‘Downton Abbey’ series tribute
By Jerrison Oracion, Senior Columnist
Considered the Upstairs Downstairs for the current generation, the Emmy-winning Downton Abbey, created by Academy Award-winning screenwriter Julian Fellowes, will end this year after six seasons. The show follows Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville); his wife Cora (Elizabeth McGovern); their three children Mary (Michelle Dockery), Sybil (Jessica Brown Findlay), and Edith (Laura Carmichael); and the people who work in their house in a small town in Yorkshire called Downton. Like Game of Thrones, almost the entire show is a spoiler, so because of that, there will be no spoilers in this appreciation piece.
Throughout the show, we went through a journey with the Crawley family and their staff. While most of the show takes place between 1911–24, the most recent seasons mainly takes place in 1925 so far, and it will likely end in 1930. Some of the key events in history that are seen in the show are the sinking of the Titanic, the First World War, and the Spanish Influenza. In the first episode, the heir to Downton is a victim in the sinking of the Titanic and, as the years go by, various people become the new heir to Downton. If you are watching this season right now, you’ve probably figured out who will become the heir to Downton.
We also see the change of technology and fashion throughout the years including the telephone, the radio, improved kitchen equipment, and flappers, until the Crawley family no longer need a butler, a maid, a footman, and a chef.
There are a lot of interesting people in Downton. We see a lot of relationships develop as the show progresses. There’s Mary Crawley and Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens). There’s also Anna Smith (Joanne Froggatt) and John Bates (Brendan Coyle), who went through a lot of unfortunate events. Then there’s Sybil Crawley and the family’s chauffeur, Tom Branson (Allen Leech). And there’s Charles Carson (Jim Carter) and Elsie Hughes (Phyllis Logan). There are also two older women, Violet Crawley (Maggie Smith) and Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton).
Thomas Barrow (Rob James-Collier) is a character that viewers will go back and forth between liking and disliking. His best friend, Sarah O’Brien (Siobhan Finneran), is even worse than him. There are also some characters who viewers initially didn’t like but liked them later in the show like Robert’s sister, Rosamund Painswick (Samantha Bond), and Violet’s niece, Rose MacClare (Lily James). Rosamund helps the family during several situations, while Rose is described as a party girl, but as we learn more about her, we like her more.
There are also characters who viewers don’t like including John’s sister, Vera (Maria Doyle Kennedy), who gets involved in season two. And there is the Dowager Countess and Robert’s mother, Violet Crawley, who gives the most amazing advice as only Maggie Smith can do.
So how is the Crawley family’s story going to end?
We are going to have to wait until March to go to Downton for the last time. If you haven’t caught up on the show yet, you can get the first five seasons from your local library, or get them on iTunes, or watch them in Netflix. To help pass the time, you could even drink some of the official tea, such as Garden Afternoon Tea, Mrs. Patmore’s Pudding Tea, and Lady Cora’s Evening Tea.