Premiered: September 26, 2010
Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Laura Carmichael, Jessica Brown Findlay, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, Penelope Wilton, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Brendan Coyle, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Thomas Howes, Rob James-Collier, Rose Leslie, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Samantha Bond, Robert Bathurst, Allen Leech, Kevin Doyle, Brendan Patricks, David Robb, Charlie Cox, Jonathan Coy, Nicky Henson & Theo James
Blending sophisticated drama and mild humor with gorgeous early 20th century costumes and sets, Downton Abbey is an international hit for creator Julian Fellowes – who originally intended this to be a spin-off of Gosford Park.
After the sinking of the Titanic, Earl of Grantham Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) is left without an heir for Downton Abbey. His distant cousin Matthew (Dan Stevens) comes in to fill that post and as a potential suitor for eldest daughter Mary (Michelle Dockery). Downstairs, the staff are split on the new valet John Bates (Brendan Coyle).
Fellowes’ brilliant writing is perfectly acted by an ensemble of established and new actors with the legendary Maggie Smith being a scene stealer every moment she’s onscreen.
While it may not look like everyone’s cup of tea, the show will entrance all types of viewers.
Final say: Perfection. ★★★★★