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Downton Abbey is already close to an institution as the most popular costume drama for about 30 years coming out of the UK which makes something of a speciality of this sort of thing. So far we have two series, with a third yet to arrive on DVD which will take us up to the 1920s with doubtless more to come. This DVD set covers the first two series, with 16 episodes, 7 from the first series and 8 from the second and the Christmas special.

The first series covered the period from 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, up to the start of the first world war in 1914 and much of the story line is about the matchmaking within the Crawley family where financial and social influences have a major bearing. Of course the interaction between the family and those who serve them `below stairs' is a continual contributor to the excellent story lines. The second series picks up two years on from the first series in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen and the action covers the period from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. The Christmas Special is post the first world war and includes a dramatic trial. In both series topical events of the period, political, economic and military are covered.

There are many superb individual performances but mention must be made of Maggie Smith. What a stroke of genius to cast her as Violet. She dominates every scene she appears in and often has some very funny lines.

This box set will appeal to viewers who may have missed out first time round and also to the many who enjoyed this superb production and will want to revisit it. Roll on Series 3!

Incidentally, in answer to the question raised by the other review I can confirm that this is the original UK version.
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on January 6, 2013
I loved the series, but have learned that the PBS copy has the Christmas Episode included in Season 2. This one doesn't but it is available for another $15. Too late for me unfortunately, but hope it helps someone.
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on November 16, 2012
The 'very best' Series in a long time ... The Acting by the cast; 'Upstairs' and 'Downstairs, every character is superb!!!!

The costumes are magnificent in the beautiful setting of the Abbey, congratulations to Jullian Fellows for writing such a beautiful piece and to all those who had a hand in the production!.

Maggie Smith steals almost every scene she is in and the interaction between her and 'Mrs. Crowley' is brilliantly done! I have no favourites; I love them all! I cannot wait for the 3rd Season; so hurry ...!
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
Downton Abbey is already close to an institution as the most popular costume drama for about 30 years coming out of the UK which makes something of a speciality of this sort of thing. So far we have two series, with a third promised which will take us up to the 1920s with doubtless more to come. This DVD set covers the first two series, with 16 episodes, 7 from the first series and 8 from the second and the Christmas special.

The first series covered the period from 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, up to the start of the first world war in 1914 and much of the story line is about the matchmaking within the Crawley family where financial and social influences have a major bearing. Of course the interaction between the family and those who serve them `below stairs' is a continual contributor to the excellent story lines. The second series picks up two years on from the first series in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen and the action covers the period from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. This boxed set would appear to be the UK edition which does not contain the Christmas Special which time wise is after the Second Series. If this is important to you, you should check before purchasing.

There are many superb individual performances but mention must be made of Maggie Smith. What a stroke of genius to cast her as Violet. She dominates every scene she appears in and often has some very funny lines.

This box set will appeal to viewers who may have missed out first time round and also to the many who enjoyed this superb production and will want to revisit it. Roll on Series 3!
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on December 30, 2012
I had been warned to be careful to only buy the UK version of Downton Abbey, and this "limited edition" said just that!

So, trusting Amazon, I put this edition on my Christmas list and it was under the tree on the 25th. WHAT A DISAPPOINTMENT!!!!

Here is the link to what was advertised BEFORE Christmas :
http://www.amazon.com/Downton-Abbey-Seasons-Limited-Edition/dp/B008FYZIVY/ref=br_lf_m_1000863171_1_1_img?ie=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&s=movies-tv&pf_rd_p=1436866502&pf_rd_s=center-3&pf_rd_t=1401&pf_rd_i=1000863171&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0F6S2MAFHV4YV5FKPBXN

Note it says "Original UK version" ... these words are now missing from it now!

Naughty amazon!!! SHAME!
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on February 1, 2012
The product was delivered in good time and I was kept up to date by the shipper all the way. Well done. As for the content, it is riveting to watch with many plots and sub-plots regarding the nobility in the post Titanic era. The acting is magnificent and the scenery spectacular. A byegone age maybe, but one full of intrigue, scandal and love conflict.
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on October 1, 2012
I was so happy to receive my Downton Abbey SEASONS ONE AND TWO DVD to give it as a gift to my sister for her birthday. Little did I know that the version purchased on Amazon.ca cannot be played in North America on our DVD machines!!! Why would Amazon.ca sell this in North America?? How can I get a credit, return this product and get a version that CAN be played on North American machines?
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on October 2, 2012
I have not purchased this yet because I am confused. Friends have warned me that there are two versions of Downton Abbey - the original UK full length edition, and a shortened edition which PBS broadcast in the US. Critics say that inevitably much is lost in the shortened edition. This offering is a "Limited Edition". Which is it?
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on February 12, 2013
Essentially this edition of the Blu Ray includes the original UK version of the series, both season one and two and the christmas special at the end of season two. So it is a great way to start the series as its everything right up to season 3, at a lower price then the single season alone.

The special features are your average series extras, and my girlfriend tells me that they may be some of the PBS extras they show before and after they air an episode.

The Blu Ray looks stellar at 1080i. For a period piece to, this is hard to keep legit with the HD, but they do it maginficantly. My only concern is that its 2.0 stereo and no 5.1 That is the only thing I can say that is negative about this product. But, I will say that I seem to forget that its only 2.0 stereo, because everytime I hear the magnificant theme score, I am transfixed and travel to Downton, its that good.

I wont give away any story spoilers, but just say this. It begins 1912 England and follows the family and extended family and workers that live amongst Downton. Our purpose of the story is to find out exactly who will inherit this maginifcant house, filled with workers and lives and dreams, and carry forth the progressive torch that is the Downton Estate and money.

I have high regard for good shows and was very peculiar about whether this would live up to all the hype and awards. Simply it does, and by the 3rd episode it surpasses any expectation. An amazing ensemble piece that gives every one, EVERY CHARACTER, their do and their purpose. I am just in awe of the wisdom and concise decision making of Sir Robert.

If your lookin for a new show. A show you want to fall in love with. A show with lots of charcters, yet interestingly easy to follow. This is it.
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on October 24, 2012
From the moment the first scene opened I was drawn into the English countryside, the era, the costumes and the superb acting. (especially the dowager Maggie Smith who often made us laugh out loud). Often feeling like a "fly on the wall", I loved the interaction of the "servants" on the daily basis and how the contrast was not so dissimilar with the "upper class". Family interaction is excellent and the dinner scenes and conversations both "upstairs and downstairs" proved this. Attention to the fact that the dresses/suits were warn several times made one feel that this was real life and not just a production. This period piece draws one into the history of the time and portrays it with passion. Cannot wait for season 3. Was sad when this ended. The characters become part of you and a good author makes you identify with the characters and have a keen interest in their future. Downton Abbey has met all of this criteria. Would definitely recommend
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