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  • Downton Abbey

    Season #3 is starting in less than three hours, out here in the land of corn!

    Last week, I re-watched season #2 on DVD, and suddenly had a B5 brain flashover...

    Is it just me, or does anyone else feel the "Dowager Countess" (Maggie Smith's character) reminds them of Londo?
    It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated...
    - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

  • #2
    No way am I the only person here watching DA!

    I almost did not watch it.

    Back when 1st season was being promoed, I rolled my eyes and thought "another fluffy period piece".
    Fortunately, at that time, "Nature" was on just before "Masterpiece Theater" (here in the US, on PBS), so I was already tuned to PBS when DA started, and was literally reaching for the remote, when Maggie Smith's name appeared in the credits... and was followed by Penelope Wilton's name.

    The crossover image of "Professor McGonagall" and "Harriet Jones, MP, Flydale North", forced me to watch it.
    I was almost instantly addicted.

    Ok, now you know why y'all have to at least try it.

    Next, please consider Maggie's character's "big hats".
    Very Centauri-ish, eh?
    Plus, the whole waning imperialist thing.

    DaveNarn, any chance of a Londo Maggie mash up pic?
    It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated...
    - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

    Comment


    • #3
      I try to chatch it but I came in so late that I don't really know what's what and who's who. Hope to catch up one of these days.

      Jan
      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm watchin8g hunderby, which rather excellently takes the pi** out of downtown abbey, which I've not actually seen.
        Phaze
        on the "Phaze tired, movie night turned in to assorted tv night" ID
        "There are no good wars. War is always the worst possible way to resolve differences. It degenerates and corrupts both sides to ever more sordid levels of existence, in their need to gain an advantage over the enemy. Those actively involved in combat are almost always damaged goods for the rest of their lives. If their bodies don't bear scars, their minds do, ofttimes both. Many have said it before, but it can't be said to enough, war is hell. "

        Comment


        • #5
          Chip, IÆve been tearing through Downton Abbey over the past few weeks. Just watched eps 3 of season 3 last night. Love it.

          Not sure if JMS intended it this way, but the Centauri have always made me think of the British Empire in twilight.

          I like D.A. a bit extra because IÆve been reading Ken FollettÆs excellent Century Trilogy (only two of them written so far). It starts about the same year as Downton does and some of the characters the books follow are members of a noble family & the coal miners that work their land. I havenÆt seen many of these types of period pieces, so I like watching this era brought to life visually as I had just been imagining it while reading FollettÆs books.
          "You don't like it here, do you? You'd rather you were back in your quarters, asleep, dreaming dreams of glory."

          Comment


          • #6
            Despite so many people talking about it around here (where I physically am, that is, not on the board), I hadn't watched any of the series until about two weeks ago. I finally gave in and watched the first episode on Netflix - at this time, just the first season is streaming there - and then finished the season in about two days.

            I found someone with the DVDs of season 2 and finished them over a weekend, and now I'm catching up on season 3. As I understand it, the fifth of eight episodes aired on PBS this past weekend, and two days later, the full season came out on DVD/Blu-Ray, along with the two-hour Christmas special.

            Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess and Harriet Jones (former Prime Minister) as Isobel are the Londo and G'Kar of the series. Then they add in some Samantha Bond, and I'm hooked.

            It's easy enough to get through each season, since they are only eight episodes long (plus a special 9th episode in the 2nd and 3rd seasons).

            I'm curious enough I may even try the Titanic miniseries written by the same person.
            "Jan Schroeder is insane" - J. Michael Straczynski, March 2008

            The Station: A Babylon 5 Podcast

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by OmahaStar View Post
              I'm curious enough I may even try the Titanic miniseries written by the same person.
              I feel the same way even though I can't see myself liking it b/c I feel the James Cameron movie beat the story to death. But the right writer can work wonders, so I may give it a shot (though I won't mind if you watch it first & report your findings here, just in case ).
              "You don't like it here, do you? You'd rather you were back in your quarters, asleep, dreaming dreams of glory."

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Sebastian View Post
                Not sure if JMS intended it this way, but the Centauri have always made me think of the British Empire in twilight.
                {snip}
                The Centauri are the Italian Empire. The British did not wear cloths that fancy.
                Andrew Swallow

                Comment


                • #9
                  Jan, definitely start from the beginning.
                  It's not arcy/tendril-y like B5, but is sequential, and is fundamentally about the characters and how they grow. Definitely addictive. It's essentially a soap opera for not-stupids.

                  During the season 3 finale, I kept thinking how much most of them had grown in the near decade of time the series has already covered.
                  Not B5 level of char growth, but far more than the typical TV series. It kind of helps that the seasons are short, and PBS rebroadcast the first two seasons right before, so it was more apparent.

                  Phaze, what's "hunderby"?

                  Sebastian, thanks for the book recommendations!
                  I've liked what I've read of Follett, but rarely read non-SF, so rarely hear about good Muggle/mundane fiction.

                  OmahaStar, I'm glad I'm not the only one who saw a wee bit of G'Kar in Harriet Jones.
                  She definitely tasks The Dowager.

                  Andrew_Swallow, I see your point, however the hats are Centauri-ish!

                  Last weekend, I saw most of the "60 Minutes" interview with Dame Maggie, and was pleased that they have promised not to kill her character.

                  For anyone who has not yet seen "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel", if you liked DA, you'll like it. Definitely better than I was expecting, plus, anything with Dame Judi rocks (I'm planning to RedBox SkyFall 99% for her).


                  New B5 character equivalents:
                  Daisy == Vir
                  O'Brien == Morden (or possibly Refa)
                  It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated...
                  - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Chip, I will give you a wee warning: if you like how things are at the end of season 3, then donÆt watch the 2012 Christmas special. You have been warned. That is all
                    "You don't like it here, do you? You'd rather you were back in your quarters, asleep, dreaming dreams of glory."

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm about halfway through the second season now and I've got season 3 on the way. Of course, I've already seen the second half of the third season so it's kind of odd...but not really in a bad way. If B5 taught us anything, it's that it's the journey that's important.

                      For anybody interested, there's an interesting interview with creator/writer Julian Fellowes here:

                      http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/20...downton-abbey/

                      MAJOR SPOILERS if you haven't seen the end season three!!!

                      Jan
                      "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Sebastian View Post
                        Chip, I will give you a wee warning: if you like how things are at the end of season 3, then donÆt watch the 2012 Christmas special. You have been warned. That is all
                        Thanks Sebastian, but too late! PBS broadcast that ep right after the season finale. Plus, they'd already ripped my heart out earlier in the season.

                        Julian Fellowes appears to be striving to beat Joss Whedon as #1 Whedonizer on TV. :\

                        That's one of the many reasons I love JMS' work.
                        Zero Whedonization of beloved characters.
                        Yeah, characters die, but I never felt he was jerking us around.

                        Plus, of course, the DVD Easter Egg about what really happened to Marcus.
                        Last edited by Chipmunk; 03-14-2013, 02:20 PM.
                        It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated...
                        - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Oh, crud!

                          Chipmunk, I'm *terribly* sorry but somehow I managed to edit *your* post rather than quote it and respond. I'm *really* sorry! Can you please repost your thoughts??



                          Jan
                          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Jan View Post
                            Oh, crud!

                            Chipmunk, I'm *terribly* sorry but somehow I managed to edit *your* post rather than quote it and respond. I'm *really* sorry! Can you please repost your thoughts??



                            Jan
                            No worries!
                            First, could you separate out your excellent comments?
                            Hadn't realized that there were reasonable (non-Whedonizational) reasons for the character deaths.
                            It was important, Dumbledore said, to fight, and fight again, and keep fighting, for only then could evil be kept at bay, though never quite eradicated...
                            - Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Done - you can delet out the ten character minimum...

                              Okay, here's what I posted on Chipmunk's post by accident :

                              To be fair, the two characters who died did so because the actors were leaving the show. Especially in the last death, the actor refused the possibility of returning at all for future episodes so there really wasn't any choice but to kill him off since one simply couldn't move him off-stage to never see his wife and child again.

                              And there's a third actor leaving, I've read. Highlight if you want to know:

                              The actress who plays Miss O'Brien has also decided not to return


                              It'll be interesting to see how the next season starts off.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                              Comment

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