Customer Reviews: Downton Abbey Seasons 1 & 2 Limited Edition Set - Original UK Version
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on December 3, 2012
For those of you wondering about the difference between the UK version and US version, apparently the US version has had some scenes cut (hours worth of material). So the UK version is completely original and uncut
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon July 19, 2012
This series is undoubtedly going to be as long-lived a hit as Upstairs, Downstairs. It ranks in the British perfection class with Foyle's War. It's a Period Costume Drama series with plenty of mega-stars. The magnificent performance of Maggie Smith in a less-than leading role shines through every time she's on the screen (very often), even when she has no lines. Her facial delivery is comic. A paragraph could be written for almost every cast member, each seem to feed off the other in making this a remarkable period drama that takes the viewer back to the era, like it is real.

Robert Crawley (Hugh Bonneville) is the man behind the estate, but it is Mr. Carson (Jim Carter), the butler, who keeps the house and social lives moving. There are 12 cast members that have a role in EVERY episode. Many more who miss just one or two. You fall in love with each in their own way, each a vital role in the make-up of this large family and servants. Not an issues is untouched, since every episode blends threads of intrigue, love, and history.

The home, the countryside scenes, even WWI segments, the costumes, the sets, the music, the props, the...well, it's easier to say there is nothing about this series my wife and I have been even remotely disappointed with. If you don't own the original released DVDs this is a must buy. And with the rest of the world, you will then be awaiting season three, knowing it will be SIX-star worthy as well. Created and written by Julian Fellowes who last acted in Monarch of the Glen (another keeper). He and his daughter combined in a book, also a must own for Downton Abbey fans.

I give this UK DVD series a 6-star super recommendation.
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on March 12, 2012
Finally a complete boxset of the UNCUT versions of Downton Abbey series 1 and 2 THATS RIGHT UNCUT!!! Hence the Complete Collection on the Box! This does not include the Christmas special but, that is not a part of series 2 anyways... its its own separate entity... after watching the "cut" PBS Masterpiece editions that claim to be uncut and ARE NOT (also the editing of the PBS versions is terrible! very choppy!) and then watching this set I can now say I am glad I ponied up the extra money to buy this set... if you thought there was something wrong with the versions you watched and that there was something missing, you would be right! There is more footage across the whole series and it really makes it more amazing than I had already thought it was! I would compare it to the Lord of the Rings movies... The theatrical releases where obviously good but when the studios released the extended editions it was INCREDIBLE! That's this box set! It's the way it was meant to be seen! I call it Uncut, but for those of you who fell in love with the series on your local PBS station, you will be in for a real treat when you buy the "extended" editions! I hope you enjoy this series as much as I have!Enjoy!
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on October 10, 2012
If you like Downton Abbey, and you don't already have the first release seasons 1 & 2 DVD sets of the series, then you should have this. I waited for this set instead of getting the first releases, but really it's more of a repackaging of the original release with the Christmas episode here as well. So buy this if you love Downton and don't already own it...and hurry because the 3rd season comes out in January!
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on November 5, 2012
Perhaps one of the very few who never saw Upstairs, Downstairs, this series reminds me of what that series must have been about. I love period dramas that fold into the larger historical situation. This series is full of them, tying in seamlessly to the sinking of the Titanic, the coming of electricity and motorcars, early women's rights movement. and WWI (so far - looks like the Depression will make an appearance in series 3).

This is my favorite type of series because though it is mindful of the history its characters are living through, all of the main characters are fictional - so there's no specific history to get upset modern screenwriters fail to take into account. Here were some striking things to me...

1) As tragic as we still feel the sinking of the Titanic was, the series gives one a bit of a glimpse of how overwhelming it was to people of certain social classes at the time. Losing so many heirs, friends, other family members, people they grew up with - all at once like that.

2) the series takes on a very interesting period which is not covered very often (on the Royal level, Fall of Eagles is awesome telling the big story) where the world did in fact change. The whole of society was being uprooted as the 'modern world' emerged. Those who can't wait for the change interacting with those who want things to stay exactly the way they have always been - tons of opportunity for dramatic interactions.

3) One of the easy-to-miss side stories is of Cora and her money. There were tons of American heiresses who married titles in England during this time frame - Consuelo Vanderbilt and Jennie Jerome (both, incidentally, married into the same family - the one that produced Winston Churchill). Lots of these relationships were miserable. I was glad to see this one; while not perfect, it is happy over the long run.

4) LOVE Maggie Smith and her character. She seems to get all the curmudgeonly matron roles lately but this one is great. Tough and sarcastic on the outside, she has a heart of gold and is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny.

5) Finally, love the English terms we Yanks haven't picked up - but we should because we really don't have our own jargon that quite fits. Example: The Earl tells Matthew (the heir) that he should dance with the formidable (and nasty) ladies maid Ms. O'Brien at the Servants Ball. His response "Crikey!." Loved it!
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on February 6, 2012
Buy a different set! This one is not complete - season 2 is missing the last episode, Christmas Special! Unfortunately, the publisher failed to provide any info that the last episode is not included in this set . . .
Also - these is no information on the set box, the dvd boxes, nor on the discs themselves what episodes are in what box, and on each disc! We are talking some 14 episodes, plus extras . . . It would be helpful!
I suggest buy other sets, and check the list of episodes included! If there is one to check . . . :)
Otherwise - I'm still a big fan of the series. Not of the team that marketed this item though!
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on December 26, 2012
I bought this thinking it would be the original uk version without half of the scenes being cut out. I feel angry about the false advertising. It is cut and is not the original uk version. If you want the uncut version I don't know where to get it. I want my money back, as this was not what it says it is on the packaging.

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on May 9, 2012
I was so disappointed when I realized that the final episode for the second season was not included in this collection. I think that Amazon should recompense us for being ripped off or provide us with a copy of the final episode for free.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 21, 2012
Downton Abbey is already close to an institution as the most popular costume drama for about 30 years coming out of the UK which makes something of a speciality of this sort of thing. So far we have two series, with a third promised which will take us up to the 1920s with doubtless more to come. This DVD set covers the first two series, with 16 episodes, 7 from the first series and 8 from the second and the Christmas special.

The first series covered the period from 1912, just after the sinking of the Titanic, up to the start of the first world war in 1914 and much of the story line is about the matchmaking within the Crawley family where financial and social influences have a major bearing. Of course the interaction between the family and those who serve them `below stairs' is a continual contributor to the excellent story lines. The second series picks up two years on from the first series in 1916, in the middle of World War 1. Downton Abbey has been converted into a convalescent home for injured servicemen and the action covers the period from the Battle of the Somme up to the end of the war. The Christmas Special is post the first world war and includes a dramatic trial. In both series topical events of the period, political, economic and military are covered.

There are many superb individual performances but mention must be made of Maggie Smith. What a stroke of genius to cast her as Violet. She dominates every scene she appears in and often has some very funny lines.

This box set will appeal to viewers who may have missed out first time round and also to the many who enjoyed this superb production and will want to revisit it. Roll on Series 3!
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on July 31, 2012
These are the complete sets. I ordered them the last week of July and got the full versions a week later, no left out Christmas episode everyone was whining about. That episode is the only episode that was named and it would be easy to overlook and think it was part of the features so heads up about that. I also would like the add that one of the disks was scratched and the seller replaced it quickly and was lovely about it. These sets are great, filled with all kind of special features to keep you plugged into Downton Abby for hours if not days.
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