‘Belgravia’ is the New Romance from Downton Abbey Creator

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When it comes to a good TV, my kryptonite is a good period drama. There are many things to discuss about Belgravia, which is why I’m going to skip further “opening remarks,” and jump into them.

Belgravia (2020) TV Series

War cruelly takes away the person who means the most to two very different mothers. Waterloo claims the son of the Countess of Brockenhurst, Caroline (Harriet Walker). But his is not the only life lost. Anne Trenchard (Tamsin Grieg) also loses her beloved daughter a few short months later.

Now, some twenty-five years later and the two families walk in very different circles. Mr. Trenchard (Philip Glenister) is eager, as he always has been, to enter into the circle of the prestigious families. As a working class, new money business man, everything he does is to make the best connections. His genteel wife is off-put by the lengths her husband goes to make these connections, and her lonely days aren’t helped by the company of her daughter-in-law (Alice Eve).

When she has a chance meeting with Caroline Brockenhurst, the mother of the man her daughter loved, the secrets of the past begin to haunt Anne. What Caroline, the mother of an only child gone these 20-some years, doesn’t know is their family legacy doesn’t die with her son. Anne’s daughter had a child, a boy who the Trenchard’s kept secret for the sake of their daughter’s reputation. It’s this secret that the manipulative Brockenhurst heir, John (Adam James), plans to uncover and destroy.

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This is, without question, one of the most entertaining things I’ve seen on TV in a long time. It boasts a bit of everything and makes me want to see a million and one more period dramas like it. This seems to master the art of being serious with entertainment so that we don’t have to take anything in this too seriously. Written by the award-winning writer, Julian Fellowes (Gosford Park), he also recently released the Netflix drama The English Game. While this one has echoes of his popular Downton Abbey series, it’s also quite different.

The comforting sense of loyal servants is missing as is the deep family ties. Instead we primarily focus on the new bonds that form, which is no less compelling to see develop. There’s vivid characterizations all anchored by brilliant acting. Also among the already impressive cast is Tara Fitzgerald; Jack Bardoe (in his screen debut); Ella Purnell (Ordeal by Innocence); and Tom Wilkinson. Tamsin Grieg (BBC’s Emma) is a force in this production. She plays the role to perfect as does really, everyone including the veteran Harriet Walker who many of us will remember from the 1995 Sense & Sensibility.

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The costuming is pretty, and the settings are beautiful as is the entire “scope” of the production. What’s perhaps most interesting about this drama is where the focus lands. This one doesn’t give us a one-track-mind that is all about romance. Instead, it’s about the older generation, their lives and the secrets they bury, emotionally, for some 20 years. It’s a very well-written and complex drama that impresses beyond expectation. Something that should not surprise me given how much I like the dramas by this writer. Of course, lest you worry otherwise, don’t fret over any lack of romance as there is some here. A thread that ends in a lovely and appropriately happy way.

No matter what, as the credits roll on this 6-part series, it makes me wonder when we’ll next experience something from the pen of Julian Fellowes.

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You can find Belgravia digitally on Amazon Prime or with an Epix subscription add on.

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‘Belgravia’ is the New Romance from Downton Abbey Creator. A review of the new Epix/ITV Julian Fellowes period drama. Text © Rissi JC
‘Belgravia’ is the New Romance from Downton Abbey Creator. A review of the new Julian Fellowes drama. #JulianFellowes #PeriodDrama #TVReview #WhattoWatch Click To Tweet

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Content: there is some implication of a past affair and two people begin an affair in the present [we see them in a room together 1-3 times, usually in a state of undress or covered carefully with sheets]. There’s minor instances of violence. Belgravia rates TV-14.

Photos: Epix / ITV

About Rissi JC

amateur graphic designer. confirmed bookaholic. bubbl’r enthusiast. critical thinker. miswesterner. social media coordinator. writer.

10 comments

  1. I cannot wait to check this out! I just finished watching “Dr. Thorne” (relished your review BTW), fell head over heels for it, and am now in the mood for anything period drama, especially if it is Julian Fellowes. :)

    1. Thank you, Eowyn. Glad to know the review was helpful; you’ve made me want to re-watch “Doctor Thorne” now as I remember thinking it was SO charming. Hope you enjoy this one, and also, have you seen “The English Game”? It’s a Fellowes drama too, and I thought it quite good albeit not as “romanticized.”

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