Downton Abbey – ITV1


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So, here we are! Series 5, 1924, and Britain has its first Labour government. The Big Drama of the first episode was supposed to be the fire, but not very much happened with that. However, a lot happened with various females. Miss Bunting, the schoolmistress who despises the idle rich but loves poking round their big houses, was invited to dine at the Abbey and wound everyone up at the dinner table. Daisy decided that she wanted to be better at maths. The Dowager Countess got the needle at the thought of Isobel making a grand marriage. Lady Mary decided that she wasn’t marrying Lord Gillingham unless she knew he was up to the mark in the bedroom department. Little Sybil called the Earl “Donk”. Gladys Althorpe/the woman whom High Grant didn’t marry in Four Weddings and a Funeral invited herself to stay at the Abbey and seduced a footman. And a woman from the village asked Carson, not the Earl, to be in charge of the war memorial committee. Letting the side down was the dozy woman who’s looking after Lady Edith’s daughter – she couldn’t work out that Edith was the child’s natural mother, even though it was blatantly obvious.

It seems to have got mixed reviews in the press this morning, but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was some serious stuff (politics and social change), some humour (Molesley and his hair dye), some nastiness (Barrow, played by my cousin’s one-time housemate, trying to blackmail Miss Baxter), some romance, and the usual class system stuff. And the wonderful one-liners from the Dowager Countess. Could Lady Edith please get her act together and go back to being the person who went off to London to work as a journalist, though? And please could Anna and Bates have some happiness? And when are Carson and Mrs Hughes going to get together?!

Welcome back, Downton Abbey! We need you on autumnal Sunday nights :-).

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