Masterpiece Classic: Downton Abbey, Season Two

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One of the most phenomenally popular series in Masterpiece history is back for an exciting second season: Downton Abbey Season 2 resumes its story of love and intrigue at an English country estate, now mobilized for the trauma of war. With a returning cast including Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern, Hugh Bonneville, Dan Stevens, Michelle Dockery, Siobhan Finneran, and many more.  Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey, Season 2 airs over seven weeks from Sunday, January 8, 2012 to February 19, 2012 at 8 p.m. on Eight, Arizona PBS.

About 13 million Masterpiece viewers tuned into the first season, including one million who streamed it online—spellbound as Lord Grantham (Bonneville), the father of three daughters and no sons, welcomed an unexpected new heir, his handsome, marriageable, but proudly middle-class distant cousin, Matthew Crawley (Stevens). The inevitable courtship between Matthew and Lord Grantham’s eldest daughter, Mary (Dockery), was as bewitching as it was unresolved. Then there was Lady Grantham (McGovern), the mistress of Downton who reacted with impressive cool when social Armageddon threatened to bring down the family. Of equal interest were the members of the downstairs staff, with their own romances and schemes, including the most scheming of them all, Lady Grantham’s Machiavellian maid, Miss O’Brien

Last season opened with the sinking of the Titanic in 1912, which had dire consequences for Downton Abbey. The new season picks up in the middle of another disaster, World War I, which affected every aspect of life in England, accelerating the social change that was already transforming an age-old system of class and privilege. The second season promises to be as satisfying as the first, with thwarted and rekindled romances, forgotten and fresh scandals, and enough new plot twists to weave a tapestry with Lord Grantham’s family crest.

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