The stunningly beautiful English estate known as Downton Abbey is in danger of being lost to its "rightful" heirs because there is no male to claim the ancestral home of Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and the money that goes with it. And so we watch the machinations of the Abbey's dowager countess (Maggie Smith) and other relatives as they try to find a way to maintain the family's claim to the estate and marry off the three daughters to appropriate suitors. Meanwhile, much drama is happening in the servants' hall with the arrival of a new valet and the scheming of the footman and the lady's maid. The "upstairs-downstairs" scenario established so successfully by the 1970s series of the same name is successfully played out here, and with 16 principal characters, there is always something happening. The "Masterpiece Classic" series ends as World War I begins, leaving a few plot lines dangling. A second series of Downton Abbey is scheduled for British TV this fall. Television doesn't get any better than this! Essential where British drama is popular.--Joan Greenberg, Warminster, PA[Page 48]. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.