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Monday, 8 November 2010

Downton Abbey – Shameless Plagiarisation of a Beloved Classic

While watching episode 3 of Downton Abbey on ITV Player, I had the most unsettling feeling of Déjà-View.

It went a little something like this:


You’re getting that feeling too, aren’t you.

Seem familiar?

Well, that’s probably because it is.


Julian Fellowes has basically lifted this entire subplot from Mrs Miniver; a film made in 1942 starring Greer Garson as Mrs Miniver and Dame May Whitty as Lady Beldon (a role which, in this case is also played by Maggie Smith).

If a student so shamelessly plagiarised, they would be discredited and probably kicked out of university, but if you're a lord of the manor, vaguely connected to royalty and with a few screenplays under your belt; this apparently makes you exempt from the rule where plagiarism = theft. Instead, you get it turned into a costume drama and broadcast on ITV with one of the best and most loved British actresses, in the role.

Rather than admitting what he's done, and being gracious and apologetic, or even crediting the film saying that something about it inspired him and he wished to pay tribute to it by using it as an influence in ‘his’ drama…he instead lashes out at the public like this:

"The real problem is with people who are insecure socially, and they think to show how smart they are by picking holes in the programme to promote their own poshness and to show that their knowledge is greater than your knowledge.”

-The Telegraph

If there is one thing I hate more than anything else, it’s a hypocrite. Firstly, this guy was educated at Cambridge so he ought to know better, secondly.. Who is HE calling posh?? Has he taken a look in the mirror lately? I don’t think he is any position to cast judgement when he’s written the book on snobs. Quite literally. I haven’t read it, and have absolutely no intention of reading it, but I’m guessing he’s modelled it on himself. What I would also like to know is: since when is plagiarism got anything to do with social class?

I'm really angry about this. Mrs Miniver is one of my favourite films. I mean, if you're going to be stupid enough to plagiarise from such a beloved classic, don't be surprised if you get caught and don't you DARE lash out at the people who catch you out. You should have come up with your own ideas in the first place, and not stolen someone else's. Denying it just makes you look a bigger fool than you’ve already clearly shown yourself to be.


1 comment:

martha said...

shameless plagiarism is just that. whoever does it.

ain't nothing to do with posh.