'Downton Abbey's' intrigue continues

It's 1916 and love and politics are afoot this season, upstairs and down.

The many-chambered, highly peopled country house known as "Downton Abbey" opens again Sunday for visitors — that's you, I'm being metaphorical — returning for a second season under the umbrella of PBS series "Masterpiece Classic." It is classic not for being based on some famous old book — it is an original work for television, created by Julian Fellowes ("Gosford Park") — but because it is a period piece set in a world we associate with famous old books and, in a secondary way, with "Masterpiece Theater" itself, home of the similar, chronologically overlapping "Upstairs, Downstairs" and the primary domestic expression of the Anglo-American "special relationship," television branch, since 1971.



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