TV: Downton Abbey – Season 2

Premiered: September 18, 2011

On: ITV

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Jessica Brown Findlay, Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, Maggie Smith, Dan Stevens, Penelope Wilton, Allen Leech, Jim Carter, Phyllis Logan, Brendan Coyle, Siobhan Finneran, Joanne Froggatt, Thomas Howes, Rob James-Collier, Lesley Nicol, Sophie McShera, Amy Nuttall, David Robb, Samantha Bond, Robert Bathurst, Kevin Doyle, Brendan Patricks, Cal MacAninch, Iain Glen, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Jonathan Coy, Paul Copley, Michael Cochrane, Clare Calbraith, Kevin R. McNally, Laclan Nieboer, Julian Wadham, Trevor White, Nigel Havers, Sharon Small & Zoe Boyle

The beloved cast and sets of Downton Abbey are charting new territories with World War I in full swing.

Matthew (Dan Stevens) comes home on leave from the war engaged to Lavinia (Zoe Boyle), while Isobel (Penelope Wilton) and Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay) turn Downton Abbey into a convalescent home. Bates (Brendan Coyle) finds himself in a nasty battle with his estranged wife Vera (Maria Doyle Kennedy).

The war brings new depths to the characters. With Sybil being shown as a feminist in season one, it makes sense for her to take up work during the war and we get to see her character development soar. Though, it’s also just as great seeing unchangeable characters like Maggie Smith’s Violet.

Stronger in storyline than the first season, this cements the show’s growing potential.

Final say: Exciting from start to finish. ★★★★★

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