We always knew Dame Maggie was one hell of an actress.
Even when we first caught her performance in the musical comedy Share My Lettuce.
When she won the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her worl in Downton Abbey, we simply nodded.
Really. Who else? Heather Locklear?
(An aside: Richard Burton, who worked with Dame Maggie in the 1963 flick The VIPS, condemned Dame Maggie as “dull” and “plain” and complained that her performances had “turned him against sex.”)
PBS Distribution is making it easy to see what the fuss is all about by releasing Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Seasons One & Two on DVD and Blu-ray. These limited-edition sets will hit store shelves on October 2, 2012, just in time for the holidays. From the sinking of the Titanic to the First World War, fans purchasing this collection can watch as the secure and ordered world of Downton is rocked by romance, ambition and heartbreak.
The Downton Abbey phenomenon began in the fall of 2010 when it hit British airwaves. With an outstanding cast and excellent story penned by Oscar-winner Julian Fellowes, it captivated millions.
Upon crossing the Atlantic, Americans were hooked as well. Because of the series’ phenomenal popularity, PBS Distribution is offering a limited edition set that includes season 1 and season 2, in special collectable gift-set packaging.
Here, a bit more on Downton Abbey 101.
Downton Abbey Season 1
After a tragedy at sea claims the life of the presumed heir, Lord Crawley is faced with the possibility that the house he’s loved his whole life might someday belong to a distant cousin he’s never met. But before that can happen he must deal with his scandalous daughter, Lady Mary–considered by many to be the rightful heir to Downton. Even the staff has opinions on the family’s affairs. And while most are devoted to the Crawleys, there are others whose selfishness and scheming do more than simply disrupt the well-oiled inner workings of the estate. As the servants’ mischief escalates, even the most faithful employees begin to imagine a different life.
Pitting hundreds of years of British aristocracy against the tides of social upheaval and technical progress, under the looming shadow of World War I, will the fate of Downton and its family –above and below stairs–be resolved? Or will life be altered so dramatically that its master no longer matters?
A star-studded cast (Dame Maggie, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Brendan Coyle, Dan Stevens) round out the glittering, gossipy, and beguiling men and women of this epic tale.
Downton Abbey Season 2
As the Great War rages across Europe, discord is sown even into the serene Yorkshire countryside. Simmering tensions behind the gates of Downton Abbey are beginning to come to a boil as the men and women of Downton do their part on both the front lines and the home front. What’s more, the brutality and intensity of war seem to inflame more familiar passions–love, loss, blackmail, and betrayal–leaving family and staff alike to struggle in an ever-changing world, against a host of new demons.
Dame Maggie returns to lead the stellar cast of familiar faces; Maria Doyle Kennedy, Iain Glen and Zoe Boyle arrive to add fresh intrigue to the second season of delicious, Emmy-winning drama.