Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

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

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Downton Abbey Episode 3 on Masterpiece PBS

Matthew and Lady Mary- Will they get together or won't they?
A budding romance is starting to appear between the heir to the estate, Matthew Crawley, and Lady Mary, even after the scathing things that Lady Mary said over the dinner table last week (you remember, "our kind of people" and the Andromeda barb).  Oh, well, at least she seems at bit chastened by last week's crazy events.  She was starting to annoy me with her haughtiness and her bitchiness.  I think I may quite like her after all.  Now, what can we do with that annoying Edith?

Lady Edith, Lady Mary and Lady Sybil, the Crawley sisters of Downton Abbey
Lady Sybil was so cute in her new dress and seems to be really stirring things up with Gwen and now her new friend, Mr. Branson, the chauffeur.  Mrs. Hughs' suitor gave a nice twist to the servant's story line and Molesley's allergic reaction was fodder for more wonderful fireworks between Violet (the Dowager Duchess) and  Isobel (Matthew's feisty mother).  The flower show was rather cute too.  Now if only Thomas and O'Brien would get sacked and the "Mean Girls" Lady Edith and Lady Mary would stop their petty cat-fighting nonsense...well I suppose that would get boring, but still...

I did wonder about Lady Mary and her mother Cora discussing Mary's situation so openly without closing the door.  Doesn't everyone look at the door if one is discussing something that is not common knowledge to see if someone like Lady Edith or a nosy Parker like Thomas or O'Brien might be listening?  I mean they even named names!

Robert Bathurst/Mr. Weston/Sir Anthony Strallen

Did anyone else recognize Sir Anthony Strallen as Robert Bathurst, better known to me as Mr. Weston from the most recent version of Emma 2009 with Romola Garai?  It was bugging me where I had seen him before.

The line of the night had to be,
Mrs. Isobel Crawley: "I will take that as a compliment."   
Violet, Dowager Countess of Grantham:  "Then I must have said it wrong!"

Gwen (sweet as sugar) and O'Brien (was she beaten as a child?)
I rather enjoyed the slower pace of tonight's episode after last weeks frenzied storyline.  Stay tuned next Sunday night for the conclusion of season one of Downton Abbey.  It sounds like next January may be the time that Masterpiece airs season two, as the UK gets it in the fall, but when will we get the Christmas episode that the UK gets at, of course, Christmas?  Perhaps Christmas in July?  Or will it be Christmas 2012, which seems a crazy long time away.

By the way, if you want more Downton in your life, go to Masterpiece Classic on PBS and you can read Q and A's with Hugh Bonneville and Dan Stephens (The Earl and the heir), participate in a live chat with Dan (Matthew) tomorrow-(Monday January 24th at 12:30) and even watch full episodes of the show that have already aired-if you live in the US that is.  Canadians are shut out from all video of Downton on the PBS site (as is the rest of the world I presume).  I have already complained to PBS but to no avail.  Something to do with airing rights.  Same reason I can't watch anything on the BBC sites either.  Dangit!

My Downton Abbey DVD is already on order so I can replay this in February at my house!  Now, I think I may have to order all four seasons of The Tudors to get me through the rest of this deep freeze of a winter!


  1. I'm going to sound like a Miss Cranky Pants, but I'm not happy with the Turk story line. Edith is willing to bring scandal to the whole family because she doesn't like Mary?

    Other than that, I loved this episode. I was so interested in the housekeeper's private life, and I love Anna and Mr. Bates. Sybil is a beautiful actress, and I loved her exotic outfit and how she treats the maid. Hugh Bonneville is stealing the show IMHO. But having said that, Penelope and Maggie's back and forth is delightful. Can't wait for more.

  2. Hi Mary! I really don't like girls being mean to each other (why do they do that-at all ages and in all time periods?). Oh well, makes me appreciate that I have a good relationship with my sister.
    But I guess it is really a soap opera and so we have to expect the melodramatic.

    Hugh Bonneville IS adorable. Have you seen him in "Lost in Austen" as Mr. Bennet? And soooo cute as Bernie in "Notting Hill". I even found him oddly attractive as the nasty Mr. Grandcourt in "Daniel Deronda". I wanted Jane Austen to end up with him when he played Rev. Brook Bridges in "Miss Austen Regrets". Yes, he is one of my absolute faves.

  3. Jenny, I thought that the third episode was the best. I love the complexity of the characters. The storyline is both predictable and unpredictable, which is all one can ask of a costume drama! Vic

  4. I liked this episode too. I'm looking forward to getting the DVD (apparently Amazon says it's on the way) to see the whole thing. I know PBS says they didn't cut out much, but there are a lot of little looks and things missing. You'll see what I mean with William's story in the final episode. I think a lot of people will be puzzled at why Mary wants William to go and see his mother.
    I do love the costumes and am getting very fond of both Highclere Castle and most of the characters. I do think Mary and Edith need an intervention however!

  5. The costumes are gorgeous. Some of the prettiest I've ever seen. I have 5 sisters, so I understand there will be disagreements. Our spats look like nothing compared to the Grantham sisters.

  6. We are long time enthusiasts for the Masterpiece series and this is one of their best efforts! This is the new "Upstairs/Downstairs" which was one of the most watched and loved series in England. The characters are well played and although not an "action" genre series, keeps one on the edge of one's seat, hoping for the best outcome, fearing for the worst! This is another of those classic series that we will watch every year - a must have in any great video collection! Well played, well photographed, well done!

    1. Hi Netherland. Agreed. Love both Downton Abbey and Upstairs Downstairs. Keep them coming Masterpiece (and BBC, and ITV...)

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