There’s a lot of relationship tension in Downtonland these days. One marriage is coming to an end, an engagement has been called off (or not, maybe), another marriage is veering quickly into troubled waters, and Tom’s friendship or whatever with Sarah is causing way more problems than it’s worth. But on the happy side of things, there was also a proposal, and Violet reconnected with an old flame, so there’s hope yet. Also, there was a dress show!
A newsreel helpfully places us in Egypt, where archaeologist Sir John Willard is leading an expedition into the tomb of an ancient pharaoh. And apparently things are tense there, because there’s a representative from the British Museum (Dr. Foswell) and a rep from the Met in New York (Dr. Schneider, shown swirling some whiskey in a glass, which is unlikely in a newsreel of the time, but whatever, character establishment). There’s also a rich financier, Bleibner, and his nephew, Rupert, there for the ride, along with a secretary named Nigel, who’s photographing everything. All the principal players are gathered to watch as the tomb is opened. Got all that?
Newsreel ends and we join them in real time. There’s a seal over the door that Foswell wants to remove carefully, but Willard tells him to just break it. Isn’t this guy an archaeologist? It seems unlikely he’d just bust through a seal that’s thousands of years old. Even Bleibner wants to wait for the seal to be carefully pried off. Willard ignores him and busts through the seal, opens the door, and steps into the burial chamber. There, they find all sorts of statues and treasures. Almost as soon as they step inside and get a look, creepy music cues up, and Willard drops dead. Someone calls for the doctor, but it’s too late. Workers carry the body out as Nigel snaps away. Heh. Newsreel guy VOs news of the death from heart attack and swears that this has nothing to do with rumors of a curse on the tomb. No siree, everything’s fine here!
On February 16, 1923, English archaeologist and Egyptologist Howard Carter opened the door to King Tutankhamun’s tomb, unleashing Egyptomania and, possibly, a curse. Carter, who started out as an artist and moved on to archaeology in the late 19th century, was employed by Lord Carnarvon, an enthusiastic amateur Egyptologist, to oversee the excavations Carnarvon was financing in the Valley of the Kings. The excavations turned … Continue reading King Tut