American fans of the Masterpiece Classic show, Downton Abbey, can rejoice knowing they don’t have to wait for new episodes of the current Season Three to air on PBS every Sunday.
Following an award-winning Season Two (adding three Primetime Emmy Awards and one Golden Globe, among others to the series’ belt), Season Three picks up in the wake of World War I. With the Great War over, Robert, Earl of Grantham, struggles to keep Downton psychologically and financially stable, unlike so many other, now crippled great houses.
The list of episodes are as follows:
- “Episode One” (March 1920)
- “Episode Two” (April 1920)
- “Episode Three” (May 1920)
- “Episode Four” (June 1920)
- “Episode Five” (July 1920)
- “Episode Six” (July 1920)
- “Episode Seven” (August 1920)
- “Episode Eight” (September 1920)
In addition to an already fantastic cast including the Emmy award-winning Maggie Smith, as well as nominees Michelle Dockery, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt, and more, Season Three introduces the great Shirley MacLaine.
Downton Abbey: Season Three is great for fans, and should inspire new viewers to watch the previous two seasons to catch up with the Crawley family drama.
Available on DVD and Blu-ray, the Downton Abbey: Season Three Blu-ray features a 1080p/AVC-encoded presentation. Compared to the previous season releases, this one is a disappointment visually. There is some apparent stuttering and the black levels are murky at some points. However, it is adequate enough without the comparison and doesn’t take away from the great storyline on the screen.
The Blu-ray comes with a 2.0 DTS-HD MA audio mix that does what it needs to for the simplicity of this show. Dialogue is crisp and without overlap, echoes and outdoor environment sounds are preserved. The musical score also comes through cleanly. Not too immersive, but it offers the basics.
There are no commentary tracks or Blu-ray exclusives, but the special features are in HD. The bonus features include:
- Behind the Drama
- Downton in 1920
- The Wedding of Lady Mary
- The Wedding of Lady Edith
- The Men of Downton Abbey
- Shirley MacLaine at Downton Abbey
- Behind the Scenes: Cricket Match
- Behind the Scenes: Journey to the Highlands
The longest of the seven is Behind the Drama which is one of many behind the scenes extras, but spotlights the first two seasons during the production of the 2012 Christmas Special. Downton in 1920 discusses the era that Downton Abbey is set from style, to gender politics. The Wedding of Lady Mary, and The Wedding of Lady Edith covers the production of the grand wedding celebrations separately. The Men of Downton Abbey is straightforward in that it focuses on the male persons of the show. Shirley MacLaine at Downton Abbey celebrates the casting of the great Shirley MacLaine. Cricket Match is almost a gag reel watching the cast try to describe the title sport. Finally, Journey to the Highlands offers a look at the outdoor environment of the season.
Downton Abbey: Season Three is currently airing Sundays on PBS and is set to finale on February 17th. The show has also already been renewed for a fourth season that is currently in production.
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