Elizabeth McGovern, who of course plays aristocrat Lady Cora in Downton Abbey, recently revealed that she felt the show’s second series – when faced with the “huge elephant” storyline of the second world war – “glossed over” the minutiae of detail which she felt had made the show so popular in series one.
Various media outlets reported that Elizabeth added, “There is a slightly different tone to the second season, 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 its attention to character detail and that’s what the audience likes.
“But in series two writers had to do a lot of glossing over the domestic life and some of the small moments between characters that characterised the first season…
“It’s kind of a taste thing and the show in the first season was more to my taste than the show in the second season.”
However, yesterday, Elizabeth issued a statement to the press in which she said she was “horrified” that her remarks had been “taken out of context and misinterpreted.”
She added, I was in no way criticising the second season 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.
“That does not translate that series two was any less entertaining than series one – and many millions of people around the world agree with me.
“Julian Fellowes is a brilliant writer and I am proud and privileged to be part of this show.
“The third season is so rich with character detail, storylines and new faces that I can’t wait for people to see it.”
The new series is set to air later this year on ITV, and will star Shirley MacLaine as Lady Cora’s formidable mother.
But what did you think about series two? Did it move too fast and try to encapsulate WWII in too few episodes? Or were you happy with the pace?