Monday, 24 September 2012

The Return of Downton Abbey (Series 3)

On TV: Sunday 16th September 2012
Channel: ITV1 9-10.30pm
Genre: Drama, Historical
Episode Type: Episode 1 of 9

In 1 Sentence: The Sunday night staple is back! And with enough drama to last us well until Christmas...

ITV Summary: The third series, set in 1920, sees the return of all the much loved characters in the sumptuous setting of Downton Abbey. As they face new challenges, the Crawley family and the servants who work for them remain inseparably interlinked

My Review: I, like millions of others, have been eagerly awaiting the return of Downton since Christmas when Matthew and Mary finally (!!) got engaged. That was such a magical episode - perfectly romantic and Christmassy - that it was going to be hard to keep that same special feeling going. 
Downton has changed quite a lot since the first episode. It has become a nation’s favourite and last series was compulsive viewing. It looks to be more of the same this year, thankfully, with eight episodes to get our teeth into before the Christmas special. 
However, the plot has become a lot less clever than it used to be. Instead we just have a beautiful drama with gorgeous 1920s costumes and sets to marvel at - a feast for the eyes indeed – and there are many laughs, almost always from Maggie Smith’s character, Violet.  
This opening episode centered around Lady Mary and Matthew’s wedding and while there were a few hiccups over Matthew’s loyalty to the Crawley’s things were more or less alright in the end. I particuarly enjoyed seeing the return of Sybil Crawley who ran away last series to marry chauffeur, Tom Branson. Their relationship on screen has always caused a stir and yet you can’t help but feel sorry for poor Tom as his drink was spiked during one of the dinner parties causing him to rant about Irish politics. The issue of class and what’s expected will always be an obstacle in their relationship - I just hope that it works out for them both! 
I’m looking forward to the next episode (back to the standard hour or so length) where we can start getting to grips with new characters (the American grandmother for one) and the thrilling storylines to come...

Score: 8/10

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