Downton Abbey

Only two weeks after the Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the set of Downton Abbey, producer Gareth Neame announced today that the next series will be the last one. The Crawleys’ story will end on Christmas with the last special episode. This is so sad news. I just hope the conclusion will please all Downton Abbey fans.

Mapp & Lucia – BBC (2014)

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Episode 1 – Miss Elizabeth Mapp reigns supreme in the picturesque town of Tilling, and has even more reason to gloat than usual when she lets her house for the summer to a very desirable tenant – Mrs Emmeline Lucas, known to her friends as Lucia. However, when the newcomer proves more popular with the locals than expected, Mapp is left out in the cold, leading to a constant battle for supremacy over bridge parties, garden fetes, art competitions and even the odd yoga class.

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Episode 2 – Mapp is still reeling from Lucia’s victory at the summer fete and is left to watch disconsolately as the locals flock to her rival’s little dinner parties across the street. Before long, however, she sees her chance for revenge. As the townsfolk busy themselves preparing their entries for the summer art exhibition, one of the highlights of the social calendar, Lucia and Georgie lay out their intentions to submit their sketches – giving Mapp a rather wicked idea to keep them out altogether. But it turns out that subterfuge rarely likes being hidden for long in a place like Tilling.

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Episode 3 – Miss Lucia decides to take Tilling’s cultural welfare in hand by beginning a series of musical evenings, although Mapp is curious to notice the odd moan from the locals – could they be tiring of her high-handed ways? Mapp is keen to encourage a revolt, convinced her rival is a fraud since learning she traced her sketch for the art exhibition. Now all she needs is a way to show her up once and for all. Meanwhile, Miss Mapp and Diva are engaged in their own skirmish, this time over the season’s latest fashions, and the rest of the townsfolk are trying to quell their excitement as news arrives that the Prince of Wales is to pass through the station.

Period comedy, starring Miranda Richardson, Anna Chancellor, Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss, Pippa Haywood, Poppy Miller, Felicity Montagu, Paul Ritter, Gemma Whelan, Nicholas Woodeson, Katy Brand, Harish Patel, Joanna Scanlan and Frances Barber.

Based on E.F. Benson’s novels, this mini series written by Steve Pemberton is exquisite – from the scenery to the perfect performance of the cast. It’s was a pure pleasure to watch … Now, I’m so looking forward to reading the books.

A Moorland Holiday – Downton Abbey Christmas Special 2014

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It’s the early autumn of 1924 and Rose’s father-in-law Lord Sinderby has rented Brancaster Castle in Northumberland and invited the Crawleys to a grouse-shooting party. However, the Sinderbys’ butler Stowell has an axe to grind and a scandalous secret threatens to derail the holiday. Back at Downton, the servants hold the fort and unlikely later-life romances abound, while Bates takes drastic measures to clear Anna’s name as she faces an uncertain future behind bars…

Costume drama, starring Hugh Bonneville, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter, Raquel Cassidy, Brendan Coyle, Michelle Dockery, Kevin Doyle, Joanne Froggatt, Lily James, Robert James-Collier, Allen Leech, Phyllis Logan, Elizabeth McGovern, Sophie McShera, Lesley Nicol, Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Matthew Goode, Alun Armstrong, James Faulkner, Penny Downie, Matt Barber, Sue Johnston, Jeremy Swift, Douglas Reith, Rade Sherbedgia, Jane Lapotaire, Jonathan Coy, Sebastian Dunn, Harry Hadden-Paton, Alice Patten, Michael Fox and Hannah Wood.

*** Be careful !!! Spoilers ***

After a rather disappointing 5th series, we got at last a Christmassy episode with sparkles and warm moments that will lead to a much better series next year… Even if the Bates situation is unresolved, we hope for a happy ending, we should get a downstairs wedding after the moving Carson’s proposal to Mrs Hugues (I personally got tears in my eyes), and after the meeting of Lady Mary and the very promising Mr Talbot – played by the very handsome Matthew Goode, we can contemplate her getting at last the Mr Right she deserves.

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Doctor Who – Last Christmas

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On Christmas Eve, Clara is woken by the sound of something on her rooftop, and is astonished to find Santa Claus, two elfs, a sleigh and flying reindeer. Although she tries to deny his existence as a fairytale, Santa questions if she still believes in them, before being interrupted by the Doctor who takes her into the TARDIS. At the North Pole, a group of scientists work on trying to save their fellow base personnel who have been taken over by crab-like creatures. The Doctor and Clara arrive and while introductions are being made, they come under attack from the crabs only to be rescued by Santa …

Sci-fi adventure, starring Peter Capaldi, Jenna Coleman, Nick Frost, Dan Starkey, Nathan McMullen, Faye Marsay, Natalie Gumede, Maureen Beattien, Michael Troughton and Samuel Anderson.

I had to watch this episode a second time to really appreciate it. In the style of Christopher Nolan’s Inception, we travel in a four level dream story. I love this episode, as between scary and hilarious moments, Steven Moffat added emotion and tenderness. Too bad we had to wait after the death of Danny to get the chance of watching the most beautiful scene written for him and Clara ! Furthermore, we had the pleasure to see the second Doctor’s son and Dan Starkey’s real face – who usually is hidden playing Strax’s part. Anyway, I’m glad that Jenna Coleman is staying for the 9th series and hope we’ll get some answers next year …

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