Gripping period drama back for second season on BBC channel

2012-07-02 00:00

OSCAR-WINNING writer Julian Fellowes’s period drama Downton Abbey returns to BBC Entertainment (DStv channel 120) for a second season at 8.30 pm on Sunday, July 8.

The Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning series picks up with the Crawley family and the staff at Downtown still reeling from the news that Britain is at war with Germany.

And as WW1 intensifies, leaving untold casualties in its wake, the occupants of Downton rise to the call of the war effort in different ways. For many it is a chance to do a good turn, but for others the war poses both an opportunity for growth, and for others exploitation.

Asked why he thought Downton Abbey had been such a huge success internationally, Hugh Bonneville, who plays Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, in the series, said: “If I knew the answer to that I’d have bottled the formula and become a millionaire by now. When I first read it I couldn’t put it down, so that must be part of its appeal.

“Julian Fellowes has created a serial whose characters grab you from the beginning and somehow insist that you follow their stories, whether you like them or not. I’m probably too close to it to analyse it properly.

“I love the fictional world of Downton and the real people who help bring it to life — cast and crew alike. It’s a great telly show to work on …”

In season two the earl finds himself promoted to Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire; news about Matthew, the heir to Downton, stuns the house; there is romance in the air below stairs; and the great house is transformed into a convalescent home for wounded officers.

Downton Abbey also stars Dame Maggie Smith, Elizabeth McGovern and Dan Stevens.

Also headed for BBC Entertainment is a new series of the British drama series Sherlock, a modern take on the stories of Sherlock Holmes.

Starting at 8 pm on July 9, the series sees Sherlock (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Dr John Watson (Martin Freeman) reaping the rewards of John’s blog. With business on the up, the duo take on three of their most famous cases: the woman, the hound and the fall.

But, always in the background, Sherlock’s arch-enemy, James Moriarty (Andrew Scott), continues to play the puppet master determined to bring the detective down — whatever the cost.

With beguiling performances, witty scripts and some of the most intriguing characters ever created, Sherlock has proven to be a worldwide success.

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