"Meanwhile, Back at Downton Abbey . . . "


Did everyone watch "Downton Abbey" last night?  I've been fairly obsessed with this amazing new program fresh out of England.  Written by the fantastic Julian Fellowes (screenwriter of Gosford Park) and staring practically every actor and actress in Great Britain.  Amazing story.  Stunning costumes.  And major design porn with the interior filming at Highclere Castle.

If you've not been watching (firstly, shame on you!) here's a link to order the complete first series on DVD - There's bound to be spoilers in the comments - so avoid them if you want to watch it unspoiled.

WHO will Mary Crawley finally marry?!?!?!?!

The daughters - Sybil, Mary, and Edith.

'O'Brien' - Lady Cora's mischievous maid.  
Dan Stevens as the charming Matthew Crawley.
Jim Carter and Hugh Bonneville as 'Carson' and 'the Earl of Grantham'

The national treasure Maggie Smith
And seriously,  there should be shrines built at regular intervals along each highway and byway across the width and breadth of the Earth to stop in and praise the planetary wonder that goes by the name "Maggie Smith"
here's a look behind the scenes . . .

Thoughts?  Comments?  Your favourite line from Maggie Smith ?


Carol said…
I haven't seen last night's episode yet, but I can't wait. We are expecting nasty weather on the east coast, so I think I'll curl up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and watch it.

Maggie Smith is phenomenal. She has so many great lines. The one that sticks out that really made me laugh was when she asked, "What's a weekend?"
I missed last night's episode of Downton Abbey....hoping to catch up somehow. The costumes, the sets, societal mores....upstairs and downstairs....I was born too late. I have admired Maggie Smith since the first time I saw her in 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie'...she is an icon and it is a thrill to see her as a matriarch on film as that is what she is in life as well.
Oh my gosh, thank you for the recommendation from another Maggie Smith fan.
Anonymous said…
I have taken to calling them the Edwardian O'Haras - re: the sisters - I love the show. KDM
Beryn said…
If you love Downton Abbey, you must read Ken Follet's "The Great Fall." It's a great background piece about WW I and sets up WW II. Downton Abbey helps you visualize the period so nicely.
Babs said…
Downton Abbey is absolutely fabulous and I'm recording every episode!! Right now I'm enjoying part two. There are so many fabulous actors in the series it's impossible for me to choose my favorite but Dame Maggie Smith certainly is at the top. Thank you so much for this post with the behind the scenes videos. Well done!
AlwaysMe said…
Have been enjoying the series especially the costumes and house. Love Elizabeth McGovern and of course, Maggie Smith. Catching a lot of anachronisms however. Not sure it would be accurate for a mother during this time period to refer to her daughter in law as "a piece of work."
Unknown said…
I've been meaning to watch it but keep missing it. It looks good.
Thanks for posting the 'behind the scenes'. Very cool!
My fave line of Maggie Smith is from Gosford Park....."Difficult colour, Green" She is so great at the understatement and Jullian Fellows gets it all so right. How will we wait till the Fall????
Razmataz said…
I am not sure how many episodes there have been. I just saw the one where the handsome fellow does after "Visiting" Mary.

LOVE this show and especially Maggie Smith. WHat a cast!
Anonymous said…
LOVE the Dowager Countess. Best line (that I can remember from last night - she has so many good ones)..."Put that in your pipe and smoke it."
AlwaysMe said…
Just wanted to make sure that you know that you can catch up on missed episodes at pbs.org.
Unknown said…
Doesn't surprise me that this series comes from the brilliant magnificence that is Julian Fellowes...Gosford Park is a favorite and now this is added to the list. One of those stories that needs to be bought on DVD and then watched multiple times with a different focus each time. A viewing for the writing, a viewing for the music, one for the costumes, one for the jewelry, one for the interiors, and so forth and so on!
ZBaker said…
Downton Abbey is all the talk here in Portland, OR. Favorite Maggie Smith Line "What is a weekend" Too Funny!
Unknown said…
I am in love and absolutely devoted! I saw them all online in on go before last Sunday for the fourth installment!
Now we have to wait! Horror!

You can buy it on itunes and PBS.org!

xoxo V.
Unknown said…
This comment has been removed by the author.
quintessence said…
Of course totally obsessed and if you've ever stopped by chez moi you'll know I ADORE Maggie Smith. Can't believe it's over already! Have a little related tidbit tomorrow - will include your wonderful behind the scenes video (with thanks to you of course).
My husband Jim would have loved this. He was such an Anglophile. I get very wistful when I see any British productions that I think he would've loved. Shiree'
Merlyn Corcoran said…
I would watch it just for the pleasure of seeing Maggie Smith - "I am not interested in human imperfection! I am interested in beauty, in art, in truth!" from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Though it sounds current and slang-y, the expression "piece of work" dates way back, Shakespeare used it in Hamlet.
laney said…
...SPOILER...if only they had let maggie smith remain unmoved at the flower show...how surprising and refreshing that would have been...everything else has been perfect...
Karen said…
Thanks for sharing some of the behind the scenes info. I loved every episode and was thrilled that they are in production for more!

Loved the "put that in your pipe..." very funny coming from such a LADY!

Maggie O said…
Check out February's "The English Home" magazine for the story ( and pics)on Downton aka Highclere Castle. Home to the 8th Earl of Carnavon. If you are a "Corrie" fan you will see past actors from Corrie (Coronation Street) in this wonderful production (Thomas & Anna) and Mrs Hughes (fellow scot) from Creatures...best of cast, great story...and Dame Maggie..."put that in your pipe and smoke it" (had a teacher that said that often). Thanks for that Scot!!
The Devine Life said…
Completely obsessed with the show. Never want it to end.
AAACK!!! I LOVE this show!! love love love.

p.s. thanks for your condolences.
Uncle Beefy said…
I'm dying for the next addition!!! LOVED the whole thing! And, such a welcome break from "reality" television!

I figured you'd be all about it too, Scot! :)
By the way, the first season is now streaming on Netflix' "instant watch."
Anonymous said…
The best line by Maggie Smith was "it only seems that way because it is that way"... she reminds me of my grandma, I can't stand being around her, but it's fun watching her in action... lol
YONKS said…
OMG, now I know you're my kinda bloke! We have just started the second series here in the UK, 3 weeks in. I watch this whilst my husband streams NFL games on his laptop. It's wonderful in the Laird household on Sunday nights, we are both in a state of bliss :-)
I can only take my hat off to the impressive roster of talent and skill of the English series. I really hope to continue producing more things like this in the factory yours to the delight of all.
It's just perfect the atmosphere of the time and classes cohabit in it. And then you come to mind the equally wonderful "Upstairs, Downstairs", although old, is still a benchmark.
It's a series for lovers of vintage series, craftsmanship and drama students in our country.
A very well worn out series, with scenes and the only sets. I am charmed with it since they have done everything. In addition the actors are very good.

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