Quick Blu-ray Review – ‘Downton Abbey: The London Season’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

Let’s talk about the 2014 Christmas Special of ‘Downton Abbey’ called ‘The London Season’. It’s interesting that most of these ‘Downton Abbey’ Christmas Specials don’t have a Christmas theme about them. It’s like how the last three ‘Keeping Up Appearances’ Christmas Specials aren’t Christmassy. 😐

The special takes place in the summer of 1923. The Granthams move to their London residence, as the debutante ball of Lily James as Lady Rose is about to take place as well as her presentation at Buckingham Palace. It’s very intriguing how Lady Rose gets presented to the King and Queen here. 🙂

As well as Lily James, the special also features Hugh Bonneville as Robert Crawley, the Earl of Grantham and Elizabeth McGovern as Cora Crawley, the Countess of Grantham. Maggie Smith as Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Graham also attends for Lady Rose’s London presentation.

There’s also Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary and Laura Carmichael as Lady Edith. Jim Carter returns as Carson the butler as well as Phyllis Logan as Mrs. Hughes the housekeeper. A lot of the people we know in ‘Downton Abbey’ come to London to help out with the organisation of the London events. 🙂

Brendan Coyle returns as John Bates and Joanne Froggatt returns as Anna Bates. I don’t think the issue of Anna’s rape from Series 4 and whether Mr. Bates was involved with her attacker’s death is resolved here. There’s also Kevin Doyle as Molsely who looks out for Raquel Cassidy as Miss Baxter when she’s bullied by Tom. 🙂

I think Robert James-Collier as Tom Barrow has become meaner in the episodes we see of him, as he has ideas above his station. He’s especially mean-spirited when he catches Allen Leach as Tom Branson with the school teacher Daisy Lewis as Sarah Bunting when she’s being given a tour of Downton Abby.

There’s also Sophie McShera as Daisy, Lesley Nicol as Mrs. Patmore and Ed Speleers as Jimmy. This special also features the last appearance of Cara Theobold as Ivy, as she’s about to go off to America. There’s also Penelope Wilton as Isobel, who’s caught the attention of Douglas Reith as Lord Merton.

Shirley MacLaine also returns to play Martha Levinson, Cora’s mother and she’s joined by Paul Giamatti as her brother, Harold Levinson. It’s amusing to see Paul Giamatti in this ‘Downton Abbey’ special as, apart from other roles, he played the Rhino in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’. Astounding! 🙂

There’s James Fox (who I’ve seen in Tim Burton’s ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ and he voiced Professor Chronotis in 2003’s ‘Shada’ from ‘Doctor Who’) as Lord Aysgarth and he’s joined by Poppy Drayton as his daughter Madeleine Allsopp. There appears to be a little romance between her and Harold Levinson.

I was surprised to see Oliver Dimsdale (from ‘Grantchester’) making an appearance as the Prince of Wales in the special. There’s also Janet Montgomery as Freda Dudley Ward, Julian Ovenden as Charles Blake, Michael Benz as Ethan Slade, Tom Cullen as Anthony Gillingham and Samantha Bond as Lady Rosamund Painswick. Guy Williams plays King George V in the special and gets a few lines. 🙂

The issue of Lady Edith’s pregnancy from Series 4 gets resolved in the special and Lady Mary continues to have her suitors in Charles Blake and Anthony Gillingham. The Downton Abbey staff also get to enjoy their day out at the seaside, and there’s a sense of Carson and Mrs. Hughes being intimate.

‘The London Season’ is an enjoyable ‘Downton Abby’ special. It was nice to see the ‘Downton Abbey’ characters going to London for a change. There’s also this subplot where Robert Crawley and others attempt to recover a letter from Patrick Kennedy as Terence Sampson who may use it against them.

Apparently ‘Downton Abbey’ is a form of the Borg collective from ‘Star Trek’! I know this because Metro says on the Blu-ray cover that “Resistance is futile!” 😀

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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