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 Downton Abbey - Again.

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Islanddawn
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 10:27

It seems JK Rowling is set to jump on the bandwagon with the release of her latest novel. A 19C story set around the lives of those in the 'big house' and that of a small village, according to the Beeb radio this morning.

Will be interesting to see how versatile a writer she is and whether she can move away from the whole Potter phenonomen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17693206
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 11:14

I don't think "A Casual Vacancy" is "a 19C story", ID.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/sep/22/jk-rowling-book-casual-vacancy

But it is (apparently) all about class and snobbery. Nothing changes here in England. Perhaps we don't want it to.

We are all really loving the Mitchell "f*cking pleb" fuss. You can now get a badge proclaiming, "I'm a pleb" - some enterprising Lib Dem entrepreneur got them on the market pretty damn quick.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 11:34

I was sure I thought the radio describe it as a 19C setting, but I can't find anywhere else that mentions it's time frame. Oh well, doesn't matter, wouldn't be the first time I've misheard something....

A Casual Vacancy is sounding a little Jilly Cooperish, can't say I like the cover though.

http://collider.com/j-k-rowling-the-casual-vacancy/177294/
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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 12:57

Islanddawn wrote:
It seems JK Rowling is set to jump on the bandwagon with the release of her latest novel. A 19C story set around the lives of those in the 'big house' and that of a small village, according to the Beeb radio this morning.

Will be interesting to see how versatile a writer she is and whether she can move away from the whole Potter phenonomen.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-17693206


Far be it from me to attempt to overturn anyone else's bandwaggon, and in this case I suppose I'd have to bow for the overweight anyway, but for this kind of story I prefer John Masters' trilogy on the Great War. [I haven't read any of those mentioned in the previous posts, but in this case I'll let you all be my tutors - not Tudors!]
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 13:48

Has anyone watched "The Borgias" on Sky Atlantic? It's not a channel I have, so haven't seen it myself. From the reviews, it makes the Tudors look like the Teddy Bears Picnic.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 15:01

John Masters - he wrote a lot about India, didn't he, Nielsen? His books are rather frowned upon, I believe, these days. Too much glorification of the Empire? I've never read any of his stuff.

Is "Now God Be Thanked" the book about WW1?

Your link doesn't work.

Triceratops wrote:
Has anyone watched "The Borgias" on Sky Atlantic? It's not a channel I have, so haven't seen it myself. From the reviews, it makes the Tudors look like the Teddy Bears Picnic.

I've seen the first series, Trike. I have no idea how accurate it was historically, but the acting was better than that of "The Tudors". Jeremy Irons is always good. But the sex - as usual - got extremely irritating - just like in the Tudors. Far too many heaving bosoms and things, plus papal rather than kingly groaning. Pretty tedious actually.

Machiavelli had a bit part; he was good - really scary! (No sex for him, just machinations - far more interesting ).
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 15:08

Thanks Temp,

Trike.

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Nielsen
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 26 Sep 2012, 17:49

Temperance wrote:
John Masters - he wrote a lot about India, didn't he, Nielsen? His books are rather frowned upon, I believe, these days. Too much glorification of the Empire? I've never read any of his stuff.

Is "Now God Be Thanked" the book about WW1?

Your link doesn't work...

"Now God be thanked" is the first of his trilogy on that war.

And yes, he did write quite a lot on India - as a child of the Raj probably would if he could, so he did.

As being frowned upon for being a child of his time, well, why should he be bothered about what people write some years after he's dead, My thoughts are that he wrote what was the credo then - in India and not in some salons in Europe.

As to the link not working, well, that was from something I quoted from ID.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 27 Sep 2012, 07:23

Nielsen wrote:

And yes, he did write quite a lot on India - as a child of the Raj probably would if he could, so he did.

As being frowned upon for being a child of his time, well, why should he be bothered about what people write some years after he's dead, My thoughts are that he wrote what was the credo then - in India and not in some salons in Europe.


Why indeed?

My response was not meant to be read as a criticism. As I said, I have not read any of John Masters's books, so I am in no position to pass judgement on his merit, literary or otherwise. I looked him up out of interest and posted what I found.

In replying to your comment on this thread I was merely trying to be polite.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 27 Sep 2012, 07:49

Peace

Oh great! A chance to use this one already!
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 27 Sep 2012, 07:49

Oops, Temperance, if I sounded a bit miffed, it wasn't intended.

So far, I haven't had reason to be off in a huff from here, and I only pointed out what I saw and see as description of the times and mores of the times and places he described.

Like I have read some Dudley Pope, and others which goes into C17th life in the West Indies, with everyday life, including indentured service, slavery, and piracy.

I'd never willingly intend to attack any of these writers for describing lives and times, where habits differed from today's properly constituted morals and ethics, any more than I would attack any old Greek or Latin scolar telling tales of his times.

I'll read - almost - anything, agreeing or disagreeing with the author's political view. So far including the aforementioned John Masters, a German Auswärtiges Amt publication from 1940 called 'Greueltaten gegen die Volksdeutsche in Polen', and the Swedish socialist Jan Guillou, fantasy writer Anne McCaffrey, Paddington Bear, Astrid Lindgren, and very much in between.

When the writing is done well, I'll read - learn - and attempt to think, before making my mind up.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 27 Sep 2012, 08:24

I appreciate what you say, but you should nevertheless avoid Paddington Bear. He sold out to the capitalists:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjSER4WWaOsn
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 27 Sep 2012, 09:34

Temperance wrote:
I appreciate what you say, but you should nevertheless avoid Paddington Bear. He sold out to the capitalists:

[url=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjSER4WWaOsn
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjSER4WWaOsn [/quote[/url]]

Right, but I don't suppose he'd have done that some 50 years ago when I read those stories, just prior to Elin Blyton, Amazones and Swallows, et al.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:21

And again "Julian Fellowes to write Downton Abbey prequel"

Oh heck!


"I do actually have an idea of doing a prequel of the courtship of Robert and Cora, when all those American heiresses were arriving in London.

"They had a slightly troubled courtship, because she was in love with him before they married, as we know, and he married her entirely for her money," said Fellowes, speaking at the Bafta Screenwriters' Lecture series.

"I sort of feel there's something quite nice in there because he's a decent cove, and so he feels rather guilty about this."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-19755983
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Fri 28 Sep 2012, 10:33

DA is sounding more like Days of Our Lives, next we'll have people rising from the dead too.

Oh well, I'll still watch it anyway....Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Fri 28 Sep 2012, 11:39

is this something that would appeal to men, so far all the ladies are tearing it to bits... any reason, i've not seen any of it, is this fellow julian fellowes really that bad.?
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Fri 28 Sep 2012, 12:04

Anyone who names their offspring the Hon. Peregrine Charles Morant Kitchener-Fellowes is either a crud or a man permanently damaged through being himself the son of a Peregrine Edward Launcelot Fellowes. It does make one wonder however if Joe Bloggs had written Downturn Abbie whether it would have made it past the wastepaper basket in the BBC screenplay department.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Fri 28 Sep 2012, 12:08

On the car radio I've just been listening to 'Gloomsbury' with Miriam Margolyes as Vera Sackcloth-Vest. Not quite as funny as it might have been but a decent antidote to Fellows (and Anselm).
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sun 30 Sep 2012, 22:32

Cracking episode tonight.

Thank goodness the family hasn't got to put a Rightmove board up outside the Abbey after all. Living in that dreary little Downton Place (sounds like a sordid American novel) would have been intolerable for them all.

Best line tonight must go to Lord Grantham (it should have been Maggie Smith's, of course). When the Dowager was fretting about being made homeless, her son told her not to worry: "We still own most of the village."

So that's all right then.

And Mrs. Hughes hasn't got terminal cancer after all. I've been worrying about that all week.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sun 30 Sep 2012, 23:19

Yes, it's comforting that they won't have to try to scrape by with only eight servants.

'Peyton Place', I'd forgotten about that. Wasn't it just the raciest thing!
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Mon 01 Oct 2012, 03:40

I spotted a book in the library called " The World of Downton Abbey"so natually brought it home. it was written by Jessica Fellowes with a forward by Julian. Lavishly ilustrated with some stories from the series and some told about life as it really used to be above and below stairs, telling how some servants used to work from dawn to dusk and the kind of tasks they had to do. It has a price of 20 pounds inside the cover. Lovely to look at but I would not buy it.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Mon 01 Oct 2012, 05:29

I haven't seen last nights episode yet but I'm not surprised that Mrs H isn't terminal, if DA is one thing it is predictable. JF does not have a great deal of imagination and seems to stick to the old tried and true formula, but is that the receipe for the popularity of the show then, predictability?

Doesn't say a lot for those of us who watch it though... Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Mon 01 Oct 2012, 09:27

Ah, but was she telling the truth when she said she was not for the chop?
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 02 Oct 2012, 15:21

Yes, I've just caught up with the episode and I think you may have a point ferval. We didn't see what the doctor actually said, only what Mrs H wanted people to believe. Mmm fishy indeed. The Edith business is a bit daft too.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 02 Oct 2012, 15:30

Very odd look from Hughsey as she listens to Carson joyfully singing the smoothing iron song - a hint of anguish and a tear in her eye perchance?
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 02 Oct 2012, 18:58

What's happened to Shirley MacLaine - does anyone know? No sign of her last Sunday, not even at the non-wedding. Have I missed something important?

Has she been stuffed into a cupboard somewhere, like the Turkish diplomat?
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 02 Oct 2012, 20:01

No idea, I wondered about that as well.

Oops, Great British Bake Off, I'm off too.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 03 Oct 2012, 04:28

I thought Shirley had to go back home to the US after the wedding? A bit odd, surely one didn't make a trip that involved a week of travel on the sea plus how many days on land, only to stay for a couple of days before returning home?

Julian does let some annoyingly modern thoughts and habits stray into the show, like Mary approaching Shirley for a large amount of money. I doubt that question would have even been asked of a woman at that time, as women usually weren't given control of large fortunes. It was the son and heir who would have been approached for a bail out, and surely anyone in a family would have known how the money was entailed?
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 03 Oct 2012, 08:13

The law on entailment must have caused some terrible problems and family disputes - we've all heard of the famous entailment in "Pride and Prejudice", but I wonder what real life families - aristocratic or otherwise - have been affected by it?

Isn't the Spencer estate at Althorp protected by entailment? I seem to remember the late Diana, Princess of Wales, talking of the terrible disappointment caused when she, the third Spencer *daughter*, was born. Her family desperately needed a boy - he arrived (the present Earl, the Charles Spencer of funeral speech fame) a few years later. He's ended up with a brood of girls, too - but only one son.

Seems a very outdated law - disinheriting *females*. Is it really still in force?

I suppose the Salic law was the ultimate in entailment?
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 03 Oct 2012, 08:39

Entailment seems to be still law in England and Wales. Scotland did away with it in 2000, Ireland in 2009. Both required constitutional challenges (in Scotland by proxy - a constitution is ready to become law upon full independence but can be used as a basis for present legislation), so I assume the fact that it persists in England is largely due to that country's lack of a written constitution. English constitutional law is based on precedent, tradition and current practise which means that any stupid law, once established, is very hard to undo. As entailment applies specifically to the property and not to the individual it is almost impossible to eradicate its application once established.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 03 Oct 2012, 18:55

Found this information about entailment, but I'm rather wary of an American blog which describes Downton Abbey as "the new masterpiece classic series"!

http://austenprose.com/2011/01/14/downton-abbey-entailed-understanding-the-complicated-legal-issues-in-the-new-masterpiece-classic-series/
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 04 Oct 2012, 04:28

The blog didn't describe DA as 'the new masterpiece classic series' Temp, it said 'in the new Masterpiece Classic Series' and then a little further on 'in the new hit series currently being aired on Masterpiece Classics PBS'.

Masterpiece Classics isn't a description http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/masterpiece/classic/index.html
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 04 Oct 2012, 14:47

Thank you, ID. The correction was most welcome.

(Now, where does that line come from - and who said it?)
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 04 Oct 2012, 15:22

Is this a quiz question Temp? lol
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Thu 04 Oct 2012, 15:29

It was from "The Trial of Richard III"!

David Starkey said it when he got his dates wrong.

See - I can even get R3 into the Downton Abbey thread!
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sat 06 Oct 2012, 16:30

Some information here about the tiara they used for the D.A. weddings:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2212885/Downton-Tiara-We-reveal-extraordinary-history.html

I'm not exactly "bewitched" by the tiara as the rest of Britain (according to the Mail) apparently is, but the history of the piece (it's genuine, dates from the 1820s and is worth over £150,000) *is* rather interesting.

Our Book Club choice this month is the autobiography of Deborah Devonshire, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, aka Debo Mitford. I am reading this book very quickly in a sort of frenzy of horrified fascination.

The elegant world of the Mitford girls - and their aristocratic friends - was *so* Downton Abbey-ish. Could the Dowager be cashing in on the posh folk craze that's manifesting everywhere in the UK at the moment? The Duchess's story was, after all, published in 2010. Isn't that just about when Dowton Abbey was first screened? But no, surely not. One can't imagine the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire "cashing in" on anything (or having to). The Dowager Duchess of *Grantham* would certainly never do anything so vulgar - although Maggie did threaten to open a shop in the village last week, didn't she?

The six Mitford girls dazzled and fascinated everyone with their wit, charm and beauty, yet I'm reminded again of Lord Blake's comment about the essential corruption and heartlessness of the circles in which they moved. The Duchess seems at times aware of this: indeed she often refers - but rather laughingly, I'm afraid - to what she calls the Great Unfairness of Life (her capitals). She first uses this condescending little expression when she tells her readers that, in 1933, her mother's household account books record that the under parlourmaid received £18 a year, Nanny £74, the cook and gardener (a married couple) £116. The six daughters of the house, once they reached seventeen, received £100 a year each as a *dress* allowance.

"When you compare our allowance with the wages of my parents' indoor staff, the Great Unfairness of Life is brought home."

Yep, it sure is!

Debs rather skates over the rather embarrassing fondness for fascism and fascists that ran in the family. With her usual charming nonchalance she tells us about sister Diana (aka Mrs. O. Mosley):

"Her rigid views on race were partly influenced by Grandfather Redesdale, an advocate of Teutonic supremacy, and were hardened by the experience of war and her unyielding nature."

But Diana had a really sweet character apparently, "the greater part of which was pure and selfless. She was always the one to volunteer for some boring family chore and went out of her way to be kind to anyone in difficulty. As she grew old, she became almost saint-like in her goodness."

I'll see if I can find a picture of the saintly Diana (and hubby) in a moment.

Unity Mitford, of course, famously had a crush on Adolf Hitler, like you do.

It'll be interesting to see what people say about this book next week. It's making my blood boil, I'm afraid.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sat 06 Oct 2012, 16:57

Did you see these, "Servants: the True Story of Life Below Stairs" on BBC 2. Rather good I thought, I didn't know the story of the Glaswegian girl although I'm obviously aware of the history of female activism here.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n5wjx/episodes/guide
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sat 06 Oct 2012, 17:14



Here's Diana in saintly mode.

Haven't seen the servant programmes yet, ferval. Have recorded them!
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sat 06 Oct 2012, 17:16



Here's Unity with her German chum.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sat 06 Oct 2012, 17:22

And here's the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire's brother-in-law being greeted by some female fans.









Sorry for straying off-topic somewhat, but I'm cross. If anyone at our Book Club says what a charming family this lot were I think I'll explode.

But back to Downton now.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sat 06 Oct 2012, 22:57

Are they likely to? Fascinating, dangerous, weird perhaps, but charming?

Quote :
the posh folk craze that's manifesting everywhere in the UK at the moment?

I think you read too much into what is just a popular light programme, Temp. Downton Abbey is just as popular here, where I don't think we have a craze on posh folk (don'thave any posh folk here to have a craze on). It's just a well produced story which people enjoy - has goodies and baddies but most of them with some shade, a storyline to pull the viewer in, all the ingredients of a good sitcom or soap opera. And costume drama is endlessly popular. Nice clothes that we don't see in real life any more. (Thankfully for comfort.) And for us in NZ it has the added attraction of seeing the English countryside and country mansions. We can't usually say about Downton Abbey "We've Been There" but that is one of my husband's favourite phrases when we watch UKTV (which is quite often). I then have to rush to the telly to see where we've been and sometimes to be quizzed on it - my responses usually bring big sighs, and comments like "I take you all these places and you'd don't even know them."
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sun 07 Oct 2012, 08:45

Caro wrote:
Are they likely to? Fascinating, dangerous, weird perhaps, but charming?

Quote :
the posh folk craze that's manifesting everywhere in the UK at the moment?


"Manifesting everywhere..." that's an ill phrase, a vile phrase - what was I thinking?

I know one lady who'll be filled with admiration for the Mitfords, Caro - I'll put money on it. I'll report back after the meeting.

But you are right, it's just a programme on the tele.

Homeland is back tonight - clashes with Downton Abbey. Which to watch; which to record? Decisions, decisions...
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Sun 07 Oct 2012, 09:06

No problem Temp, one live, one on one of the plus 1 channels and then off to bed.

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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 09:32

Fairly non-descript episode of DA this week, I'm having difficulty remembering what happened and I only watched it yesterday.

So Edith is going to become a feminist extremist, burn her drawers outside Parliament and shame the family, your Irish one is going to have to live off Daddy-in-law and maybe he can go back to being the chauffeur to pay for his keep, the Earl knows diddly squat about how to manage the finances and Thomas has got someone new to bully. Hey ho, pretty tame stuff.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 15:06

Islanddawn wrote:
Fairly non-descript episode of DA this week...

I've just watched it - it was an excellent episode, ID!

Dinner with the Archbishop of York, no less, and Lord G. tells His Grace that he doesn't like Catholics because "there's always something of the Johnny foreigner about them" - immediate cut to the Oirish ex-chauffeur son-in-law (subtle!) who's on the run because he and his mates have torched some castle near Dublin belonging to friends of his in-laws. There he is, the tiresome little revolutionary, banging on the D.A. front door during the cheese course. What a terribly embarrassing situation for everyone!

Everyone understandably a bit cross (except the Archbishop of York who just disappears - oh and the Dowager Duchess who thinks that razing the odd Irish castle now and again is actually a jolly good idea, especially if they are blots on the landscape, as this one apparently was - his Lordship looks slightly irritated at this interruption and tells his mother that her remarks aren't "helpful"). Next day the Earl speeds off to London for a quick word with the Home Secretary - son-in-law gets a telling off, but will avoid prosecution. Thank God for that. Those smouldering ruins in Ireland can be forgotten! But where will the first grandchild be born? Downton or Dublin? And if *Mary* doesn't have a baby (problems in that department being hinted at already) what then?

A great line from Lord Grantham about the Archbishop - "no one so toffee-nosed as a Prince of the Church." In fact Lord G. got all the good lines this week. Although Carson's quip about the new-fangled electric toaster being as much a fire risk as an Irish revolutionary was pretty good.

The Bates sub-plot has confused me dreadfully. What *is* going on?

That former upstairs maid, now a prostitute, had a terrible decision to make didn't she - a mother's love or an education at Eton and Oxford for that dear little boy? And him clutching his teddy bear all the while Sad. But when in doubt, always opt for Eton and Christ Church. Which she did.

Edit: I put "toffy" instead of "toffee" Lord knows why.


Last edited by Temperance on Tue 09 Oct 2012, 17:38; edited 2 times in total
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ferval
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 15:23

Nooo, I can't read this, I've recorded it.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 15:45

Sorry, ferval. Shall I delete it?

Wasn't Homeland good? I've forgotton now what Carrie's forgotten. At least she's got ECT as an excuse.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 15:58

No don't bother, I just won't look at this thread until after tonight when I'll fit it in.

Homeland was great but I'd forgotten the secret too and I've also forgotten to check what it was. Off to do that now.

Done " Carrie is anesthetized before beginning the ECT. As she begins to fall asleep, she recalls the moment where Brody was shouting Issa's name in his sleep. She now realizes that Brody had a connection with Abu Nazir's son who was killed. The thoughts are fleeting as she falls asleep and the doctors begin the ECT, which induces a seizure in Carrie.".
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 16:55

The toaster was the best part Temp! We had one almost the same when I was little and opening the sides to get the toast is a much more civilised way to do it. These pop-up ones always make me jump when the toast suddenly flies out and onto the floor.

But I swear I'll be forced to throw something at the telly if this silly nonsense continues over Mary wanting or not wanting a baby. Good grief, they've been married a whole month and already it is becoming an issue!! affraid
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Tue 09 Oct 2012, 20:14

We are going to have the pleasure of Downton 3 starting on Saturday, I shall look forward to it as a bit of fluffy entertainment by the sound of the comments.
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PostSubject: Re: Downton Abbey - Again.   Wed 10 Oct 2012, 01:29

Gran wrote:
We are going to have the pleasure of Downton 3 starting on Saturday, I shall look forward to it as a bit of fluffy entertainment by the sound of the comments.

Hi Gran - I should have put a spoiler alert for you and ferval - sorry! Won't give anything else away next week, I promise!
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