Downton Abbey Has a UK and US Version

I recently noticed that Season 2 of the PBS show Downton Abbey was recently added to Amazon Prime Video. I had been waiting to watch the series on Netflix for a while.

After deciding to sit down and start season 2, I noticed the title said “Original UK Version”. UK Version? Is there a difference between the US and UK version?

After watching Season 1 on PBS here in The States, I was concerned that I would be lost if I started watching the UK version of Season 2. It turns out I might be right. Apparently both versions have the same actors and story, but the US version has 2 whole hours edited out. You can find a very detailed list of things missing from the United States version of the show here. From what I gather, Americans are thought to just not care about deeper story-lines. So they made two different versions.

So how do Downton Abbey fans in the United States watch the full, unedited version of the show? It seems the only option is to get the Downton Abbey: The Complete Collection on DVD or Blu-ray.

17 thoughts on “Downton Abbey Has a UK and US Version”

  1. The parts cut out are the commercials. In the UK the show was on a commercial station and had commercials built in.

  2. It had indeed been edited: even watching it ten years after it aired in the UK but this time round on Amazon Prime it is very obviously not the same, despite the time gap, my memory serves incredibly well!

    • I just finished watching all 6 seasons. While watching them, I felt the UK version left out details that the American has included. Now that I hear that the opposite occurred, I am baffled. Is there a reason that it would seem that way?

    • Oh interesting. My memory recalls the American fraud scandal Cora’s brother was involved in, brought her brother and Mother to Downton Abbey. Is my memory correct or did I dream it?
      Lorraine Nottinghamshire England.

      • I’m watching the UK version and you’re right Cora did bring them to Downton but they never really mention what happened other than it was kinda a wasted trip. Maybe the American version talked about it more.

  3. Watching Downton Abbey over again during COVID 19 crisis is like watching a different story. The UK version has scenes that are completely different than those I distinctly remember from the US version. I.e. in the bit where Mr. Moseley dyes his hair I remember a scene where for some reason he began to sweat and the dye starting dripping down his head. It’s different in the UK versions. No worries, I’m enjoying it all over!

  4. I’m watching UK version on Amazon and enjoying it much more than US version as it aired originally on PBS Masterpiece. Although American, I had less difficulty following legal issues in season 1 than female characters did.
    We need better television series to challenge us, not be dumbed down to avoid challenge. We have the greatest access to information to educate ourselves in human history. Or to be the stupidest, least-informed peoples in the past 3 centuries.
    Folks in the entertainment industry can make a big difference in the existential crises facing humanity. Don’t just choose the money and dumb it down, folks. You can make a bit less money and challenge us. We’re all charmed by the pageantry and beauty of your sets and costumes, and we can turn to the Internet and Wikipedia to work it plot features that we can’t understand.
    It was unworthy of everyone involved to dumb down Downton for the American audience. Admittedly, we’ve had a couple of presidents that didn’t do/aren’t doing us proud, but remember, their opponents got more votes.

    • What exactly do our presidents have to do with Downton Abbey episodes? There are other places online for politics.
      I too have read that the UK version of Downton is better than our PBS version.

  5. I watched US version when it first aired on PBS long ago, and have been rewatching parts on Amazon since pandemic started. And it’s now on Amazon, Netflix, and Peacock- I’m not sure which version is on the latter two! But I realized as I rewatched season 1 again on Amazon that Sybil’s debut in London is definitely missing. Does anyone else remember this – nog just the mention of it, but actually seeing her meeting the royals??? And no, I’m not mixing this up with Bridgerton!!


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