Maggie Smith

Downton Dish: Time to Talk the Downton Abbey Series 3 Premiere

Wow. It’s finally here – the long-awaited and highly-anticipated premiere of Downton Abbey Series 3 has made it to America at last and we can see what all the fuss is about for ourselves, talk about plot twists until we’re blue in the face, swoon over Matthew and Mary and just, well, everything.

The two-hour Series 3 premiere introduces us to life at Downton after the war – and the family and estate look a bit different. There are new faces downstairs, wedding planning is underway, Cora’s very American mother arrives and the family faces a financial setback. Suffice it to say, there’s a lot going on!

Click through for a rather embarrassingly in-depth look at all the twists and turns of the Downton Abbey Series 3 premiere and then let’s dish everything in the comments!

Downton Abbey Series 3: A Wishlist for This Weekend

This is a slightly modified version of a post that originally ran here at Telly Visions back in September. It was published at that time because I wanted to make sure I got all my Downton desires and thoughts down on paper, as it were, before I was influenced by any reports from British friends or exposed to any aspect of Series 3 at all. As such, it is completely unspoiled (though I’ve now seen Series 3 thanks to DVDs) and, as such, totally safe for all to read and debate amongst yourselves. PLEASE keep the big Series 3 spoilers out of the comments though, as much as you can? I appreciate it!

Since we’re just days away from the long-awaited Series 3 premiere of Downton Abbey, it seems like an excellent time to engage in some wild speculation and discussion about what we’d all like to see happen to our favorite characters over the next seven weeks. As mentioned above, while I’ve now seen Series 3 already, when I originally wrote this post I hadn’t, so what follows are my initial and totally unspoiled desires for the Crawley family and the downstairs Downton crew this year. This list is largely based around addressing some of the problems I had with Series 2 – most particularly as relates to the story’s overall pacing and some of the occasionally inexplicable character decisions (Sybil and Branson, I am looking at you). Will I get everything on my list? Of course not. But even if I only get a portion of the things I’ve laid out here this season, I’m probably going to walk away pretty happy.

Click through for my personal thoughts on what I’d most like to see happen in Downton Abbey Series 3 and add your own dealbreakers and wishlists in the comments. If you are already spoiled for the new episodes and know for certain whether I’m right about certain aspects of this list, please be considerate of those who have been so patiently waiting to see the new episodes for themselves and have avoided any updates on plot twists. I know that there is a big, big spoiler floating around the internet out there, but let’s just not talk about that bit just yet, shall we? We’ll get to it, after all! Why not just tell us what your ideal storyline or plot for the show would be instead? Thanks, guys.

 

Happy Birthday, Maggie Smith: Celebrate the Dowager Countess with a Few of Her Other Fantastic Roles

Happy birthday to the Dowager Countess herself! The incomparable Dame Maggie Smith turns 78 today.

Last year, we celebrated with our favorite Lady Violet moments, but this year it seemed worthwhile to celebrate Smith’s entire catalog of fantastic performances, especially as there are likely some people who have come to know her primarily from her role on Downton Abbey and are subsequently missing out on a lot of great films!

Ten of my favorite Dame Maggie performances (complete with trailers) are below – what are yours? Did I leave out something must-see?

[Spoilers!] The First Trailer for the Downton Abbey Christmas Special is Here

SPOILER WARNING: While this trailer does not directly reveal any spoilers for things that happen during Downton Abbey Series 3, eagle eyed viewers will certainly be able to draw their own conclusions about a couple of key plot twists, just based on some of the things featured in this trailer. If you’re attempting to stay completely spoiler-free until the third series gets under way on January 6, I would strongly advise you to skip this post!

There, with that messy bit out of warning out of the way – let’s talk about the Downton Abbey Christmas special a bit! The special holiday installment is set to screen on December 25 in the UK – though apparently not against the BBC’s Call the Midwife, as many TV talking heads had initially theorized. Here in America, this episode will air as our Series 3 finale (on February 17 if my math is correct), so we’ll still be able to see everything that there is to see by way of new Downton episodes, we’re just going to take a little bit longer to get there. Read on for further details (which are going to live under this handy cut, for safety’s sake.)

Full Video: Watch the Downton Abbey Cast Dish Series 3 During Their NYC Q&A Panel!

Last night a lot of lucky people in New York City got to attend a special discussion and Q&A panel with the Downton Abbey cast and basically hear all about the drama’s upcoming third series straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. (No, I am certainly not dying of jealousy or anything. At all.)

Masterpiece executive producer Rebecca Eaton sat down with Downton Abbey stars Hugh Bonneville, Jim Carter, Rob James-Collier, Joanne Froggatt, Sophie McShera, as well as producer Gareth Neame and moderated a panel featuring many questions from a (very excited) audience on a variety of topics. There are a few tidbits here and there about things we can expect to see in Series 3, as well as some very interesting insights into several beloved characters.

Catch up on Downton Abbey in Five Minutes (And Get a New Promo Too)

Series 3 of Downton Abbey is almost upon us! If you need a refresher on the many dramatic twists and turns travelled by the Crawley clan and their loyal gang of downstairs denizens, well, you’re probably not alone.

Between the arrival of a new heir (and his occasionally intolerable mother), Matthew and Mary’s flirtation, Sybil’s brief foray into politics, the battle over Downton’s entail, Edith forever being everyone’s second choice, Mary’s poor choices in men generally (x2), Bates and Anna’s romance, O’Brien’s basic evilness, Thomas’ thievery, Mary’s scandalous reputation, Bates’ weird leg brace, World War I, the arrival of Lavinia Swire: Dating Roadblock, Matthew’s paralysis, the death of Bates’ wife (surprise!), Sybil’s elopement, Daisy and William’s five-minute marriage, Robert’s almost affair with a random housemaid, the Spanish flu, Bates’s trial, Lavinia’s death, Matthew’s second proposal to Mary and approximately 15,879 acidic remarks from the Dowager Countess, well. It’s a lot to keep up with. It’s no surprise if you’ve maybe forgotten a few of the (millions of) details.

Luckily, if you need a quick refresher of the Downton high points before the January 6 premiere – or possibly you’re one of the few people in America who has yet to be completely overcome by Downton mania and want to see what the fuss is about – watch this super fun recap which conveniently fits over sixteen hours of drama, wit and fabulous outfits into a nifty little five minute package.

Downton Abbey Behind-the-Scenes Special Coming This November

For everyone who’s marking off days on a countdown calendar until Downton Abbey Series 3 arrives Stateside on January 6, there is a little bright spot coming up over Thanksgiving weekend to give you a bit of a Crawley fix while we wait. (Our countdown stands at 53 days, just in case you were keeping track.)

PBS stations nationwide are set to air Downton Abbey Revisited, a behind-the scenes preview special that will refresh everyone’s memory about the events of the series’ first two seasons, as well as offer some hints at what’s to come for all our favorite characters in the new episodes.

Hosted by Angela Lansbury, the 90-minute special will premiere on November 25. It will feature clips recapping all the major plot points from the first two seasons – but, let’s be honest, us loyal Downtonistas already know all that stuff (hands up if you can recite most episodes?). Don’t worry, there will be goodies includedfor us too, such as behind-the-scenes footage, interviews with creator Julian Fellowes and his Emmy-nominated cast and, most importantly, a few new clips and tidbits about the twists and turns waiting for us all in Series 3.

Click through and watch the promo for this special clip show - and let us know what potential Series 3 storylines you're most interested in finding out more about!

Downton Abbey Series 3: See a New Cast Photo and Get Some Plot Details!

New details about the highly anticipated third series of Downton Abbey have started to emerge following the show’s panel at the Television Critics Association Summer Press Tour. Stars Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt and cast newcomer Shirley MacLaine were all on hand to discuss the new episodes, drop a few hints about upcoming storylines and just be generally amazing. Then today, to keep the Downton mania flowing, we also got a first look at the official Series 3 promo art.

Click through for all the latest Downton dish, and a bigger version of that picture you see up top. As some plot of these plot-specific items could be consider spoilery, even if they are all plastered on every major entertainment outlet there is this morning, I’m still dumping them all under a cut in their own clearly labeled area and wishing all of you trying to avoid them good luck and Godspeed on that particular journey.

 

Downton Abbey Series 3 First Look: Shirley MacLaine Faces Off with Maggie Smith

Everyone's eager for Downton Abbey to return to our televisions in January – but let’s face it, what we’re really all looking forward to in Series 3 is seeing Dame Maggie Smith’s indomitable Dowager Countess go head-to-head with new addition Shirley MacLaine’s Martha Levinson. Right? Luckily, we can now get our first tiny sneak peek at what the confrontations between these two veteran actresses will be like!

The American Film Institute honored MacLaine with their 40th “AFI Life Achievement Award” last night and various celebrities paid tribute to the accomplished actress during the ceremony. One of the presenters was Downton’s Elizabeth McGovern, who introduced a brand new clip from Series 3, featuring MacLaine and Smith indulging in the sort of verbal sparring that makes you want to cry because we’re still over six months away from seeing this for ourselves.

When faced with Lady Violet upon her arrival at Downton, Maclaine’s Martha snarks, “Oh, dear. I’m afraid the war has made old women of us both.”

Yup, it’s pretty much exactly how you pictured it in your head, and exactly how we all wanted their interactions to turn out. She called the Dowager Countess old, y’all. Get the popcorn ready. It's on.

Click through to get your first look at MacLaine in action, and leave your initial impressions of Lady Cora’s mother in the comments.

The Wait for Downton Abbey Series 3 Begins: New Casting Details and Our First Look at Shirley MacLaine

Production on Downton Abbey Series 3 is officially under way and filming started last week. This process will, of course, take quite some time, but it’s at least providing us with a few drips and drabs of new information to help get us through the long wait for new episodes.

Click through for a first look at guest star Shirley MacLaine on the Downton set, as well as some casting updates about several new additions we’ll be seeing next season.

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