Downton Abbey Revisited Special Looks Back At The First Two Seasons And Ahead At Season 3

By Kelly West 2012-11-08 09:00:48 discussion comments
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Downton Abbey fans eagerly awaiting the third season of the popular British series still have a couple months to go before it arrives on PBS. In the meantime, PBS is offering fans a special on the series, which will air later this month, which will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the series.

Hosted by Angela Lansbury, Downton Abbey Revisited will revisit favorite moments from the series' first two seasons, and give fans a look at Season 3. The special will also feature Dam Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran and other actors from the series as they look back at the show and look ahead at what's to come. Check out the trailer for the special.


Interviews with creators Julian Fellowes and Gareth Neame reveal the origins of the series and how they envisioned it as a combination of Edwardian-era tradition with modern multi-character storytelling. Hugh Bonneville talks about Robert, the Earl of Grantham's relationship with the mother of all mothers, Violet, the Dowager Countess of Grantham (Dame Maggie Smith). MASTERPIECE executive producer Rebecca Eaton describes the interaction between Violet and new character Martha Levinson, played by Shirley MacLaine. Joanne Froggatt, who plays Anna, says that watching the two legends exchange slights was "like history being made."

In addition to Froggatt, other interviews from below the stairs include Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore), Sophie McShera (Daisy) and Jim Carter (Mr. Carson). Belying her onscreen reputation as the devious O'Brien, Siobhan Finneran reveals that the cast is like a family and that the production has the camaraderie of a stage company.

  Fashion plays a starring role in the series, with downstairs women revealing that they have "costume envy" and that Elizabeth McGovern wages a "battle with corsets." The romances of"Downton Abbey" provide many of the series' favorite moments, and the relationships between Cora and Robert, Bates and Anna and, of course, the star-crossed lovers Matthew and Mary, are discussed by the actors.

DOWNTON ABBEY REVISITED also offers a tantalizing sneak peek at what's in store for the characters as they enter the Roaring Twenties in Season 3. Will Bates be released from prison? What new mischief will Thomas, the villainous footman, and O'Brien, his scheming ally, get up to? Will wedding bells finally ring for Matthew and Lady Mary? And how will the formidable Dowager Countess (Dame Maggie Smith) handle the arrival of Lady Grantham's American mother (Shirley MacLaine)?

Word of this special is actually a reminder to me that I need to get caught up with the series. Fortunately, Netflix has Season 1 available, and Amazon Prime has Season 2 in addition to Season 1. And PBS has some episodes available to watch online.

DOWNTON ABBEY REVISITED premieres Sunday, November 25, 2012, from 8:00-9:30 p.m. ET, followed by an encore performance from 9:30-11:00 p.m. ET on PBS. Check your local listings here. And Season 3 of Downton Abbey premieres January 6, 2013 on PBS Masterpiece.
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