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Downton Abbey Season 2 press release, production stills, new interview with Penelope Wilton, and more!

"What is a weekend?" All these jam-packed full of Downton Abbey fab ITV DA press release and preview for Season 2 that is!

UK's ITV has just released its international hit series, Downton Abbey (Series 2) Press Release with tons of goodies and preview for season 2 to whet our appetites (especially for us, US fans who will have to wait a while longer to see season 2!) including Downton Abbey cast and their character images features our as Isobel Crawley, widowed mother of Dan Stevens' Matthew Crawley, heir to the large estate of Downton Abbey and production stills for season 2, season 2 synopsis, The world of Downton Abbey companion book info and image, soundtrack CD info, DVD artwork, cast interviews including Penelope Wilton (which you can read below), and more! So much info all at once, I can't hardly wait and is eagerly anticipating season 2 of DA!!! January 2012 can't come fast enough!

Unfortunately, for us U.S. fans, we'll have to wait 6 months before we can see Downton Abbey on PBS' Masterpiece Classic, as Season 2 will premiere January 8, 2012 (USA) while lucky UK fans will get to see it just a lil' over a month from now on September 18, 2011 on ITV channel (UK).

Anyway, here are some Downton Abbey's season 2 press release, promo still, new Interview with Penelope Wilton and more...

Julian Fellowes' hit drama Downton Abbey is back for a second series this autumn with all the regular cast including Dame Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, Elizabeth McGovern, Brendan Coyle, Joanne Froggatt and Dan Stevens.

Returning to Downton Abbey in 1916, we see the effects of The First World War on the lives of the Crawley family and the servants who work for them.

The new series sees the return of all the much loved characters whose intertwined lives are rendered more complicated by wartime and its impact on the great house itself.

And when the storms of war have finally cleared, will the way of life known by all the inhabitants of Downton have changed forever?

New faces joining the cast of Downton Abbey include Amy Nuttall, Iain Glen, Zoe Boyle, Maria Doyle Kennedy and Cal Macaninch.

Downton Abbey is a Carnival Films production, written by Julian Fellowes, executive produced by Gareth Neame and produced by Liz Trubridge.
Downton Abbey Season 2 cast promo still

Isobel Crawley (Penelope Wilton)
As the wife and daughter of doctors, nobody could be better than Isobel when
it comes to taking a prominent role in running Downton as a convalescent home. In Isobelʼs opinion, at any rate. She finds it extremely unreasonable of Cora to object when she, Isobel, gives the orders and makes the decisions in Coraʼs house. We donʼt agree. But it is Isobel who sees more clearly than her son when Matthewʼs rigorous sense of honour is forcing him into a decision that will bring only unhappiness in its wake. No one can say she does not do everything in her power to avert it.

Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens)
By the summer of 1914, Matthew had grown into his role as heir to the Downton estate. He thought his life was settled until, first, he discovered his true love, Mary, was not prepared to take him without money, dashing all his belief in her to the ground, and, second, he was sent to the front as an enlisted officer.

Now he has not only a new career but a new love, Lavinia Swire, a young
woman from London and he means to transform Mary from lover to sister if he
possibly can. He is a good soldier, moral and brave, determined as he ever was, to do his best for his country, but the reality of war and how he, personally, is tested by it, take him to the very limits of endurance.

Press Pack



Penelope Wilton plays Mrs Isobel Crawley. She comes to live with her relatives at Downton Abbey, but frequently clashes with her more traditionalist cousins, Cora and Violet.

Penelope, universally acknowledged as one of the best actresses of her generation, talks us through Isobel’s situation in the second series. She says, “Isobel has rather come into her own in the war, having been married to a doctor and also having trained as a nurse. We’re now in 1916, in the throes of war, so she’s busy running and setting up hospitals and convalescent homes and trying to deal with the enormous number of soldiers coming home with terrible wounds.

“It’s not just physical injury, there’s a lot of trauma that goes with the physical injury. So she’s very busy with the hospital and also now with Downton Abbey, which has been turned in to a convalescent home. So she’s busy raising money for that, arranging concerts, organizing timetables for nurses and patients – she’s completely embroiled in that.”

The running of the convalescent home causes tension between Isobel and Cora. Penelope says, “Isobel sees herself as the person who has the expertise and training to run the convalescent home much to Cora’s chagrin as it’s her home. Cora doesn’t like to have rules and regulations or her way of life altered without being in charge, so there is a certain amount of conflict erupting between these two rather strong women.

“Isobel doesn’t really have a leg to stand on - except that she does have the knowledge about how to manage a proper convalescent home, which, of course, Cora doesn’t, having never had a professional job in her life. Cora lives in this very privileged life, while lesser mortals like Isobel know what’s really going on in the world. Cora is brought up rather short when Isobel takes on the responsibilities with enormous aplomb - which is also rather annoying for Cora!”

Isobel has other, profound and personal anxieties to cope with during the war. According to Penelope, “Her son Matthew has gone off to war and is serving on the frontline. So she’s also dealing with the worry of that which is constant, as it was with all mothers whose sons went off to fight in the war.”

The other major issue that Isobel has to cope with in the second series is the breakup of the relationship between Matthew and Mary.
Penelope says, “Isobel came to terms with that at the end of the last series. She thinks it’s a pity, but now this nice girl Lavinia has come into Matthew’s life, she thinks the family should simply get on with things and accept her.

“I think Isobel is living off her nerves. Like the rest of the population, all those people left at home, she’s a very worried person, because of her son at the Front. These days we see a lot of television footage from the frontline in contemporary wars. But then there was a whole world left behind that had to just wait and see if their husband, brother, son or father was going to come back. So many of them didn’t, so it kept them very much on their toes.”

Following series one, many of the exchanges between Isobel and Violet were repeated in the press. Penelope is delighted that people embraced that battle of the battleaxes. “I very much hope they will repeat that, as those sorts of scenes are so much fun to play. There’s more energy going on, it’s more

“Also Julian has plotted it so there’s build up of irritations and clashes of wills between Violet and Isobel. These are very strong women, who are used to being in charge of their own properties and their own homes. It’s very difficult for Isobel because she’s not in charge like she used to be before she had to move because of her son.”

Penelope, who also starred in Doctor Who, Ever Decreasing Circles, and The Borrowers, adds, “Isobel has no real wish to be here. She’s making the best of it, but it’s not something she would really choose. She’s not somebody who would like to have the life that these people have at all. She thinks they’re of another century and that they have to move on. In that way, she’s very much a new woman and believes in women’s suffrage – not to the extent of throwing herself in front of horses, but she’s very much a believer in women having the vote and having more independence from paternalistic society which is probably why she and Lady Sybil share such a kindred spirit.”

Downton Abbey has been sold to more than 140 countries. This means that wherever they go in the world the cast are recognized. For Penelope, however, that is not a problem. She jokes, “I go around in deep disguise pretty much all the time, I wear a wig and these hats, and nobody ever recognizes me!”


Released in September, the Decca album of the Downton Abbey soundtrack includes original music by
renowned British composer John Lunn, as well as a newly-commissioned song to lyrics by Oscar-winner
Don Black - based on the main “Downton Abbey” theme, and performed by highly-acclaimed vocalist, Mary-Jess Leaverland. Also featuring are two specially-recorded songs from the period in which the
second series is set, sung by Britain's favourite tenor, Alfie Boe.

For more information please contact:
Jude Dexter Smith: jude.dexter-smith@umusic.com / 07947 621547

Jessica Fellowes
Foreword by Julian Fellowes

‘My dear fellow. We all have chapters we would rather keep unpublished’ Lord Grantham

Get behind doors, that have until now, remained closed. Get under the skin of the characters and actors uncover the full story behind the intrigues and secrets, discover The World of Downton Abbey.

The first series of this acclaimed drama captured the imagination of the nation. With 12 million viewers at its peak, it has become the benchmark for quality television and a commentary on all things British.

The official accompanying book, The World of Downton Abbey, goes through the doors of the great house and into the lives of the Crawley family and those who serve them. With the onset of the First World War we witness a house, its occupants and a society on the brink of dramatic change. Author Jessica Fellowes takes us beyond what we witness on screen – documenting not only the realities and secrets of life both upstairs and down, as a Lady and as a Lady’s maid, but the story behind the camera and the lengths its creators have gone to in order to bring to life such a lavish large scale production.

Fully illustrated with stunning, exclusive photographs, the text is interwoven with cast interviews, behind the scenes secrets, and profiles of all the main characters – old and new – from the Dowager Countess to Daisy. From the pressures of wartime England to the meticulous detail of the costumes, sets and props, Jessica brings the richness, drama, romance and style of Downton to the page.

Jessica Fellowes is an author and freelance journalist. Formerly the Deputy Editor of Country Life, she also writes for The Telegraph, Psychologies and The Lady. She lives in London with her family.

The World of Downton Abbey is published by Collins on Thursday 15th September, priced £20.

For further information please contact Katherine Patrick at HarperCollins on 0208 307 4802. katherine.patrick@harpercollins.co.uk

Also, a couple more images of Downton Abbey including the DVD cover artwork for Season 2...

[Source: ITV - for all Downtown Abbey images stills and loads of season 2 info. posted here!]

For more on Downton Abbey's Season 2 and frequent news updates, cast interviews, videos, and all things DA related news and articles, check out Cheryl's fabulous and very informative Enchanted Serenity of Period Films blog (and LIKE her awesome Period Movies FB page to get frequently updated on your favorite period films!) with all the DA season two info. here: Downton Abbey - Season 2!


  1. I can only take my hat off to the impressive roster of talent and skill of the English series. I really hope to continue producing more things like this in the factory yours to the delight of all.
    It's just perfect the atmosphere of the time and classes cohabit in it. And then you come to mind the equally wonderful "Upstairs, Downstairs", although old, is still a benchmark.
    It's a series for lovers of vintage series, craftsmanship and drama students in our country.

  2. A very good series, the environment and the sets are wonderful. About time that not veia slightly this way of care in television


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