Monday, February 8, 2016

Downton Abbey: Season 6: Original UK Edition Blu-ray Disc Set Review

Downton Abbey has been nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon in the U.S. on PBS. The series reinvigorated British Drama on free over the air broadcast television after years of most British Television being mangled with adverts on cable and Satellite's BBC America, but PBS is really the network that introduced some of the best British programming beginning with Mony Python's Flying Circus, which opened the door for Fawlty Towers, Are You Being Served and then there was British science fiction and fantasy with Doctor Who, Red Dwarf and Tripods and then perhaps two of the best series to air in the 1970s, The Palisers and I'Claudius. After nearly thirty years of British TV on PBS, the variety seemed to die down in the two thousands partially because cable and satellite offered a home and competition against PBS that made it difficult to acquire not just because of BBC America, but many networks in general were paying big money to get the exclusive broadcasting rights in the States.

Then through the PBS dramatic anthology, Masterpiece, Downton Abbey captured the imagination of American viewers and as a result, once more some of the best of British Television now airs once again on PBS where there are no commercial interruptions and you don't need to have a subscription television service to watch it.

While the final episodes of season six are still airing on PBS, the American Blu-ray Disc containing the UK Editions of the series has been released. The final season deals with the subject of change and it's impact upon the society at Downton Abbey. It is poignant and memorable to say the least.

All of the episodes within this three disc set are presented in a high definition (1.78:1) aspect ratio, preserving the manner in which the series was exhibited in television and it features a clear English DTS-HD MA 2.0 Soundtrack with English Subtitles for the Deaf and Hearing Impaired encoded as an option.

Extra value content is detailed as follows:
  • "Farewell to Highclere Castle" (6:55, HD) gathers cast and crew to reflect on their time inside the lavish location, which has exploded in popularity since the series began airing. Topics include expensive upkeep demands to keep the estate in working order and awe with its history and decoration.
  • "The Cars of Downton" (11:03, HD) returns to the cast and crew, with featurette identifying the automobiles that populate the new season, with the production striving for authenticity and exciting execution as car races are introduced to the storyline. 
  • "Changing Times at Downton" (14:17, HD) consider the changes facing the characters as they evolve over the season, recounting subplots and shifts in worldly perspective.
Downton Abbey: Season 6: Original UK Edition is available now on Blu-ray Disc at retailers on and offline courtesy of PBS.

(C) Copyright 2016 By Mark Rivera.
All Rights Reserved.