I know it is the wrong time of the year, but, “The British are coming, the British are coming.” No, I am not trying to tell you all that we should get the fireworks out and have a 4th of July parade. There really are a group of British folks coming to America to help us all celebrate a certain television show.


Here are five things to know about “Downton Abbey,” which hit the theaters this weekend.


1. The unsinkable ship that sank starts the show


The PBS series Downton Abbey ran for six years starts with the sinking of the Titantic in 1912 and ends in 1926. Along the way, the viewers see the changes in the people who occupied the upstairs and downstairs of a great Country House in Britain.


2. Awards galore on both sides of the pond


The show was filmed and originally ran in Great Britain. There is won a BAFTA and it also won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Miniseries. It also won a Golden Globe for best miniseries or television film.


3. A woman’s right to rule is key to the theory of the show


Though the show follows the entire Crawley family through that time period, the show actually centers on how eldest daughter Mary Crawley will, or rather if she will, come to be the ultimate heir to the place where her family has been living for centuries. By the time the series ends, she is the one with the power and it is a great reversal the power structure that she gets to keep it even though she is widowed.


4. Once a butler always a butler until retirement


The show is also about entire classifications of jobs that started to cease to exist as the families with great houses started to have to downsize after the war. Many of those families no longer needed multiple maids, cooks and nannies. Those working class people then had to figure out how to make a living in a new economic system.


5. Royal watching really isn’t such a new thing


The movie opens several years after the last television episode ended and only a visit from the King and Queen could bring everyone back to Downton again.



Happy birthday Sunday to Judy Wood and Billy Wayne Milam, both of Sherman; Charlene Scott of Overland Park, Kansas; Sue Ricks of Denison; Sonja Bury of Clear Lake, South Dakota; Ruby Dodd Miskey of San Antonio.


Happy anniversary Sunday to Alvin and Cynthia Brown of Sherman, 40 years; Gary and Donna Gressett of Collinsville, 46 years.


Happy birthday Monday to Gil Nelson, Dorthy Franklin, L.A. Hudson and Marque Owens, all of Sherman; Harolyn Berry of Denison; Nancy Davis Smith, Bonham.