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7 Reasons That Series II of Downton Abbey Will Be Even Better Than Series I

Posted on October 15, 2010 in Posts | 24 comments

Downton Abbey, ITV’s very enjoyable and successful Sunday evening drama has had a second series commissioned.  This is brilliant news as it is the best thing that ITV has produced for ages, possibly even ever.  And the great thing is that the second series is going to be even better than the first.  Here are seven reasons why.

The cast of the ITV Sunday night costume drama series Downton Abbey, outside the stately home

1.  The Writing Will Be Better.  Julian Fellowes is a terrific writer and his historical knowledge and nuanced eye make Downton Abbey a brilliant evocation of an Edwardian life of privilege.  And, as absolutely everything improves with practice and revision, the writing will be even better in the second series:  The first time he wrote Gosford Park, it was Gosford Park, which was quite good.  The second time he wrote Gosford Park, it was Downton Abbey, which was very good, and the third time he writes Gosford Park, it will be Downton Abbey: Series 2, which will surely be amazing.  If they commission a few more series, Downton Abbey will eventually become the best written thing in the history of television.

2.  The Opening. The first series of Downton Abbey opened with the news of the sinking of the Titanic reaching the house.  Having the heirs to the house die in the Titanic tragedy was a terrific device which acted as the catalyst for many of the storylines.  Series two can repeat this by killing off the current heir to Downton Abbey in the sinking of the Lusitania, and then we can begin the search for an heir all over again.  Only this time we might get one with a chin and a personality.

3.  The Limp.  One of the dominant storylines of series one has been Bates’ limp.  The consternation that it has caused has resonated throughout the series with many repercussions for both the house’s residents and staff.  The First World War setting of season two will offer far greater scope for the characters to be intolerant of the disabled causing, as it surely will, characters to maim themselves fighting the Bosch from a trench.  Perhaps a new downstairs hierarchy will develop based on the amount of available limbs a servant has.  It’s like taking the limp storyline and escalating it.

4.  Maggie Smith. Redoubtable battleaxe, the Dowager Countess, stole the show when she enquired over dinner, “The weekend?  What is a weekend?”.  The war will provide far greater scope for lofty and disdainful incomprehension, bringing as it will, a whole new vocabulary of dreadnoughts, zeppelins, trench foot, doughboys, big berthas, whizz-bangs and Kaisers.  Though she probably already knows who the Kaiser is, “Rum fellow, typical foreign-type, no notion of how to dress for luncheon and abominable taste in hats.”  The moment she exclaims, “A zeppelin has bombed Hull?  What is this Hull of which you speak?” will be priceless.

5.  Conscription. There’ll be great scope for new and interesting characters because of conscription.  And, while the third reserve under-butler’s valet’s second footman is away having his head blown off at the Somme, who knows what could happen back at Gosfor Downton Abbey.  Any manner of earth-shattering things could occur.  Women may have to take on some of the tasks usually performed by the menfolk.  The scope for revolutionary gender-role reassignment is immense.  Perhaps they’ll find themselves selecting cufflinks, removing lint from a man’s jacket or winding up a clock.  A maid might open the front door!  Anarchy.

6.  Order. The version of pastoral care the paternal Earl metes out to his wards will be tested to the limit in series two, as the poverty and lack of privation that war brings begins to impinge on life at Downton.  How will he dispense justice when the newly widowed ladies-maid’s kitchen-maid’s undermaid is caught pilfering part of a silver cruet set?  How will he deal with the theft of three of his grouse by a hungry poacher named Higgins (all poachers are called Higgins, I don’t know why).  How will he react to the wooing of a ladies maid by an itinerant muffin man?  It’s going to be great.

7.  Suitors.  Once she’s been forbidden to go into nursing by the Dowager Countess, (“Nursing?  A lady tending commoners?  The moon will surely implode,”)  the eldest daughter will continue her Downton life pretty much unaltered, except with more varied suitors.  Instead of being wooed by a succession of avaricious dullards in black tie, she’ll be wooed by a succession of avaricious dullards dressed in khaki.  And that will wholly justify paying the licence fee for a colour television.  We can’t wait.

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  1. haha – BRILLiant! (Thought it was Gosforth tho?)

    Why no link to share to Facebook?

  2. Gill, I’m glad you enjoyed it, and thanks for commenting. It’s definitely definitely Gosford though. But there is a real place called Gosforth; it’s somewhere in the North-East.

    Very good point about the link for Facebook. It’s simply because the theme we use doesn’t contain a Facebook button and when we’ve tried a standalone one it’s looked horrible and messy. It is still possible to copy the page address and paste it as a link into your Facebook status/page. Or, you can visit our Facebook group (http://www.facebook.com/pages/7-Reasons/475548550244) and click the “share” option below the link to the Downton Abbey piece. Hope that helps.

  3. Very Funny!



  6. Love this series! This is what PBS needs to do more. Really enjoy the period pieces on Mystery and Masterpiece. The modern day British series are not as good as the ones on American TV.

  7. I go with everything you said except # 2. No way, they would kill off Matthew in the first episode after spending so much time building Mary and his love story. I figure they take him out right after the wedding date is set.

  8. I also disagree with #2. I don’t think that Matthew should be killed off at all. I think that he should go to war and come back a different man. Perhaps Mary should endure other suitors that don’t quite measure up, and by the time Matthew is back in the picture, she has to work harder at getting him to fall in love with her. Ahh, the struggle for love. That’s what I’d like to see.

  9. I totally agree with Emma regarding what to do with Matthew. And PLEASE don’t change the characters as was done mid-way through Winds of War. That was AWFUL! When, oh when, is Series II going to be done and aired??? sniff*

  10. mary and matthew must be together in the end.

  11. I’ve thought all along that Matthew and Sybil (youngest daughter) would end up in love and married and Matthew will inherit. Mary’s greed and selfishness will be repaid with seeing their happiness and she will eventually marry a commoner. This is the way I see it.

  12. A very captivating series… and if it were American made, they would have produced too many episodes, ready to stumble into the next season before its written. We’ll trade you all the seasons of “Desperate Housewives” for at least three more Downton Abbey. Please…

  13. I’d like to see Matthew become more political, even elected to the House of Commons (Lords). With Mary and Sybil both attracted to him for different reasons, Matthew is conflicted and in the middle of sisterly love and affection. – always interesting.
    Edith and her gentleman could straighten things out and bring about a child in their marriage. However, she must appologize for her nasty little deed.
    Then I’d like to see Mary join Matthew’s mother at the hospital.
    Matthew at Paliament, Mary at the hospital, Edith raising a family with her well traveled husband, Sybil with her political interests – Yes, a very good season indeed.. so many excellent possibilities!

  14. Hello from canada. I do not care who gets together, who stays together, just want to watch the most amazing show I have seen in a long time. Love downton abbey. Looking forward to watching the next segment. wonderful. nancy

  15. I loved the first series of Downton Abbey and I’m looking forward to the second. And sorry John Brown! Noway is Downton Abbey second fiddle to Amercian TV series. Downton Abbey is in a class of it’s own.

  16. Downton Abbey, is in a class of it’s own. Sorry John Brown. You’ve lost the plot. American mini tv series, are all shoulder pads and awful scripts.

  17. I just finished viewing Downton Abbey. Although it seemed to end rather abruptly, all is forgiven with the news a second series will air. If only it wasn’t so far off.
    Excellent writing; what a deliciously worded script. I was able to dissolve into a another time completely until the credits ran and I was pulled back to the present. What a rapturous escape and worth every moment, I eagerly await the next release.

  18. What a lovely series! I too, am glad that this was not an American invention. The Brits really do have a way with television that is second to none. If this had been a major network thing in America, there would have been too many episodes, too much sex and too many hijinxs. Give me a BBC mini-series any day. And thank you Netflix for carrying it so that I can watch episode after episode.

    What a lovely show. Thanks BBC / PBS!

  19. OMG! Hope Matthew’s character is just a temporary off for this season and will come on next season..who knows? Love Downton Abbey!

  20. Matthew is too good a man to end up with selfish, egotistical, manipulative Mary. I’d love to see him with her younger sister. She’s sharp and stubborn like Mary, but the difference is that she’s kind, giving, and not self destructive. Then again, it looks like she’ll be with the chauffeur. Luckily this is British televison, and therefore there might be some unexpected romantic pairings.

  21. Fighting the Boche (Germans), not Bosch (kitchen appliances).

    Worth TV licence fee – I believe this programme is not on the BBC.

    Otherwise, looking forward to it. Just catching up on Season 1, which I missed.

  22. I’m looking forward to series two of Downton Abbey. I do hope Mary and Matthew will eventually get their act together and realize, they are made for each other!

  23. Hear ye, hear ye. January 2012 for downton abbey. How many more sleeps is that??? As exciting as Christmas. Looking forward to one of my most favourite series to air again. Thanks PPS. Nancy form Canada (no snow here yet, at least not in Toronto area)…

  24. Series II, was brilliant. Enjoyed the 8 weeks. Sunday wont be the same without it. We still have the Christmas special to come and with a third series on the cards. That’s cheered me up.Won’t spoil it for those of you who have yet to see it.

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