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Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 1 (U.K. Edition)

Hugh Bonneville , Jessica Brown-Findlay , Brian Percival , Ben Bolt    Unrated   DVD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (175 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 36.99
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Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 1 (U.K. Edition) + Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 2 (U.K. Edition) + Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 3 (U.K. Edition)
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Product Description


An addictive blend of suds and social commentary, ITV's Downton Abbey brings a microcosm of Edwardian society together under one roof. Lord Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) and his family live a life of leisure, while a fleet of servants, including butler Carson (Jim Carter), attend to their every need, but two events conspire to shake things up: the sinking of the Titanic, which claims Crawley's heirs, and the return of his valet, Bates (Brendan Coyle). Since Crawley and Lady Cora (Elizabeth McGovern) have three daughters, his distant solicitor cousin, Matthew (Dan Stevens), becomes heir to the estate. With that, the scheming begins, since Thomas the footman (Rob James-Collier) views Bates as an interloper and Crawley's mother, Violet (Maggie Smith), feels the same way about Matthew's mother, Isobel (Penelope Wilton).

In the tradition of the BBC's Upstairs Downstairs and Robert Altman's Gosford Park, for which writer-creator Julian Fellowes received an Academy Award, the royals, servants, and middle-class relations struggle to get along. Sniffs uptight maid Miss O'Brien (Siobhan Finneran), "Gentlemen don't work," but that doesn't stop Mary (Michelle Dockery) and Edith Crawley (Laura Carmichael) from competing for Matthew's affections. Though it takes awhile to warm up to the tightest-wound characters, most everyone reveals their more vulnerable side before the first season comes to an end, and a new small-screen classic is born.

The entire sprawling cast is quite wonderful, particularly Bonneville, Carter, and James-Collier, who provide a fascinating study in contrasts (the latter is downright dastardly). Unlike the version that aired on PBS's Masterpiece Classic, this set offers seven parts rather than four. Extras include a featurette, in which cast and crew discuss the production, and an introduction to Hampshire's Highclere Castle, which doubles for Downton Abbey. The first season was a phenomenon in the United Kingdom, and Fellowes has promised a second season set during World War I. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Product Description

Downton Abbey ~ Season 1

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
58 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hope this one runs for years! Jan. 11 2011
If you can imagine Upstairs, Downstairs meets The Buccaneers, you will pretty much have this gem from ITV. Surprisingly, not from the BBC (which is doing an update of Upstairs, Downstairs set in the 1930s) it is every bit as good as a BBC production and much prettier than the new Up/Down.

Maggie Smith will definitely get a BAFTA for this if not an Emmy. "What is a week-end?" Bwahahahah!

Season one starts with the sinking of the Titanic and ends just as war has been declared in 1914. Season two is now in the works and I hope it goes even longer.

Makes me want to go back to England to see the filming location, Highclere Castle. Deep sigh!

N.B. Just a note about the editing by PBS. The reason that the ITV episodes were longer was mostly due to commercials (2 hours worth). PBS has edited their version a little but not much was removed. In any case, this version is the original UK version, so fear not!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real masterpiece June 15 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
One of the best series I've seen in years. Superb cast and acting, witty dialogues, wonderful setting, gripping story. Can't wait for season two
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb Oct. 9 2011
Thankfully there is a sequel to be released soon! For those of us who cannot bear to watch any of the constant stream of utter junk and "reality TV"-nonsense on the seemingly endless number of completely inconsequential TV-channels, shows like "Downton Abbey" are few and far inbetween. Yet again I have to thank the Brits for affording me the pleasure of splendid entertainment!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best of British June 3 2011
Downton Abbey is one of the most engaging and charming TV dramas to come out of the UK in a long time. It took the audience in the UK by storm. It was the talk in every office as everyone anticipated the next episode. It left the British public begging for more and with luck, there will be a second series!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Real Problems Jan. 5 2013
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
The series is terrific, but the quality of the disc is unacceptable. The tracking function is such that all movement on the screen is very jerky and hence, almost unwatchable. I tries the disc on several Blue Ray machines - same result. You might be better off getting the DVD edition, I'm not sure
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intelligent & addictive watching! March 28 2011
By Lesley
I first watched Downton Abbey on PBS and enjoyed it so much I could hardly wait for a continuation of the story. I ordered this first series from Amazon, and proceeded to watch it all over again! That's how good it is. It's an 'Upstairs Downstairs' kind of story, set in the period just before World War 1, with the implications of all the changes that will bring to people's lives, both above and below stairs. War has just been announced at the end of this series, so presumably in Series 2 the implications will become realities. The characters are terrific - you really care about them in both walks of life. The acting is wonderful. There are no weak links. I would single Maggie Smith out in particular - but they're all first class. Costumes, furnishings etc all beautifully in period and the dialogue of course is what gives us such great characterisations. The story grabbed me from the first moment - it's positively addictive!! Watch it, you won't regret it!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't disappoint March 4 2011
By sorja
Downton Abby presents a view of the world just before the Great War. In fact it is the last look at a society and way of life that was on the verge of great and catastrophic change. It is reminiscent in some ways of "Upstairs,Downstairs" in it's portrayal of life above and below stairs. Although some of the situations seem to have been taken from other movies such as Mrs. Miniver (when the Dowager Duchess, hands the trophy for best flower to a villager) still Downton Abbey does what it should, that is present an initmate view of the lives of all the occupants and the values of that era. It is visually rich and the ensemble cast is wonderful. I look forward to the next installment and recommend this to anyone interested in period English drama.
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41 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars GET THE DVD RATHER THAN WATCH ON PBS Jan. 12 2011
PBS will be editing out over 3 hours of Downton Abbey when broadcast in North America as viewers allegedly will be unable to follow the inheritance laws pertaining to country estates in the UK. Well I expect 90 per cent of British viewers aren't au fait with the ways of the landed gentry in Edwardian England either - but the explanation is in the drama and it forms a key part of that drama and the choices facing major characters. How patronising to Americans that PBS has taken this high-handed attitude. Buy the DVD collection I would say.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem
Fell in love with the characters and the setting. Now I know what everyone is talking about. A gem
Published 10 days ago by Jeanne Ulrich
5.0 out of 5 stars OK, now we're hooked
Are we the last people to get involved in this wonderful series? All of our friends who watch it, love it. Read more
Published 12 days ago by PT Cruiser
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
will not play in NA DVD players should have been clearer when selling
Published 18 days ago by Pat Lively
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
It fulfilled all our expectations.
Published 21 days ago by Gordon Findlay
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by Genny Glatt
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a great series and I got right into it -- the ...
This is a great series and I got right into it -- the characters and acting is extremely good. The one liners by Maggie Smith keep your attention -- you just wait for her next... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Ann Tyrell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Absolutely love Downton Abbey. Can watch it over and over.
Published 1 month ago by Connie
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
done with great actor and actress....great series in begenning of the century high and poor class
Published 1 month ago by Gilles. Tremblay
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic
Fantastic series....loveit
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Gift for Mom.
I bought this as a gift for my mom for Christmas. She has since become addicted to the show.
Published 2 months ago by Maria Casacalenda
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