For “Downton Abbey” fans, the temptation to insert one's self into the action can at times be overwhelming, never more so than during Sunday night’s heartbreaking, four-hanky weeper of an episode. Didn’t we all want to jump into the show and rush Sybil off to the hospital or, failing that, push Lord Grantham and Sir Philip in front of a speeding train?
Now, thanks to an exceedingly clever person named Bill Kiley, that reality is one step closer (if not quite realized): “Downton Abbey” has been satirically reimagined as a Super Nintendo game.
For children of the ‘90s who grew up playing "Super Mario Bros." and "The Legend of Zelda," the spoof game is like a double dose of nostalgia: all the peculiar rituals of the British aristocracy as reimagined in 8-bit graphics, with a hypnotic, synthesized version of the show’s familiar theme song on the soundtrack.
In the “game,” a player arrives as the new footman at Downton Abbey, where he is greeted by Carson and promptely sent to complete tasks (cigar-fetching, pillow-fluffing, cutlery-identifying) that aren’t so different from what Daisy, Thomas, Anna and the rest of the downstairs staff do week in and week out. We love the game as is, but might we suggest a challenge in which we help carry a dead Turkish diplomat out of Lady Mary's bed or add an egg to Mrs. Patmore's hollandaise sauce before it curdles?
Alas, “Downton Abbey” is not a actually video game (yet), but why not follow in Lady Edith’s footsteps and start a letter-writing campaign to make it a reality?