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Downton Abbey: A New Era (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)

REVIEW OVERVIEW

The Film
The Video
HDR Effect
The Audio
The Supplements
Overall

SUMMARY

The Crawleys return is this their second cinematic outing that has matriarch Violet (Maggie Smith) revealing she has inherited a villa in the South of France, prompting several members of the family to investigate the property and the background to how she came into the property, while Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) deals with a film crew back at Downton.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is the second feature film for this franchise, picking up the story of the Crawley family in 1930, now at the edge of World War II. Matriarch Violet (Maggie Smith) reveals to the family she has inherited a villa in the South of France, prompting a family journey to investigate the property and the secrets behind Violet’s inheritance. Meanwhile, Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) stays behind at Downton with the staff as she manages a crew who are in filming a new ‘talkie’, a means to help the Crawleys pay for much needed repairs to their roof.

The entire cast reprise their roles for this latest outing and Julian Fellowes is also back as writer. Watching A New Era is slipping picking up an old book or slipping into an old pair of slippers. It slightly expands the territory with gorgeous sojourns to the South of France, making it a bit more continental, while maintaining the core appeal of the series. While this latest film doesn’t quite hit as well as the series’ first venture into feature film territory, it is pleasing enough and sure to appeal to the franchise’s still passionate fan base.

The Video

Downton Abbey: A New Era was shot in the anamorphic 2.39:1 format on the Sony CineAlta Venice 6K camera with Panavision T-Series lenses. It utilizes a 4K digital intermediate with Dolby Vision HDR. It comes to 4K Ultra HD in an HEVC 2160p (4K UHD) encodement with Dolby Vision. The color palette tends towards warmer tones and sometimes shift to pastels as we move to the scenes in the South of France. The transfer presents them all nicely with the help of the Dolby Vision’s wide color gamut, as we get a little extra cerulean ‘pop’ in the waters or gradients of magentas, blues, and dark oranges in the sunsets. The details presented here are staggering with no issues to complain about. Some of the men’s black overcoats can sometimes tilt a bit into crush, but this has always been the look of Downton Abbey.

The Audio

Downton Abbey: A New Era comes with a lovely lossless English Dolby Atmos audio mix. As one might expect, this isn’t the sort of rollicking, rock the floorboards sort of mix you would get in something like the recent Edge of Tomorrow 4K release, but that would be inappropriate for this dialogue-driven melodrama. Instead, we get a very pleasant and balanced mix that has a good sense of breath and height awareness, particularly for that wonderfully familiarly orchestral score that fills the soundstage. Dialogue stays mainly front and center, but we are engulfed with subtle foley effects like wind, the crackle of fire, or the din of servants in the distance.

The Supplements

There is a feature commentary from the director and a few very ‘EPK’-feeling featurettes included to round out the disc.

  • Movies Anywhere Digital Code
  • Blu-ray
  • Feature Commentary with Director Simon Curtis
  • Featurettes (4K; DV):
    • Good to Be Back (00:03:38)
    • Return to Downton Abbey: The Making of a New Era (00:11:37)
    • A Legendary Character (00:04:10)
    • Creating the Film…Within the Film (00:09:26)
    • Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia (00:02:53)
    • Spill the Tea (Time) (00:02:23)

The Final Assessment

Fans of Downton Abbey will love this latest feature film that brings back the characters for another story on lavish sets. The production is top notch and the 4K is gorgeous. Recommended.

Downton Abbey: A New Era is out on 4K Ultra HD Combo July 5, 2022 from Universal

Enter our giveaway to win a Blu-ray copy of Downton Abbey: A New Era


  • Rating Certificate: PG (for some suggestive references, language and thematic elements)
  • Studios & Distributors: Universal Picture | Carnival Film & Television | Universal Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Director: Simon Curtis
  • Written By: Julian Fellowes
  • Run Time: 124 Mins.
  • Street Date: 5 July 2022
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
  • Video Format: HEVC 2160p (4K UHD)
  • HDR Format: Dolby Vision (HDR10 Compatible)
  • HDR10 Metadata:
    • MaxLL: 985 nits
    • MaxFALL: 376 nits
  • Primary Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD 7.1 Compatible)
  • Secondary Audio: Spanish DD 5.1 | French DD 5.1
  • Subtitles: English SDH | Spanish | French
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Downton Abbey: A New Era (4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review)The Crawleys return is this their second cinematic outing that has matriarch Violet (Maggie Smith) revealing she has inherited a villa in the South of France, prompting several members of the family to investigate the property and the background to how she came into the property, while Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) deals with a film crew back at Downton.
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