The immediate and great impact is that the two heirs of the estate featured here were among those lost at sea in the sinking of the ship. Since the gentleman of the estate had three daughters but no son, by British law the estate at his passing would go to the nearest of kin male, which happens to be a member of the working class, a lawyer and 3rd cousin once removed, someone the family doesn’t even know.

Of course there is much more to learn about the story, as I am only two episodes in, but already I can see why the series has such a following. The writing and acting are first-rate and the stories interesting. Thre are lots of interaction issues between the service staff down below and the family members above. In many ways I was reminded of the excellent movie “Gosford Park.” Anyway I believe I am hooked, I don’t believe I can ignore the rest of the episodes.The third season opens with more of the same, but you get the added Shirley MacLaine action. A lot of longterm fans have had trouble with how the season is getting a little melodramatic. The reason could be that the third season explores coping with loss and grief, nevertheless Downton Abbey remains watchable. Now, you know what to do on Sundays.


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