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#301 Alan Curragh

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:01 AM

Would it be remiss of me to try and get this back on topic - we are supposed to be talking about a series set in the time of the Great War, not Norman's rather curious thoughts on how he would have made it.

#302 seadog

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 08:08 AM

Excuse me I thought I was making a valuable contribution to this erudite discussion.

Norman :thumbsup:

#303 Steven Broomfield

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Posted 22 October 2011 - 02:43 PM

Would it be remiss of me to try and get this back on topic - we are supposed to be talking about a series set in the time of the Great War, not Norman's rather curious thoughts on how he would have made it.

Spoilsport :whistle:

#304 Michelle Young

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 06:01 AM

Matthew will learn to walk again aided by a discreet servant (?Bates) and on Lady Mays wedding day will stand up and start walking when the vicar asks if anyone knows why she shouldn't be married. Sir Richard who knows all about her and the Turkish Diplomat will drag the Crawley name through the dirt. Miss Swires will have her heart broken...............Lady Sybill will elope with the chauffeur and Lady Edith will be the daughter left looking after Mama after her and the Earl drift apart etc etc

I await your thoughts

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#305 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 07:33 AM

Michelle do please try to stay on topic for after all this is a (serious) WW1 related thread.

Norman :lol:

#306 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 08:32 AM

New topic for fans of this ground breaking programme. No WW1 posts please.

Downton - Non WW1

Norman

PS Michelle perhaps you will repost your very pertinent comments to the above.

#307 tootrock

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:06 AM

Can someone explain a couple of points please.

While watching last night's episode I was so riveted by the plot that I dozed off a couple of times.
At one point I resurfaced to find the staff drinking wine around the kitchen table.
At my next awakening the family and staff were holding a minutes silence at 11am, presumably on November 11th.
I questioned my wife (who dozes off as well, but at different times) as to when the news of the Armistice had arrived, and she seemed to think that the news was the occasion for the wine drinking. But this must have been the night before, and surely the Armistice was not signed until 5am. :unsure:

In real life when was the news of the Armistice made public?

Martin

#308 Steven Broomfield

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:40 AM

I questioned my wife (who dozes off as well, but at different times) Martin

Happens to me too :blush:

#309 Gibbo

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 09:41 AM

The Earl appeared in the staff dining room and announced that he'd been told about the Armistice by the War Office. He wanted everybdoy to gather in the hall at 11am. The servants then started drinking wine.

The historical problem is that the Earl was wearing evening clothes, suggesting that this happened after dinner had been served but before he went to bed on 10 November. I thought that the Armistice was signed around 5am on 11 November?

#310 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 10:21 AM

So it may be a day out, you cannot get everything right all of the time. I did however misread the fleeting shot of the clock and thought it said 11.55.

Norman

PS Hang on were not the servants eating at the time and if so was that an early lunch or a late breakfast or in fact a late dinner?

#311 Gibbo

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 10:42 AM

The servants were eating and the Earl was dressed for dinner so it must have been dinner.

#312 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 10:47 AM

So am I correct in thinking that the clock was showing 1155 on the 10th and the ceremony took place at midnight?.

Norman

#313 squirrel

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 10:55 AM

So, the Earl received a message, from "the War Office", late on the 10th November that the Armistice would come in to effect at 11am on the 11th November. He knew this before anybody on the Western Front did then?

#314 Steven Broomfield

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:01 AM

PS Hang on were not the servants eating at the time and if so was that an early lunch or a late breakfast or in fact a late dinner?

As any fule kno, the concept of "Brunch" was well-established in the Servants' Hall by 1918. Only later did it filter through to the purlieus of polite society.

#315 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:06 AM

Thanks Steven once again you have clarified an otherwise very confusing situation by your timely and apposite comment on a WW1 aspect of this excellent series.

Norman :mellow:

#316 Steven Broomfield

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:07 AM

Pleasure old chap, as ever.

#317 Dragon

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:16 AM

it's not just a little bit wrong - drama or not, it's all totally wrong.


Disclaimer: I haven't seen any of the series myself. I was talking to an elderly person at the weekend, someone old enough to have had a father injured in WW1 and possess his photos of his hospitalisation, which I've now copied. This person is well educated, a former graduate professional, is completely in possession of formidable faculties and still attends university outreach history courses. Yet... Downton was riveting. It was clear that the depiction of hospitalisation procedure and hospitals was convincing to this particular viewer (despite owning real photos of a real hospital interior with real patients taken at the time, 1916).

But then this particular viewer would have also been convinced by an accurate portrayal created under the guidance of experts such as Sue and Barbara. It didn't seem to be troublesome that the hospital scenes conflicted with known evidence and I felt that to a point, for that viewer, what was most important was the interactions of the characters and their responses to events, the human emotions felt, the outcomes for individuals. But were these inaccuracies in this person's own field, I'm certain lengthy nit-picking would have ensued. People's capacity for suspending their sense of how far accuracy matters is certainly contrary!

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#318 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:31 AM

Gwyn, speaking as a person also with "formidable faculties" I found your post very interesting. However it did not address the latest possible inaccuracy viz; the actual day the armistice was made public, as it appears that in Downton this was celebrated at midnight on the 10th November 1918 from the available facts gleaned from last nights episode. Those of us who are sticklers for accuracy should at least expect the author to get the date right of one of the most momentous events in world history

Norman :D

#319 Dragon

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:36 AM

I wasn't commenting on when the Armistice was marked in the programme (as I haven't seen it) and I wasn't aware that I was supposed only to refer to posts immediately before mine.

I think accuracy matters. Sorry not to have been clear about that.

#320 tootrock

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 11:52 AM

I am sure that the "ceremony" took place at 11 o'clock as a clock face was displayed - this was during one of my waking moments - and I am sure it was during daylight.
Is there someone out there who recorded the programme, and could have another look at that section and report back?

During the Great War was time on the Western Front the same as time at home, or was there an hour's difference?
If the Armistice came into effect at 11am French time, what time was it here?


Martin

#321 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:02 PM

Martin thank you for that, it is important that we have clarification of the actual timing of the ceremony although right now there seems to be reasonable grounds for doubting the accuracy of last night portrayal. If I remember correctly Lord what’s his name was informed by the War Office of the armistice, how likely is that considering that apart from constantly wearing a uniform indoors he appears to have no role whatsoever in the conduct of the war. It could of course be his growing infatuation with Jane the single mother and maid that had clouded his judgment in this crucial aspect of the story.

Norman

#322 Steven Broomfield

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:05 PM

Someone let me know when the all clear sounds.

#323 seadog

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

Steven (Post 322) I think you will find that your statement is technically incorrect if you are using it in the context of WW1. I believe that the phrase "all clear" emanated from the 1939-1945 war in respect of air-raid precautions although it may of course have been used during the WW1 Zeppelin and Gotha bombing raids on Britain, that fact will need clarification.

Thank You
Norman

#324 Gibbo

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:36 PM

I've just gone through the programme on my Catch Up service, fast-forwarding to the appropriate moments. It appears that scene where the Earl told his staff of the forthcoming Armistice took place on the evening of 8 November.

Earlier, Carlisle informs Carson that he is catching the 9am train to London the next morning, returning on the evening of the 10th. Carson asks if he minds if Bates also travels in the car. This implies that Carlisle and Bates go to London on the 9th at the latest.

Whilst dressing the Earl for dinner, Bates tells him that he must go to London the next day. Bates is present when the Earl tells the staff of the forthcoming Armistic. From the Earl's attire, this must happen in the evening. He says that the Armistice will tkae place at 11 on the morning of 11th November, a phrasing that suggests that the 11th is neither today nor tomorrow. There is a clock on the wall, but I could not get a clear look at it.

Bates departs for London, presumably in the car with Carlisle. He returns on his own, having walked from the station. There are several other scenes, including two between Edith and the mysterious Canadian, who may or may not be the heir, before Carlisle and Lavinia arrive as the family is finishing dinner. This is presumably on the 10th, since that is when Carlisle said that he would return.

The next morning, the Canadian has gone, leaving a note for Edith. Sybil says that he left after breakfast and was entitle to go, since the war is over. The ceremony in the hall then takes place. The clock shows 11. More than 10 minutes of screen time (actual time, excluding ads) passes between the Earl's announcement of the Armistice and the ceremony to mark it.

#325 Tim P

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:39 PM

I wonder if we arent being at all picky?

Stop watching it if you regard it as such tripe. And then write a lavish period drama, source and audition actors, props, sets, catering, lighting, editing and get it on the telly for us all to gush over.

I admit that a few mistakes have caused me to cringe a little but there isnt a movie, play or dramatisation of any kind that is free from errors.
Take saving private ryan, one shot millers chinstrap falls from the front brim of his helmet, seconds later, back in place. little things like that..

Forgive it and enjoy.

That said, I am amused by the synopsis of how the plot will play out.... :D