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. As other great houses are crippled psychologically and financially in the wake of World War I, Robert, Earl of Grantham, sticks to his duty to maintain Downton more firmly than ever. But in this changing landscape nothing is assured, and could it be that even the war-weary Crawleys must fight a new battle to safeguard their beloved Downton?
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, who plays Martha Levinson, the very American mother of Cora, Countess of Grantham.
Season 3 of Downton Abbey brings with it tragedy and triumph as the family and the servants of Downton Abbey carryon after the Great War (WWI) has ended. With births, deaths, second chances, and new loves season three can be summed up as ‘the season of change’.
Partially due to mismanagement, Downton Abbey has fallen into a state of financial ruin. When Matthews deceased ex-fiancé’s father dies and leaves Matthew as his heir, Mary sees her husband’s potential financial gain as a way to save her beloved Downton. When Robert, Earl of Grantham, offers Matthew a say in the running of Downton and Matthew accepts, the Earl feels as though Mary’s husband has crossed the line when Matthew proposes a string of changes.
When Tom Branson— the chauffeur-turned-family-member—suspiciously returns to Downton sans Lady Sybil— his heavily pregnant wife— Tom’s desire to attain home-rule in Ireland and the danger he has place Sybil in gives Lord Grantham a few more reasons to despise him.
Lady Edith gets a few new love interests as well as a jarring shock that inspires her to become a writer for a newspaper. Cora’s mother arrives at Downton giving the Dowager Duchess a new verbal sparring partner.
Julian Fellows has done it again! He has once again brought Downton Abbey to life in a richly entertaining way that forces you to watch one episode after another. While I wasn’t pleased with some of the choices that were made this season, I found this to be my favorite thus far. Although I will say that cliff-hanger ending has me impatiently waiting for season four.
I would like to thank BBC America Shop for sending me a review copy of Downton Abbey Season 3.
If you would like to order a copy from BBC America Shop you can find the details HERE
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