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Downton Abbey
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TV Series
    (September 26, 2010-December 25, 2015)
    PBS Masterpiece Classic anthology series (or period drama)
    Created by Julian Fellowes
    Ensemble cast includes Hugh Bonneville and Maggie Smith
    Theme song: ‘Did I Make the Most of Loving You,’ composed by John Lunn and performed by the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra
    The lives and times of the aristocratic Crawley family, their servants, and associates in a fictitious Yorkshire country facility, beginning in the days just after the sinking of the Titanic (during the reign of King George V)
    2011 Guinness World Records’ Most critically acclaimed television series
    For the love of all that is holy and righteous, never, ever, ever call it ‘Downtown’!
    Lunn credits the inspiration for the series theme to… James Brown.
    Given its portrayal of aristocracy and class-based society, it drew the predictable left-wing ire and right-wing applause.
    The central character (Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, played by Bonneville) has no sons but three daughters; his only likely male heirs perish in the Titanic mess; thus with no ‘heir male of the body,’ the Earl’s ‘fortune’ comes into question.
    In four series and fewer than ten episodes each, it managed to depict a stretch of more than ten years.
    It has a huge following — especially among the real British royalty.
    In the new millennium, it’s a huge stretch to consider anything ‘an instant classic’ — but it got the notoriously fickle New York Times’ seal of approval.
    While there are replicas and studios, by necessity, many actual estates – and real-life historical locations – are used for interior and exterior shots.
    The linguistic anachronisms that managed to creep into the final product – which viewers are shown – actually enabled the cast to be more natural and less affected in their delivery.
    Though a producer steadfastly insisted ‘it was not intended to be a historical documentary,’ it did depict a few real-life personalities.
    As a Catholic himself, Fellowes thought it worth something to address anti-Catholic and anti-Irish sentiment, which lasted well into his own adulthood, in-universe.

Credit: Cool It All Right?


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