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Here are new shots from the set of Downton Abbey series 3. My eyes are buggy but is that Lady Edith and ...Sir Anthony Strallan? God, I hope that doesn’t mean she’ll be happy. Because it’s always better when Edith is a bitter bitch. She wasn’t bitter enough in series 2. Add that to the long list of what was wrong with series 2.

As you know, I thought series 2 was sh-t. Click here if you missed my original review post. Which is why Downton Abbey was not nominated for Best Drama at the BAFTAs. Curiously enough, it sounds like Elizabeth McGovern agrees. She told the LA Times that:

“There is a slightly different tone to the second (series), partly because the show had to deal with this huge elephant which is the First World War, and in some ways Downton Abbey wasn't set up for that. What's made the show successful and different is that attention to character detail and that's what the audience likes. Writers [in the second series] had to do a lot of glossing over the domestic life. Some of the small moments between characters that characterised the first season.”

McGovern clarified later that she was “in no way criticizing the second (series of Downton Abbey) or implying that I loved or enjoyed it any less. When asked about the second series I said that the tone differed slightly from the first. There would be some people who would naturally prefer the more domestic detail of series one and others who would love the faster pace and heightened drama of the war years. Julian Fellowes is a brilliant writer and I am proud and privileged to be part of this show.  The third series is so rich with character detail, storylines and new faces that I can't wait for people to see it”. (Source)

Less conciliatory about the quality of S2 of Downton Abbey is Benedict Cumberbatch whose Sherlock won the BAFTA for Best Series last year but wasn’t nominated this year on a technicality. Cumby fans were placated however as their beloved was acknowledged in the acting category. The NY Times profiled Cumby this week about his success since Sherlock and Downton Abbey came up:

(Cumberbatch) recalled an encounter he’d had in January at the Golden Globe Awards, where the PBS “Masterpiece” executive producer Rebecca Eaton taunted him affectionately with a trophy that had just been won by “Downton Abbey.”

He said: “I just looked at it and went: ‘Begone, woman. Bring it back when it says “Sherlock Holmes” or Steven Moffat or myself — someone else who’s more deserving than the second series of “Downton Abbey.” ’ ”

Exhibiting a diplomacy that his Holmes is not known for, Mr. Cumberbatch stopped himself from saying anything more about the rival television series.

“I know too many people who are in it,” he said. “I thought the first series was good. That’s what I’ll say.”

Click here to read the NY Times article