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A Little Fun with Downton Abbey

We had some very nice family times during the Christmas break. Megan, Jim, and the kids came to spend a week with us. In spite of all the various maladies, we were able to get everyone together several times. Becka has put together a very nice blog post about some of our activities, if you'd like some details and pictures.

With the dust settled from our visitors and from our trip to Ohio, we were ready to watch the first episode of the new season of the PBS series Downton Abbey. There have been lots of teasers on all fall. It really ramped up during PBS's pledge drive that I lovingly call their "Beg-a-thon." I love the following cartoon I saw about it on Facebook.

PBS Pledge Drive

One of the features of some of the various teasers PBS has run this fall was short interviews with some of the cast members not in costume or makeup. It's been almost shocking to see what some of the characters look like in real life — some are almost unrecognizable! Those of you who are unfamiliar with Downton Abbey won't enjoy today's post as much as do the dévotés, but you might find it interesting from an artistic standpoint, seeing what makeup and costuming can do to change one's appearance. You fans who haven't seen the teasers on PBS might really get a kick out of this.

I'll start off with some of the male characters. It's hard to make men look as radically different as women can look with altered hair colors/styles and makeup, but it is interesting nonetheless to see how some of the male characters look in real life. I'll go from what I think are the most recognizable to the least.

See which of these male cast members you can recognize....

Hugh Bonneville

Allen Leech

Rob James-Collier

David Robb

Dan Stevens

Now here they are next to the character they play.

Hugh Bonneville - Lord Grantham

Hugh Bonneville who plays Robert Crawley, Lord Grantham

Allen Leech - Tom Branson

Allen Leech who plays Tom Branson

Rob James-Collier - Thomas Barrow

Rob James-Collier who plays Thomas Barrow

David Robb - Dr Clarkson

David Robb who plays Dr. Clarkson

Dan Stevens - Matthew Crawley

Dan Stevens who plays Matthew Crawley

See which of these female cast members you can recognize....

Maggie Smith

Elizabeth McGovern

Michelle Dockery - Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Sophie McShera

Penelope Wilton

Laura Carmichael, Mandatory Credit: WENN.com

Jessica Brown Findlay

Joanne Frogatt

Lesley Nicol

Siobhan Finneran

Phyllis Logan

Now here they are next to the character they play.

Maggie Smith - Violet Crawley

Maggie Smith who plays the Dowager Countess, Violet Crawley

Elizabeth McGovern - Cora Crawley

Elizabeth McGovern who plays Cora Crawley

Michelle Dockery - Mary Crawley

Michelle Dockery who plays Mary Crawley

Sophie McShera - Daisy Mason

Sophie McShera who plays Daisy Mason

Penelope Wilton - Isobel Crawley

Penelope Wilton who plays Isobel Crawley

Laura Carmichael - Edith Crawley

Laura Carmichael who plays Edith Crawley

Jessica Brown Findlay - Sybil Crawley

Jessica Brown Findlay who plays Sybil Crawley

Joanne Frogatt - Anna Bates

Joanne Frogatt who plays Anna Bates

Lesley Nicol - Mrs Patmore

Lesley Nicol who plays Mrs. Patmore

These next two are the ones who were the most surprising to me.

Siobhan Finneran - O'Brien

Siobhan Finneran who plays O'Brien

Phyllis Logan - Mrs Hughes

Phyllis Logan who plays Mrs. Hughes

(photo credit: several of the images above are from Getty Images)

I'll end with a fun picture and a cartoon that might hit a little too close to home.

Some of the cast had too much fun visiting New York City together.

Downton Abbey Cast in NYC

Does the following happen in your home?

Switch to Downton Abbey

I hope if you've never watched the series, this post might whet your appetite to give it a try. Here's a link to watch past episodes if you want to, or even to get sneak previews of the rest of this season's episodes.

Have a great week! My next post will be the morning of our first day of classes for second semester, one week from today.


"Troubles are in us, not just around us." — Drew Conley


Did ancient Roman paramedics refer to IV's as "4s"?

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4 Comments on “A Little Fun with Downton Abbey”

  1. #1 Bet
    on Jan 8th, 2014 at 10:40 am

    These are great, Rob! I couldn’t figure out a few of them before seeing the two together. Amazing how one’s looks can change!

    Rob adds:
    My thoughts exactly, Bet! When I saw the people on TV this fall, some even have different accents from the one they use in the show. It’s quite amazing! It was hard to believe they were who they were!

  2. #2 Michael
    on Jan 8th, 2014 at 11:50 am

    I try not to be a devote but it is easy to get sucked in and the time usually goes by quickly while watching episodes. And I quickly find myself caring what happens to the different characters.

    Regarding the last cartoon, the PBS people are smart. This past Sunday was the first Sunday night in months that there was not an NFL game on. I think they show a re-run the night of the Super Bowl.

    Rob adds:
    I think you’re right, Michael. We’ll see….

  3. #3 Carrie
    on Jan 8th, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    Fun. It is pretty amazing what they can do, both with makeup/costumes and with acting.

    Rob adds:
    Glad you liked it, Carrie.

  4. #4 Deb Holman
    on Jan 8th, 2014 at 11:53 pm

    I have not watched any of the episodes until Sunday. Was a bit lost but did pick up on it. I will watch it next Sunday! I find it amazing how much you can change a characters appearance, hairstyle, and makeup. Being a hairdresser, I always wanted to work and thought that it would be fun doing hairstyles and makeup in movies in whatever time frame.

    Rob adds:
    Deb, as you have little bits of time, you might want to go to that site I linked and start from the beginning to get the background of some of the characters and the story line. I thought you would like it and would be interested in this post. Since you just changed my look by cutting my hair differently, I thought you’d like the pictures in this post.