Fans of the hugely successful British period drama Downton Abbey have at one point no doubt dreamt of stepping through the imposing front doors and being invited to dine with one of television’s most famous families in their stunning and stately home. Who wouldn’t want to experience a wry quip from the Dowager Countess Lady Grantham across the dining table, or indeed Mrs Patmore’s cooking, for that matter?
Seeing as that is nigh near impossible (unless you go back to acting school and get yourself into Season 4 quick smart), you might like to take a look at the next best thing – The Downton Abbey Super Nintendo game.
Developed by video game composer Bill Kiley, the 16-bit gameplay satire features a digitised soundtrack of the Downton Abbey theme, and opens with the player as a new footman come to Downton. After being greeted by the butler Mr Carson, you are encouraged to explore the estate and complete quests such as finding Lord Grantham’s lost cigars and helping Head Housemaid Anna Bates fluff the bedroom pillows by rapidly alternating between left and right buttons (on your imaginary Nintendo console, of course).
Kiley told Entertainment Weekly that he created the spoof because he wanted to merge two current fascinations of his generation. “It just seems like everyone my age is really into Super Nintendo and Downton Abbey right now,” he said.
Other merchandising for the popular series have led to mugs with the Lady Dowager’s most famous line: ‘What is a weekend?’, t-shirts that virtually shout ‘Free John Bates!’ the wrongfully arrested personal valet to Lord Grantham, and overstuffed pillows that unassumingly state ‘You’ll never find a dull moment in this house’.
There is also an unofficial Downton Abbey cookbook, and specially commissioned Vanity Fair trading cards, shown below. For more examples of Downton Abbey merchandise, check out our board on Pinterest.
For now, relax for a few minutes and appreciate another Downton Abbey spoof created by Jennifer Saunders for Comic Relief. If you are a Downton fan, you will appreciate the fine details.
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