Recently, I bought my wife, Dina, the "Limited Edition, Downton Abbey, The Complete Collector's Set." Twenty-two discs, all the episodes, bonus features, etc. Now we can finally delete the saved content off our DVR; that should open up about half the available storage. Storage that we've happily used and accessed many times.
In its prime though, we did not miss a Downton Abbey episode when it was first broadcast on PBS (starting Jan. 9, 2011 and ending Jan. 3, 2016) and we've been recording, saving and watching ever since. We are two, of millions, who couldn’t get enough viewing time of this period drama then and still can't to this day.
Ergo, the purchase. Now we are in control. If anything happens to our cable box – and it needs to be replaced/upgraded, we will not – as previously happened, suffer a potentially tragic loss of content in the exchange. Eliminating that worry alone has made the purchase worth the very reasonable price we paid.
Having the complete set in hand, Dina and I have decided to re-watch the series from start to finish. Heretofore, we had watched episodes in sequence, but not necessarily in chronological order – meaning season one, episode one through the final episode of season six. As a result of this decision, we have gotten reacquainted with story lines which had somewhat faded over time as there are some episodes we hadn't seen in years. We had saved many, but not all (when it was free to do so; now, the there's a cost, $2.99 per episode to buy, I believe).
So far, we're through season two and we've thoroughly enjoyed the people, places and things – and the many nuances we may have missed or forgotten. However, this passage of time has caused Dina and I to rethink some of our opinions of characters and story lines.
There are two primary reassessments that, oddly enough, Dina and I share.
One concerns Dr. Clarkson, the local/family doctor who runs the Downton Cottage Hospital. The other concerns Patrick Crawley (the cousin/original heir who was thought to have died when the Titanic sank in 1912) who reappears in season two as a convalescing Peter Gordon, a.k.a. P Gordon. As much as we like Dr. Clarkson, and are amused by his straddling the line between himself and the aristocracy, we have decided that we don't like some of his medical opinions: his hesitancy to even consider the treatment for dropsy for Mr. Drake that "cousin" Isobel (an experienced nurse) had proposed; his misjudgment of the possible psychological consequences of transferring the patient with gas blindness (with whom Thomas had developed a rapport) who subsequently killed himself – presumably rather than accept being transferred; and finally Matthew, who suffered what Dr. Clarkson described as a transection of his spine when he and William were injured in battle which turned out to be a bruise.
An injury that he said would prevent Matthew from ever walking and – as later realized, fathering children either. In all three instances, Dr. Clarkson was proven to be wrong. As a consequence, if Dr. Clarkson was diagnosing my cancer, I'd ask for a second opinion.
As for Peter Gordon/P Gordon/Patrick Crawley and the story line concerning his reappearance as heir/heir pretender so many years after the family thought he had died – I would love to ask Julian Fellowes (writer and creator of "Downton Abbey) if this element was fact or fiction or simply a mere diversion for affect.
It all seemed so contrived, especially after "P" Gordon (who says he got his "name from a liquor bottle") leaves a note for the heartbroken Edith before there's any resolution. I mean, was he the heir or wasn't he? Did he leave because he felt the jig was up and the ruse was likely to fail? Or did he feel so betrayed and disrespected by his family (the Crawleys) that he felt his present and/or future could never be what he envisioned?
Consequently, there are two questions I'd like answered: was Peter Gordon actually Patrick Crawley and where did Dr. Clarkson get his medical training?
Kenny Lourie is an Advertising Representative for The Potomac Almanac & The Connection Newspapers.