For those unfamiliar with the series, it is a period drama that takes place in the early 1900's around the time of the first world war. The Masterpiece synopsis says it better than I could:
It's 1912, and life in the Edwardian country house of Downton Abbey is idyllic and bustling for the Crawley family, aided by their cadre of servants. Robert, Earl of Grantham, his American heiress wife Cora, and their three daughters, along with Robert's mother Violet, have lived largely uncomplicated lives. But the sinking of the Titanic hits home in an unexpected and dramatic way — Lord Grantham's heir, James Crawley, and his son Patrick have perished. It's personally agonizing (momentarily) for daughter Mary who was supposed to marry Patrick. On a grander scale, suddenly all the predictable succession plans have gone terribly awry, and unheard of questions now loom large — Who will be the new heir to the earldom? And what will happen to this distinguished estate, now in jeopardy?I love a good costume drama, and this one ranks right up there with many other BBC produced gems, like Pride and Prejudice, Cranford, and Little Dorrit, to name a few.
My favorite character in Downton Abbey is the Dowager Countess Violet Grantham, played by Maggie Smith. It is such a treat to watch such a master of her craft, sprinkling her peppery lines on what might otherwise be a bland scene. Watch her here in action and enjoy!