
quickly learns the pantomime is Dick Whittington and in turn passes
round a bag of acid drops.
“So which one of you girls takes Dick?” he asks innocently, trying to
deduce which actress will don thigh boots and cross dress to play
“We all do dearie says the blond in the corner,” with a naughty wink,
“but not for acid drops!”



Lady Mary, Thinking about Matthew?

4。 Downton Abbey (2010)


John Bates, Lord Grantham’s Valet and Husband of Anna the Maid



Downton DVD and Blu-ray

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Christmas At Downton Abbey [Region 2]

This upstairs/downstairs drama surveys a British aristocratic family,
the Crawleys, and the servants that work for them on an estate called
Downton Abbey。 This romantic series, which begins in pre-World War I
England just after the RMS Titanic sank, tells the stories of
inheritance, class differences, marital tribulations and more。
Downton Abbey stars Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, Laura Carmichael
as Lady Edith Crawley, Jim Carter as Charles Carson。

Have Matthew and Mary finally got together? The dance at the servants
ball, the passionate embrace in the snow – don’t miss it!


Amazon Price: $22.99

5。 Boardwalk Empire(2010)

Downton Abbey: Season 2 (Original U.K. Edition) [Blu-ray]


Amazon Price: $23.99
List Price: $49.99

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Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey

This series takes viewers back to the U.S。 during the Prohibition era
in the 1920s alongside an Atlantic City politician who doesn‘t always
choose to stay on the right side of the law。 The federal government
takes an interest in him when they realize his lifestyle is too
luxurious for his political status and that he has relationships with
politicians and mobsters。 Although this Terence Winter-created HBO
series can be slow at times, it is intense。 The series stars Steve
Buscemi as Enoch ’Nucky‘ Thomspon, Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden
and more。

Amazon Price: $16.99
List Price: $34.99


Downton Abbey Series 1 & 2 [Blu-ray]

Seasons 1 and 2 in Blu-ray. The ultimate Downton treat!

Amazon Price: $58.33
List Price: $95.98

More Downton Season 3!
•For more on Downton Season 3, Isis Gives the Dog’s Perspective!
Everyone is raving about Downton Abbey so what will happen next in
Series 3? Here is a dog’s eye view from Isis of the scandal-packed plot
lines due on screen in the UK in 2012!

Mary’s Wedding

The next day is Mary’s wedding. With a heavy heart and accompanied by
her Father, Mary is driven to the village church to Marry Sir Richard.
Everyone who is anyone is there but, for Mary, the service passes by
like a bad dream. The couple say their ‘I dos’ and the Archdeacon
declares Richard and Mary man and wife.
Mary gives Sir Richard a cursory peck on the lips and they walk slowly
down the aisle to the muted applause of the congregation.
Suddenly there is the sound of a violent struggle in the porch and a
dishevelled, breathless Matthew appears at the church door.
“I object!” he rages angrily, striding down the aisle in riding boots
towards the altar.
“Too late!” shouts Sir Richard Carlisle, “we’re already married!”
Matthew runs towards Sir Richard, who pushes his new wife aside and
draws a 9mm pistol from his pocket. Carlisle strides towards Matthew,
his face blazing with anger, aiming the pistol. Suddenly, Carson sticks
his leg into the aisle bringing Carlisle crashing down.
Two plain clothes policemen fall on top of Sir Richard, (they were there
hoping to apprehend Bates) and lead Sir Richard from the church in
Mary looks lost and confused as Matthew takes her in his arms in front
of the altar. There is rising buzz of conversation and exclamations from
the scandalised congregation.
Carson moves swiftly to the front of the church and guides Matthew and
Mary out through the vestry. He then hands Matthew a handful of coins
and points out an Omnibus, due to leave the Post Office in 5 minutes.
Matthew grabs Mary’s hand, she hitches her wedding gown above her knees
and they sprint for the bus.
Violet and The Earl emerge, running, from the church just in time to see
the couple board the bus.
“An Omnibus!” Remarked Violet, dryly. “They could at least have run off
in an automobile. I warned you, Robert not to marry an American. See
what her Yankee blood has done to your daughters? And why could they not
have run away before the wedding?”
“Oh well,” she added with a sigh, “at least Edith is free of any
As the bus draws away, all the passengers turn and stare, open mouthed
at the somewhat dishevelled Matthew and the beautiful bride in her
ornate wedding dress sitting next to him on the back seat.
The couple grin back like naughty children. Matthew waves through the
window in the direction of Violet as the Omnibus picks up speed.
And Finally
Well that’s the start of season 3. Yes, I know that ending seemed
familiar but even writers as good as Julian Fellowes sometimes adapt
other writer’s plots. By the way, do you know which movie the ending
came from?