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Downton Abbey: The London Season (Christmas Special 2013)

28 customer reviews

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Playback Region B/2 :This will not play on most Blu-ray players sold in North America, Central America, South America, Japan, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. Learn more about Blu-ray region specifications here

Editorial Reviews

Open package but never used.

Product Details

  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Universal Pictures UK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00GYU3YS0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #92,277 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Alan Gaunt on January 25, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Since I just received Season 4 on Blu-ray, I noticed to my chagrin that this disc is also included in Season 4. So here's my take on this, and I may be wrong. The copy of The London Season has a "B" region code, meaning for Europe. I suspect this show hadn't been done yet when Season 4 concluded in Europe. PBS was able to catch it in time later on when doing the series 4 for the US and included it then. My take is that buyer beware when buying this disc, as it is already included in season 4. It is a great disc, just not one that's needed if you're getting the season 4.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By David H. Burke on April 18, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I thought I was purchasing a Christmas "episode" from the fourth season as was the case in an earlier season. This purchase was a Christmas PROMOTION for the Season 2 episodes UK version, which was included in the 3-year box set that I had already purchased!
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25 of 32 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 500 REVIEWER on January 5, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
By this point, "Downton Abbey" knows what its audience wants and delivers: high production values, pretty costumes, minor intrigues and rich aristocrats making the lives of their servants difficult. Set in 1923, the 2013 Christmas Special has the Crawley family head for London in order to attend Rose's first season. Wending through various balls, picnics and presentations are at least half-a-dozen subplots, though most of the attention remains on the Crawleys' attempt to prevent a minor scandal involving the Prince of Wales and his mistress Freda Dudley Ward. Rose blames herself when a love-letter from the prince to Freda goes missing, and realizing who the culprit is, Lord Grantham organises his niece and daughters in an elaborate attempt to steal it back.

Notable guest stars include Shirley MacClaine as Lady Grantham's mother Martha Levensin and Paul Giamatti as her son (Cora's brother) Harold Levensin, both arriving in London to enjoy the season after the latter's disastrous business investment. In Martha's words: "We came three and a half thousand miles so we could change the subject." Almost immediately, Rose's friend Madeline is pushed into the wealthy bachelor's path by her father Lord Aysgarth (James Fox), who has his own designs on Martha's fortune.

Having killed off two major characters in seasons three and four (due to the actors deciding to move on to other projects), writer/creator Julian Fellowes seems determined to play things safe from here on out. Everything is light and fluffy, in which the stakes are no greater than what suitor Mary should pick (though honestly I don't know how she tells them apart), whether Daisy should pursue a job in America, and what Rose should wear to her debutant ball.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Jacques COULARDEAU on February 17, 2014
Format: Blu-ray
The first thing to be said about this series is that it is British from the very first scene to the very last by the vast range of actors and actresses as for age and the extreme quality of these actors, most of them having parallel careers in theaters, television and the cinema. They are thus able to act with a vast variety of stances and tones and at the same time with a great expressivity on their faces or with their body language. Within that great versatility and mental or dramatic agility there is not one single age that is privileged and the older generation is just as good and as present as the youngest one and the age range, apart from the few children, goes from the late teens and early twenties to the seventies. This is exceptional and no American series will ever be able to do that. A TV actor might turn up in the cinema but then he will never go back to TV, and both will hardly be able to work on a stage. The case of "Harry Potter," or Daniel Radcliffe if you prefer, is typically British who can play on the stage or act in a film. That mobility is not American, and American television sure misses something there, just as much as it misses the use of older actors and actresses, as well as very young ones, leveling the cast within a twenty to thirty years age bracket.

The second element that makes this series beautifully and exceptionally British is the fact it is situated before, during and after the First World War in England and everything is there to tell you, you are in England. The Mansion in which the action takes place, the official Downton Abbey, which is of course not the real name, the village next to it, the array of vehicles and cars, the steam engine and the train, even the London of that time, all is reconstructed the way it was or used to be.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By lidz on November 23, 2014
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It has seemed so long since we have seen the last episode of Season 4. And we are still awaiting Season 5 on Blu-Ray DVD. It was quite refreshing to screen The Downton Abbey London Season Christmas Special 2013, the other evening -- especially since we are on the verge of the Holidays Season now for 2014. It is always a re-education to return to these classic masterpieces from the UK. It takes a while to find a vendor and product by which one can actually successfully view Region or Zone B DVDs, but it is worth the considerable effort and inconvenience of playing a game of trial and error with Amazon and its vendors.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Brett H TOP 500 REVIEWER on March 16, 2014
Format: DVD
The first thing to mention is that this episode is included in the North American Season 4 DVD and also the Seasons 1-4 set.

A large part of the British nation sat down on Christmas night in a state of concerned anticipation. The previous two Downton Christmas Specials have been, well, a bit mixed. The first was probably the best ever episode of Downton, featuring Bates' problems. However, last year the Special spent most of the time without anything very much happening but then managed to cast a pall over the festivities for many with its tragic ending.

This year, however, in my opinion Downton did not disappoint. As the title suggests, it is largely based in London and centres around the `coming out' of Lady Rose in 1923. For those of you who have not come across the expression, this involves the rather quaint upper class custom of introducing eligible young ladies to society, including being introduced to royalty. There is a good measure of romance, jealousy and intrigue - in other words exactly what we would expect from Downton! The pace of the plot is reasonable although arguably there was a little too much in the way of social gathering dominating the action, particularly earlier on. However, for me the highlight was the anticipated rematch between the incomparable Maggie Smith and Shirley MacLaine, fully charged with caustic wit and the clash of two strong personalities. Well worth seeing just for that little gem!

Certainly it was not as good as the first ever Downton Christmas Special, but that is hardly a fair comparison as that was such a good episode, with a strong central story. This was more a continuation of various existing plot lines, but was a good, solid Downton offering which most viewers will have enjoyed.
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