Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Monday, January 17, 2011

Downton Abbey Episode 2 on MASTERPIECE on PBS

All the presentable servants-poor Daisy's not included!

I love January this year!  Normally, January is a very cold, dreary month in this part of Ontario, Canada (for me anyway) but this year it is Downton Month!  Can PBS arrange their schedule so that next year has something equally amazing to look forward to every Sunday night in January?  I'd say it sounds like a good cure for Seasonal Affective Disorder wouldn't  you?

So, my head is spinning after last night's episode.  Poor Lady Mary, she really did have an exciting time of it last night.  And I must say, I really enjoyed the almost constant looks of consternation on Maggie Smith's face as the Dowager Countess had to deal with Matthew's mother over the hospital issues.  Gwen, the housemaid had me rooting for her and her little typewriter.  I did wonder, however, how she was practicing typing without anyone knowing about it.  And I must say, I am liking Lady Mary and Lady Sybill more and liking Lady Edith much less.  I mean really, throwing herself at Matthew like that...really!  And I thought Lady Mary treated poor Evelyn Napier rather poorly when her head was turned by the Turkish know...whatshisname.  Oh, well, Mr. Napier is in the recurring character category so we can hope to see him again perhaps.

Dame Maggie Smith as the formidable Dowager Countess

If you need help keeping the names and numbers of all the players straight, the list below may help.  I got the info from Wikipedia, but there are major plot spoilers on the Downton Abbey page (think Wiki leaks for Period Drama), so do not go there if you haven't seen the entire series.

Crawley family

Actor Character
Dame Maggie Smith Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham
Hugh Bonneville Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham
Elizabeth McGovern Cora Crawley, Countess of Grantham
Penelope Wilton Mrs Isobel Crawley
Dan Stevens Matthew Crawley
Michelle Dockery Lady Mary Crawley
Laura Carmichael Lady Edith Crawley
Jessica Brown-Findlay Lady Sybil Crawley


Actor Character Position
Jim Carter Charles Carson Butler
Phyllis Logan Mrs Elsie Hughes Housekeeper
Lesley Nicol Mrs Patmore Cook
Brendan Coyle John Bates Lord Grantham's Valet
Siobhan Finneran Sarah O'Brien Lady Grantham's Lady's maid
Rob James-Collier Thomas First Footman
Thomas Howes William Mason Second Footman
Joanne Froggatt Anna Smith Head Housemaid
Rose Leslie Gwen Dawson Housemaid
Sophie McShera Daisy Kitchen/scullery maid
Allen Leech Tom Branson Chauffeur
Andrew Westfield Lynch Groom
Kevin Doyle Molesley Matthew Crawley's Butler and Valet
Christine Lohr Mrs Bird Matthew Crawley's Cook

Recurring characters

David Robb Dr. Clarkson Family Doctor
Robert Bathurst Sir Anthony Strallen Family friend and Lady Edith's romance
Brendan Patricks The Honourable Evelyn Napier A possible husband for Lady Mary
Samantha Bond Lady Rosamond Painswick Lord Grantham's sister
Charlie Cox Duke of Crowborough Family friend and Thomas' lover
Jonathan Coy Mr George Murray Lord Grantham's lawyer
Nicky Henson Mr Charles Grigg Former friend of Carson's

The Earl and Countess of Grantham

In Downton Abbey news, ITV in Britain has commissioned a Downton Christmas special to air after season two in the fall of 2011 finishes.  Yippee!!!  Christmas at Downton.  I can't wait!  Lord only knows when we will get them over here, but if Masterpiece/PBS is smart, it will try for sooner and not later.

And finally, with respect to the Golden Globes, yay to Colin Firth for winning best actor.  I watched the Golden Globes pre-show and the first hour before I switched to Downton Abbey and then back for the final half hour of the GGs.  Heaven forbid he get a Harley Davidson and risk his life!  We need many more years of film making Colin...


  1. I finally remembered to watch this last night! When I saw "Thomas" I squealed and uttered "It's 'Liam Connor'!" Aside from that, it was a delight. Certain elements of the set remind me of the estate featured in the movie "Easy Virtue;" then again, it could have been the fox hunt.

  2. So you are a Coronation Street fan too? He is very cute, but what a wanker in this series! Obviously a great actor! Glad you are liking this series too.
    The house also reminds me of the many estates used for the "Jeeves and Wooster" series. I expect to see Bertie Wooster (Hugh Laurie) running from the marriage minded Honoria Glossop at every turn.

  3. I hope I won't be pummeled with rotten tomatoes, but I didn't like the turn that Downton Abbey took last night. A virgin giving into a foreigner, who had to be a Muslim as he was representing the Turkish govt., and therefore ineligible as a prospective husband? This is not the behavior one would expect from someone like Mary who is so conscious of her status. :(

  4. Actually, I was rolling my eyes when they were dragging the body down the hallway...a bit cliche not to mention he seemed a bit young for the "too much action heart attack". Was it a congenital heart defect? The rest of it is so much fun however, that I will suspend my disbelief and continue to enjoy.
    The wonderful acting and the visual feast more than make up for any plot weakness for me...

  5. I will continue to watch it as the acting is phenomenal and the scenery is dreamy. But I have to admit that I would have preferred getting to know the Granthams, Cawleys, and downstairs staff a little better before a sinister thread was introduced. I also don't want anything to happen to Daisy. On the other hand, Thomas and O'Brien can go right now. But isn't that a sign of good acting that we don't like them?

  6. Very bizarre, but I loved the "stranger than fiction feel" of Mr. Pamook's lugubrious fate, hehe.




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