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PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

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PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Old 01-14-11, 04:42 AM
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PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

anyone catch the first episode of this series last Sunday? Looks like it's airing as part of the Masterpiece Classic series on PBS on Sunday nights in four parts at ninety minutes each.

I recorded it, but haven't watched the first episode yet.

I noticed that it's got some very good reviews though.
Old 01-14-11, 10:06 AM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Saw Elizabeth McGovern on Graham Norton about a week ago and heard about this. Alas, Graham spoiled the ending but I'm enjoying it anyways. Its much more Gosford Park than. Austen-y (i.e. a ton of characters to keep straight). It is compelling for sure and I love to see Brendan Coyle in a different sort of role for a change.
Old 01-14-11, 07:40 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

I'm not big on purchasing DVD's but since I can, and often do, work strange hours, I actually purchased the set earlier this week since I became caught up in the story when the first episode aired on PBS and I missed the last 30 minutes or so. OK I admit it, I'm really a closet Masterpiece Classic lover. There I said it.
Old 02-04-11, 06:56 AM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

well, ... I finally got a chance to watch all of the first season of Downton Abbey. I was very happy the good reviews I had read were actually correct (Metacritic had it at a 94, higher rated than Mad Men.) So many times I read good reviews, have high expectations, and then the show doesn't quite live up to the reviews. But, this one did.

It did have a ton of characters to keep straight when I started out. I had to watch the first part a couple times to get them all straight. And, I've learned the differences between housemaid, housekeeper, butler, footmen, valet, ladymaids, etc. lol.

Although it was much different than a show like Mad Men, the quality was comparable. Being a period piece, it reminded me some of Boardwalk Empire, but it was more character driven it seemed. Just as good though, ... or better.

I thought it was a real quality show, and I was sorry it was over. I was ready for the next episode before the last one ended.

I guess season/series two is set to air in the UK starting in Aug 2011. I hope PBS brings it over right away.
Old 02-04-11, 09:19 AM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

My wife and I enjoyed this series quite a bit, glad they are producing a second season.
Old 02-04-11, 05:14 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

I watched and also liked it quite a bit. Although, I didn't know it wasn't a self-containted miniseries until it ended. I was wondering how they were going to at least have some wrap up in the last ten minutes. I wasn't real happy about that, but it was my own fault for not reading anything about it before I started watching.

Hope that Michelle Dockery can get some more work in the US b/c I thought she was terrific.
Old 12-31-11, 10:30 AM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

I missed this the first time but I've gotten curious after all the acclaim. This has been on Netflix streaming for some time, presented in seven episodes. I was DVRing the recent re-run of Season One on the local PBS HD channel, not realizing at first that it was presented in four 90-minute slots.

I'm sort of leery of the Netflix streaming version since the quality is rather "foggy" compared to the crisp (if a bit "greenish") HD broadcast. Doing a quick comparison it looks like the Masterpiece Classic version has re-ordered some scenes though I can't tell if its dropping anything extensive.

How do the two versions compare?
Old 12-31-11, 12:06 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

I believe the seven episodes are the original UK presentation. This, I believe, is what's on the DVD set available. I somewhat recall that during the original broadcast, some were aghast that PBS edited (some said butchered) it to fit the four broadcast episodes. I have not attempted to compare the PBS broadcast with the DVD set but seem to remember someone doing so. I believe a search should turn up the comparison.

Like you waiting for 2012.

Rick
Old 01-01-12, 11:33 AM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

i think series 2 premieres next Sunday night.

Spoiler:
I hope World War 1 gives Thomas a limp!
Old 01-01-12, 04:44 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

The Second Season is very good. I don't like waiting, so I watched it and the Xmas special already.

They are currently filming Season 3.
Old 01-01-12, 04:49 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

The UK Blu-rays are region free. We got Season 2 for Xmas and we'll probably order the Christmas movie this week.
Old 01-02-12, 06:30 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

I'm not too bright but how did you get season 2 already?? I thought they weren't available until February sometime??
Old 01-02-12, 06:37 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Originally Posted by rduncan View Post
I'm not too bright but how did you get season 2 already?? I thought they weren't available until February sometime??
The region-free blurays have been available at AmazonUK since November.
Old 02-03-12, 12:41 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

If I understand correctly, the UK season 2 set does not include the Christmas special but the US set does. Is that right?
Old 02-08-12, 06:31 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Originally Posted by Easy View Post
If I understand correctly, the UK season 2 set does not include the Christmas special but the US set does. Is that right?
Well I received the season 2 BD last night from Amazon (UPS actually delivered at 7:15pm) and I looked at the extras on disc 3. Appears the Christmas special was there but I didn't watch it as I don't want to see any spoilers. I'm faithfully watching it as it's broadcast on PBS.
Old 02-08-12, 08:14 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Originally Posted by rduncan View Post
Well I received the season 2 BD last night from Amazon (UPS actually delivered at 7:15pm) and I looked at the extras on disc 3. Appears the Christmas special was there but I didn't watch it as I don't want to see any spoilers. I'm faithfully watching it as it's broadcast on PBS.
I should have it soon myself. After some digging I decided the price of the US set was reasonable (the UK set + special was priced much higher). Oddly, the first season was much cheaper in the UK, even after paying shipping. Weird pricing.

Unfortunately, my local PBS affiliate flat out sucks. They have created so many sub channels that the signal of the HD channel breaks up and pixelates. Plus they have it improperly letterboxed and they run their network bug constantly. The damn thing is completely unwatchable.

Last edited by Easy; 02-09-12 at 10:21 AM.
Old 02-09-12, 02:10 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Can someone give the rundown on this series? There were just 2 seasons, correct? It appears Season 2 is on Blu-ray and also showing on TV currently. Am I wrong and what is being shown is Season 3? And where does the Christmas Special fit in? Between seasons 1 and 2 or after?

I'm finishing up Season 1 and need to know where to go from here. Seems I get spoilers any time I try and research this...
Old 02-09-12, 02:28 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Originally Posted by CRM114 View Post
Can someone give the rundown on this series? There were just 2 seasons, correct? It appears Season 2 is on Blu-ray and also showing on TV currently. Am I wrong and what is being shown is Season 3? And where does the Christmas Special fit in? Between seasons 1 and 2 or after?

I'm finishing up Season 1 and need to know where to go from here. Seems I get spoilers any time I try and research this...
It goes season 1, season 2, Christmas special (which is really just a slightly longer episode). They are (or will be shortly) filming season 3 right now. The Christmas episode should really be added to season 2, but for whatever reason it is separate. It's not stand-alone and you really can't miss it and still know what is going on in season 3. It is sorta odd why some UK shows like Doctor Who and Misfits do them.

The show aired in the UK and was released on DVD/Blu there before PBS airs them. I think you can even buy it region one already... basically PBS runs edited versions six months after they originally air and after they have are already out to buy. I'm not sure if the PBS episodes are missing content, but I know they are cut up and reassembled to fit a different episode count in the States.

Last edited by Navinabob; 02-09-12 at 02:34 PM.
Old 02-09-12, 02:34 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Thanks. According to reviews of Season 2 BD on Amazon, the Christmas Special is in the Season 2 set.
Old 02-10-12, 06:57 AM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Unlike the US, Christmas Day is a huge TV viewing day in the UK, hence why you often see "special" Christmas episodes of top-rated shows like Doctor Who. I'm sure that after Downton's huge S1 ratings, ITV wanted something from Downton to air on Christmas Day in 2011 to have a run at the BBC for ratings.

Having said that, in terms of plot, the "Christmas special" could have easily been shown after Episode 8 in the UK, which is what PBS is doing.

PBS has edited less of Downton S2 than S1, which is a good thing. Here's a brief summary of what they've done to squeeze episodes into a timeslot when necessary for S2:

Jan. 8 - Episodes 1 & 2 (5 minutes or so edited out to fit a 120-minute slot)
Jan. 15 - Episode 3 (full UK version, 60-minute slot)
Jan. 22 - Episode 4 (full UK version, 60-minute slot)
Jan. 29 - Episode 5 (full UK version, 60-minute slot)
Feb. 5 - Episode 6 (full UK version, 60-minute slot)
Feb. 12 - Episodes 7 & 8 (5 minutes or so edited out to fit a 120-minute slot)
Feb. 19 - Christmas special (haven't seen the TV listings yet, but this runs about 94 minutes unedited, so I can see PBS cutting out 5-7 minutes to fit it into a 90-minute slot)
Old 02-10-12, 02:15 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Ugh. Really? I guess I'll just get the blu-ray then.
Old 02-10-12, 04:51 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Interesting, Letterman seems to be a genuine fan. Loved this interview.

<iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/k5KK1lQP_N0" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Old 02-10-12, 05:11 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

PS-Is the best way to get this by getting season one from the UK because it's less expensive AND 1080p and then getting season two from the US because, while it's 1080i, it's less expensive than the UK version by a lot and includes the Christmas special (which strangely enough is sold alone in the UK, but is 1080i)? And are the UK's special features region free (not PAL) or is it just the show that is not region locked?

Thanks for any help on this.
Old 02-10-12, 07:59 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Originally Posted by dolphinboy View Post
And are the UK's special features region free (not PAL) or is it just the show that is not region locked?
When I bought it a couple of weeks ago the UK set was ~ $14 shipped. Looks like the price has gone up a bit. Everyting on the set plays fine, including "special features".

I bought S2 in the US because as I stated earlier, it includes the Christmas special and is currently much less expensive than the UK version. I didn't realize it was 1080i, although I should have known PBS would manage to fuck it up somehow.
Old 12-20-12, 09:47 PM
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Re: PBS Masterpiece Classic -- Downton Abbey

Bump. This is one fantastic show! I got the blu ray box set of seasons 1 and 2 on sale at Amazon a few weeks ago (just $22.99), and watched them both within a week. It is one of the best series I've ever seen on television (commercial and cable). I'm 3/4 of the way through season 3. It aired in the U.K. this past Fall. Won't be on in the U.S. until mid January. And it's just as great as the first two seasons. Maybe better. The storyline takes a really tragic turn halfway through that is very emotional. And will effect even the hardest of people.

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