The cast of Downton tease us with what might be going on across the pond right now on ITV on Sunday nights.
Back last spring, we brought you the first installment of Robert James-Collier’s brainchild Downton Wars. The project was to raise money for charity, and he said if they raised enough part two would be forthcoming.
Not only did they raise enough to hit the target of £10,000, they actually smashed the original target goal to wind up with £15,000+.
So here now is Downton Wars II: The Evil Butler Strikes Back. Brendan Coyle returns as Obe-Wan Bates. As well as guest starring most of the downstairs staff, AND Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith and Penelope Wilton! (With a cameo by Hugh Bonneville.)
It’s been a couple of weeks since ITV released their version of the Downton Abbey trailer for the sixth and final season. It took Masterpiece Theater here in the US a while to notice and post it, but they finally did at the end of last week. Now this week, they’ve released their own version.
The differences between the two are remarkable. Where ITV’s was designed to bludgeon the heartstrings into weeping submission with scenes designed to suggest that Downton Abbey, meaning the house itself, is coming to an end. Carson removes his name plate from the door, people pack up and put themselves in cars, and there are shots of all our characters peppered throughout suggesting that all have won, and all will have some approximation of a happy ending. (Even Edith!) All this is set to English chanteuse Lauren Aquilina, and her pop hit “Time to Say Goodbye.”
ITV is playing to an audience for whom this is the recent past, many of whom can say that their late grandparents worked as servants in manor hours like this, or were tenant farmers on estates like this one. (My late British grandmother’s first job was working in a grand house as a servant.) Masterpiece Theater, on the other hand, is not. Downton Abbey isn’t dramatizing a past the US grew up with. For most Americans, their stories of the generation before the Greatest Generation are of families taking long miserable boat rides across the Atlantic, massing in huddles, fleeing famine poverty and/or pogroms. For us, Downton presenting us with those grand Lords and Ladies out of Disney fairy tales and romance novels, and allows us to watch as they are confronted by the modern world we take for granted. There’s a reason this trailer includes a clip of someone ironing newspapers in the morning. Is there another more recognizable, yet utterly foreign behavior that better encapsulates that anthropological aspect of this show?
I’ve been waiting for this since last week! With less than a month before the final season of Downton Abbey is scheduled to start airing in the UK (September 20th, now confirmed), ITV was due to give us a trailer.
Over the weekend, they have delivered in spades. Grab your hanky, because you can’t stop time, and Downton is coming to an end.
It’s still a month before Downton Abbey airs on ITV, let alone PBS. But that’s not stopping the Masterpiece train from cranking out mashups that are going to bring tears to your eyes.
SYBIL! It’s still not fair….
Everything this season with Downton Abbey is going to be “the last.” In this case it’s “The last first batch of promotional pictures from the season!” And “The last official Downton Abbey Cast Photo.”
The press launch was yesterday in London. Maggie Smith was on hand, along with Hugh Bonneville and Joanne Froggatt at the Mayfair Hotel. Smith admitted she hasn’t actually watched any of her work on Downton Abbey. She plans to now that it’s finished. Right after a nice rest.
“I’m going to be lying down. I believe for quite a some time. The other thing I will be doing is watching it. I will get the box set and have a good look. I certainly haven’t watched anything that I’ve done. I have seen some of it. But I want to sit down and look at it all.”
She joked: “I’m just surprised that I got to the end because just before this I’d done about 10 years with Harry Potter. So I felt very old indeed by the time I got to the Dowager. I’m honestly just surprised that I got through it and I’m still here.”
For more pictures from the last upcoming season, check out below.
Last night in London, the BAFTAs hosted a special presentation to mark the end of filming of one of the UK’s all time hit series, Downton Abbey. Most of the cast turned out for the event–including some faces we haven’t seen in many a season. Let’s check out the best looks from the carpet, as opposed to those who merely bored us.
This was, of course, Michelle Dockery’s night, and she dressed for it. One of the things we’ve seen with Dockery over the Downton years is her coming to terms (much like Christina Hendricks) that her best looks always come from simply doing the modern update of what her character would wear in the same situation.