Due on Blu: Downton Abbey Christmas Special

If you missed Prime’s Sunday night broadcast of the 2012 Downton Abbey Christmas special, Journey to the Highlands, it will be released next week on DVD and Blu-ray.

Seeing this movie-length episode in HD might at least make up for what most critics thought were shortcomings worse than its SD transmission on Prime.

Among the kinder reviews was The Guardian’s: “Beautifully done but ultimately disappointing (not to mention manipulative), the Christmas special showed that Downton Abbey is entering a tricky phase.”

Still, it ranked with the most popular Christmas Day drawcards in the UK, where it drew 8.1 million viewers on the night compared to EastEnders’ 9.9 million, Coronation Street’s 9.3 million and Doctor Who’s 8.9 million.

In NZ, the special rated solidly but not spectacularly for Prime: 3.4% of the channel’s target audience, 25-54 year-olds, compared to Appropriate Adult’s 4.8% on TV One.

In Britain the Blu-ray went on sale 24 hours after its ITV broadcast whereas NZ fans will have to wait until January 31 to buy it on disc.

It will have an RRP of $35 compared to £20 for the UK Blu-ray.

Expect the HD specs to be the same: no extras and only a Dolby Digital track, which enraged some fans given the first series had DTS MA.

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