Downton Abbey, Revisionist Version

I’ve already let it be known that I loved, loved, LOVED Downton Abbey, and now I stand corrected on an earlier assumption.

According to one of my commenters (thank you, Rhian!), U.S. viewers of Downton Abbey did, in fact, get all but a few “judiciously” cut minutes of Downton Abbey on Masterpiece Classics. Although our four episodes comprised a total of 6 hours of commercial-free viewing, the UK version ran 7 hours but did include commercial interruptions.

I’ll take the commercial-free version any day, thank you.

Those Edwardian ladies certainly loved their lavender!

An reviewer, in reference to the Downton Abbey “unabridged” DVD, does mention that she saw the series both in the UK and in the US, and found that the US version contained some choppy scene shifts and changes in the order of character appearances that were, to her, a bit jarring.

From this article, kindly forwarded by the above-mentioned Rhian,, it seems clear that PBS director Rebecca Eaton did snip a few minutes here and there to make sure Downton Abbey fit into PBS’ intended 90-minute episode schedule.

There is, however, none of what has been called the “dumbing down” of the series for the American viewing audience. Evidently, our famously short attention spans are not so short, after all.

More lavender! Lovely on Lady Cora, no?

Personally, I was mesmerized by every second of the series, and had no difficulty following along with the intricacies of the “entail” and other British-isms. Now, all those forks and spoons at the dinner table – that’s an entirely different matter.

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  1. Downton Abbey was absolutely riveting. I love the attention to detail, even if there were some ananchronistic moments. Anyhow, I think the lavender and and grays were worn as half mourning dress.

  2. Love Downton Abbey as well, however Fred and I have been watching it on Monday nights when it comes on at a more bedtime-friendly spot for us–8-9:30. I am dismayed that it comes to us with no captions (as do all HD offerings–you get either clear picture OR clear dialogue, but not both), so I am missing a great deal(especially Maggie Smith’s character’s quips). I have opted to view it HD exactly for all of the lovely wardrobe and decor. Those Edwardian ladies’ costumes make me swoon! We see the final episode tonight and I can’t wait!

  3. Glad I could help! Things like the entail are just as foreign to most modern British people anyway – I think they’re fairly self-explanatory in the show.

Comments welcome