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Masterpiece: Downton Abbey Season 6

4.9 out of 5 stars 1,222 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Return to Downton Abbey for the sixth and final season to discover the fates of the Crawley family, and the servants who work for them, as they face new challenges and begin forging different paths in a rapidly changing world. Creator Julian Fellowes brings the top PBS drama of all time to its climactic chapter, with the beloved ensemble led by Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery, Elizabeth McGovern, and Maggie Smith.

Product Details

  • Actors: Laura Carmichael, Michelle Dockery, Maggie Smith, Jim Carter Hugh Bonneville
  • Directors: .
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 3
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2016
  • Run Time: 540 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,222 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B014E1TJV6
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #42 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brett H TOP 500 REVIEWER on November 11, 2015
The year long wait for the new Downton series always seems like an age, especially this year as we knew that it would be the last ever series. It seems perverse that such a successful series has had to end, however, as the incomparable Maggie Smith said, if you work it out I should be about 110 years old by now! A slight exaggeration, but you can see where she is coming from since Downton has run from about the time of the Titanic disaster in 1912 all the way to 1925.

The TV series has now finished in the UK and for those of you waiting for the North American showing or DVD, it was an absolute cracker and if you enjoyed the first five series of Downton, you are not going to be disappointed with the final series. As would be expected, there was a certain amount of tying up of loose ends, but not to an excessive extent. However we still have the Christmas Special show to air at the end of next month so everyone is waiting in suspense for the final conclusion. Incidentally if you are impatient to see the last series, although the UK issue is released this month, that will not contain the 2015 Christmas Special whereas the later North American release will.

It is difficult to single out the outstanding performances in series 6 as all the regular players had significant roles. It was good to see Tom back, and others such as Mrs Patmore, The Bates, Barrow, and Daisy below stairs and, of course, all the Crawley family are in the thick of things. Maggie Smith, as the Dowager is very much in evidence and her priceless sarcasm includes many a memorable line. Overall, without dropping in any spoilers, there was romance, tragedy, blackmail, suspense, joy and sorrow. In other words exactly what you would expect from Downton!
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Since only three episodes of series 6 have aired in the UK, a review thus far would be rather premature. Thus far, the production qualities remain top notch, the cast is excellent, and I'm sure those who adore the programme will find much to love.

So I'll use this space to address the continued worries over a so-called "American version" of Downton Abbey:

Way back in January 2011, the Daily Mail, a British tabloid that's a hybrid of US Weekly and the National Enquirer, posted an article accusing PBS of editing the first season of Downton Abbey because Americans were apparently too stupid to understand the entail. As the Daily Mail intended, this article set off a storm of accusations and anxieties over whether we Americans were getting the real version the Brits were seeing on ITV. And this story is still being circulated, as seen in the discussion section below.

The only thing PBS edited out of season one was the snuffbox storyline, likely because it was redundant when the stolen wine storyline was exactly the same.

Once the Daily Mail article lied about the reasons for the PBS editing, and Downton Abbey became so popular in the US that PBS was able to attract high quality funding, they not only aired the episodes as they did in the UK, but sometimes added scenes that weren't shown on ITV (since ITV airs commercials and has to cut things to fit around them).

PBS now stamps their Downton Abbey DVDs "UK Version" because people are still passing around the story that they cut the show up liberally. The ironic part is that by only releasing the ITV versions on DVD, you'll never get to see the extra PBS scenes unless you record them as they air.
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Downton Abbey was created for series tv by one person and seen through to the end by that same person. This was Julian Fellowes. The advantage to this is that there is a rare continuity seen in this series which is absent in many others. Fellowes knows exactly where he is going with his people, his place and their time and never falters. So Season Six is good to the viewer in that it is all of a piece. Watch this series from series 1-6 on a binge weekend and you might emerge thinking you have sat through a very long movie instead.

Although Lady Mary is the young person seen by many as the lead, others, including me, were even more taken by some of the characters swirling around her. First and foremost: the dowager countess and Mrs. Crawley as the two matrons with drawn swords in eternal conflict are a delight here, as usual. The most touching thing is that when the chips are down, these two will just as fiercely support one another as they have warred over their latest battle. This continues a great British literary tradition of superb supporting characters, which Jane Austen did so well with her Lady Catherine, Reverend Collins, and Mrs. Bennett (as just three standouts).

Hugh Bonneville as the matriarch's son, the earl, continues in his stalwart role. He continues to come to terms with the twentieth century. He is surrounded by such strong women though, that there is no doubt that he will be carried through all the changes by their formidable wills in action. They in turn need him as a buffer for the clashing of those wills.

Also, there is the deft portrayal of the servant class and its rapidly changing role in British life between the two world wars. This last season especially focuses upon their demand for more education and thus more choice.
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