A short while back, Rob James-Collier, who plays the underbutler Thomas on the show, made a 6-minute film to help raise money for a charity, the Chilterns MS Centre -- Downton Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Valet. For a lightsaber meets tea-and-crumpets epic, the production had decidedly low-key pedigree: it was shot entirely on his iPhone
It was also a success, raising almost $23,000. And so, as a thank you -- and a way to raise more money -- the actor made a sequel. And befitting a sequel, he ratcheted up the enterprise. This time around, it runs true epic length (for an iPhone movie...) with quite an all-star cast, from Downtown Abbey:
Along with James-Collier (who wrote and directed the film), it features Brendan Coyle (Mr. Bates), Johanne Frogatt (Anna Bates), Jim Carter (Mr. Carson), Lesley Nicol (Mrs. Patmore), Sophia McShera (Daisy), Phyllis Logan (Elsie Hughes), Michelle Dockery (Lady Mary), Hugh Bonneville (Lord Grantham), Penelope Wilton (Isobel Crawley) and -- yes -- Dame Maggie Smith (Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham).
It probably didn't have to be 17 minutes ("probably" is the polite term, but this is for a charity, for goodness sake, and it's certainly good-nature), but it's fun to watch, especially if you're okay clicking to jump ahead on occasion. Though devoted fans will likely have a good time with it all.
(Disclaimer: I've only seen a few episodes.)
Here then is (oh, okay, you can see the title below) Downtown Wars: Episode 2 -- the Evil Butler Strikes Back.