Parade’s End: The new Downton Abbey?

Parade’s End DVD cover

Click cover for BBC page!

Have any of you guys seen the new BBC/HBO production Parade’s End?

I don’t know about you but this is fast becoming one of my favourite period mini-series! Set during the Edwardian era and the First World War, this epic period drama centers around a wealthy aristocrat Christopher Tietjens (played beautifully by Benedict Cumberbatch) and his loveless marriage to the beautiful but cold, destructive Sylvia (played by the stunning Rebecca Hall). Things escalate when a young suffragette walks in to Christopher’s life, challenging his ideals and his loyalty to his wife.

Downton Abbey comes to mind when watching the trailer for this series but despite appearances, Parade’s End is not much like the beloved ITV hit. Well apart from the setting and the costumes of course. But where Downton only skims the surface of the more serious issues of that time including the decline of the aristocracy, Parade’s End goes deeper, delving on more philosophical and thought provoking ideas of what makes someone a good person and what duty means to each person. The characters are also not as clean cut good or evil and you never know what you can expect as it will go from calm seas to explosive drama all within a single scene. Of course there are still beautiful sets and costumes to drool over and the acting is top notch as expected.

So is it better than Downton Abbey? Still a bit too early too tell but so far it’s great in a different way. Less high tea polite chats and more dramatic and provocative, with some very original, intriguing characters. There’s no security of a happy ending either, unlike Downton.

Currently two episodes have aired and both have been amazing in my humble opinion. Looks like things will get more gritty in the next few eps with the war starting. Beautifully shot and directed by Susanna White with a great screenplay by renowned Tom Stoppard, this BBC production is not to be missed. Try it out for yourself!

Check out the trailer:

And here’s a great look at the making of:

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