Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, Season 3

| January 2, 2013 | 0 Comments

Fans, the new season premieres on Sunday, January 6th, on PBS. Are you ready for change?

This is one of the BBC’s finest period piece series since Lark Rise To Candleford. The actors are all superbly talented and the writing is exceptional for a TV series. But that is something the Brits have all over American television, for the most part. Sure, there are some good shows on American TV, but I will always tune in a program like Downton Abbey over almost anything else. And Season 3 continues the tradition of quality with this diverse cast of characters we here on the revolutionary shores have come to know and love.

I think the thing I like most about this series is that it parallels Britain’s history, reflecting upon it through the much-slanted eye of the good denizens of the Abbey. Each member of this family carries some aspect of the real world within the fabric of their design, and that aspect is one which asserts strong differences between Downton and many other series.

With 17.1 million tuning in across the seven episodes, making Downton Abbey, Season 2 the most-watched Masterpiece series on record. It was also the most talked-about.

The war is over, but intrigue, crisis, romance, and change still grip the beloved estate in the thrilling new season of Downton Abbey. Written and created by Julian Fellowes, with its all-star returning cast and Oscar-winning guest star Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3 premieres January 6, 2013 on Masterpiece classic!

The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season. With the return of its all-star cast plus guest star Academy Award®-winner Shirley MacLaine, Downton Abbey, Season 3 airs over seven Sundays on PBS beginning in January 2013.

Written and created by Julian Fellowes, Downton Abbey, Season 3 is a Carnival Films and Masterpiece coproduction, in association with NBCUniversal. The series won an impressive six Primetime Emmy® Awards and a Golden Globe® in its first season. Recent honors for Season 2 include multi-category nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards and from the Television Critics Association.

Executive Producer Gareth Neame remarks, “What a rollercoaster it has been to be part of this truly global phenomenon. We couldn’t be more thrilled by the way American critics and audiences have taken Downton to their hearts and I’m so excited to be getting the third season ready for everyone to see.”

The returning cast includes Hugh Bonneville, Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Jim Carter, Penelope Wilton, Joanne Froggatt, Brendan Coyle and a host of others, joined by Shirley MacLaine (Oscar® for Best Actress, Terms of Endearment), who plays Martha Levinson, the very American mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham (McGovern).

Years earlier, Cora rescued Downton Abbey with her New World riches by marrying Robert, Earl of Grantham (Bonneville). Now, New World and Old World are about to clash as Cora’s mother locks horns with Robert’s redoubtable mother, Lady Violet, played by Maggie Smith.

Last season closed with the reluctant heir to Downton, Matthew Crawley (Stevens), recovered from his war wounds and ready to tie the knot with the eldest of Lord and Lady Grantham’s daughters, Lady Mary (Dockery). Meanwhile, Mary’s youngest sister, Sybil (Jessica Brown-Findlay), has eloped to Ireland with the political-minded chauffeur, Branson (Allen Leech), and is expecting a child.

A tantalizing glimpse ahead: Downton’s impeccable butler, Carson (Carter), breaks in a new footman, who happens to be the nephew of the scheming lady’s maid O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran). Following Matthew and Mary’s engagement, Robert sticks to his duty to maintain Downton more firmly than ever — even as other great houses are crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I.

Be sure to tune in on Sunday, January 6th, as Downton Abbey’s new season begins.

About the Author:

Del Harvey is a co-founder of Film Monthly. He is an independent filmmaker, film director, screenwriter, and film teacher, currently living in Chicago.
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