The Royal Family comes to Downton Abbey.
Anna Bates: Is it always like this?
Richard Ellis: A royal visit is like a swan on a lake. Grace and serenity above, demented kicking down below.
It’s basically a film length episode of Downton Abbey. And that’s not a bad thing.
I think I would have preferred it stay on the small screen, but if that isn’t in the cards, it’s nice to at least have a chance to have one last* (grand) hurrah for the characters.
It was interesting to get a bit more development of Thomas, even if that plot–more than anything in the film–really needed more time to breath.
Also interesting that Carson is suddenly back in charge, without a hint of his illness–never even mentioned. A bummer for Thomas, but so it goes. The whole plotline around the Downton staff serving the Royal Family was interesting. It’s the sort of thing that could have gone so very badly, but it’s a show, so of course it has to end up all right in the end.
Thomas: I don’t quite understand where it leaves me.
Robert: Well, you can be a sort of…
Thomas: With your permission, I’d prefer not to be a “sort of” anything, milord.
Daisy remains… quite Daisy. It’s true to form, but I wasn’t a huge fan of it in latter seasons of the show; so it goes.
Maggie Smith’s Violet really does continue to steal the show. Especially when acting opposite to newcomer Imelda Staunton’s Maud Bagshaw. Given their opposing roles in Harry Potter, it was really fun to see that dynamic again. And the parallels with Edith's previous situation leading to their eventual resolution ? Delightful.
Isobel: Oh Violet. After all these years you still astonish me.
Violet: Oh good, I’m glad I’m a revelation and not a disappointment.