Growing up in Buffalo, N.Y., I related to the endearing characters on “The Waltons.” I shared John-Boy’s dream to be a writer; I pined along with Mary Ellen to see the big-city lights. But mostly, I learned more than any history book could convey about the human challenges facing families during the Great Depression and World War II.
Period dramas are fictional, yet the best of them bring the past to life in a way that is realistic and memorable. Vicariously living history through the eyes of fictional characters helps us understand the past – and how it affects our world today.
PBS’s “Masterpiece Classic” has been among the top producers of the genre for 40 years, but its latest, “Downton Abbey,” has proven to be one of the most popular MASTERPIECE series of all time.
Executive Producer Rebecca Eaton credits screenwriter Julian Fellowes with much of the success: “No one can equal him at breathing life into a world that vanished almost a century ago,” she said.
The all-new Downton Abbey Season 2 (Sundays, Jan. 8 – Feb. 19, 2012, at 9 p.m. on WNED-TV) is set during World War I — a fascinating era of social transition that rapidly transformed an age-old system of class and privilege, affecting every aspect of life in England.
What happens to the glittering world of an English country home in the midst of a brutal war? Listen as some of the key cast members discuss their revealing roles.
With characters so compelling, no wonder “Downton Abbey” has become a worldwide hit!
Go to the PBS Masterpiece Facebook page for a special surprise and to learn much more about the new, seven-part series!
What’s your favorite television drama and why? What character do you enjoy watching most?