"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. As the Great War rages across Europe, discord is sown even into the serene Yorkshire countryside. Simmering tensions behind the gates of Downton Abbey are beginning to come to a boil as the men and women of Downton do their part on both the front lines and the home front. What's more, the brutality and intensity of war seem to inflame more familiar passions - love, loss, blackmail, and betrayal - leaving family and staff alike to struggle in an ever-changing world, against a host of new demons."
PBS's three-disc set presents Season Two of Downton Abbey in its 1.78:1 broadcast aspect ratio with 2.0 DTS-HD Master Audio tracks. The Blu-rays will also contain a number of bonus materials, though PBS has not yet specified those supplements.
Downton Abbey: Season Two streets on February 7th, 2012.
I picked up the first season more or less on a whim when Amazon had it on sale and I'm actually tempted to pay full price for the second season instead of waiting for it to drop. That's about the highest praise I can give something.
Bought the 2nd season a couple of months ago from Amazon UK. It was very disappointing, especially after what had been a strong start for most of the first season. However, characterization, tone and story telling problems that afflicted the last two episodes of the first season became the norm in the sadly inferior second season. The show wasn't exactly "Upstairs Downstairs" or Brideshead Revisited" to start out with, but it has really dumbed down and become very modern. All these types of shows are meant to flatter the present through stories of the past. But Downton Abbey has gone off the deep end pretending to be about the past while sucking up to contemporary values and preoccupations.
US releases of Season One reflected the "cut" version shown on PBS here. I obtained my (slightly longer and richer) UK region-free blu ray and it's just great. I will do the same with Season Two. No point in even watching the PBS version-- on tv, complete with pledge breaks, or on DVD/blu-ray with cuts by PBS for "US" consumption. The UK release of Season One was just great, picture and sound-wise. I'm sure the UK Season Two will be as well. Fascinating show!!
I enjoyed series 2 very much. Yeah, some plot lines were predictable, but there is nothing new under the sun. I can't wait for the Christmas special, which is on its way to me from the U.K. because I have a hacked DVD player and couldn't wait for the U.S. to get it. When it comes out in blu I'll get that too.
I had heard of this but didn't think much of it because I usually associated stuff that PBS airs on Masterpiece as being stuffy and boring but I had a chance to watch the first two seasons over the past week and thought they were great. I'm not ashamed to admit that I gave it a shot half based on the Cougarton Abbey spoof Community did this season. I think I'd rather import the UK versions thought, get rid of the "Masterpiece Classic", PBS banner, and "Original UK Edition" junk on the cover lol
The PBS releases all say "Original UK Edition" which should mean it's the original length and episode number, instead of the longer in runtime but shorter in episode number PBS versions where they had to edit it for smoother transitions for where an episode originally.
Season 1 was slightly better than the 2nd series I'll admit. But they are both fantastic imo. The christmas special was excellent though. Not sure when you guys in the US get it but it wrapped a few things up well, left anticipation for the 3rd season next year & stayed (mostly) realistic. The 2nd series did go a little silly in terms of unrealistic plots. Amazon UK will send to US & are the original UK uncut episodes. As I understand it was edited overseas.
The US blu-ray was for Season 1 was not cut. ..approx 6 hrs on 2 Blu-Rays comp to the UK 6 hrs 3 minutes. Both Season one and two have 'Original UK edition' on the front cover. It is 1080i, but I don't know that there's any appreciable difference in the discs.
Got series 1&2 box set for £20 in Amazon.co.uk Black Friday deal. I'm glad to say that the PQ on series2 is a even better than the first! It was filmed with newer cameras than the first and it is a pleasure to watch. The 2.0 track is excellent too. Just as it was in the previous release.