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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey Season 3'
(Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Shirley Maclaine, Elizabeth McGovern, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / (2013 / PBS)

Overview: The Great War is over and a long-awaited engagement is on, but all is not tranquil at Downton Abbey as wrenching social changes, romantic intrigues, and personal crises grip the majestic English country estate for a third thrilling season.

DVD Verdict: Carrying on from the superb Christmas Special which was set over the 1919/20 holiday period, the first episode of 'Downton Abbey - Season 3' picks up with Lady Mary and Matthew Crawley at last about to get hitched. But, and as usual, there is quite a lot going on at Downton - both above and below stairs and you just know that nothing is going to go to plan!

'Downton Abbey' takes soap opera to a new high, comparable to the classic novels, full of complex characters, good and evil. The acting is nothing short of superb and the sets and costume are so realistic as to transport one back in time. I can hardly wait for each night when I allow myself the pleasure to sit and watch a new episode. This is a series one wishes would never end, trust me!

In my humble opinion, Season 3 was very well done, even better than the two previous seasons! And, of course, we have one of the major lead characters killed off! Now, I won't tell you who, but I will bring yu up to date on a few other lead cast members: For instance, Lord Grantham has now become an incompetent loser who simply cannot seem to hold things together. Then we have two new footmen and Cousin Rose.

And the continuing saga of 'Downton Abbey' wouldn't be the same without dear old Maggie Smith's character. And now we have the delightful Shirley Maclaine having been added to the cast.

Indeed, and unlike so many serial programs, 'Downton Abbey' is unusual on so many levels. The time period is fascinating, the clothing and hair styles are over the top. I watched the entire three seasons in one weekend, and am looking forward to season four! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.77:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs that comes with the special features that include:

- Downton Abbey Behind the Drama
- Shirley MacLaine at Downton
- The Men of Downton
- Downton in 1920
- This DVD features subtitles in English (SDH).