sat 02/07/2022

Downton Abbey

Downton Abbey, Series 6, ITV

It began with the sinking of the Titanic all those series ago. However many holes Julian Fellowes has seen fit to build in to the design, his own ocean-going liner has valiantly refused to go down with all hands on deck. But by Christmas we will...

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'Most of the time I play complete losers'

The world now knows him as Lord Crawley, stiff-backed in white tie and tails, regimental garb or, for relaxation, tweed. But before he became the face of Downton Abbey – and of bumbling institutional incompetence in Twenty Twelve and W1A...

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Downton Abbey: 2014 Christmas Special, ITV

“But I do want to be stuck with you.” Five series and five Christmas specials down, Downton fans heard a line of dialogue they had no idea they’d been waiting for all this time. Never mind that the scenario was a straight lift from The Remains of...

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Posh People: Inside Tatler, BBC Two

It won’t come as much of a surprise to find that the staff at Tatler are a bit on the posh side – who’d have thought? – but I honestly doubt they’re that much posher than, say, those at The Times, or The Guardian, or that other esteemed people’s...

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Downton Abbey, Series 5 Finale, ITV

On and on the stately galleon sails. The fifth wodge of Downton Abbey has been light on utter knuckle-gnawing preposterousness. Plots conjured up at random from thin air have been in slightly shorter supply than usual. The very worst you can say of...

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Downton Abbey Christmas Special, ITV / The Trachtate Middoth, BBC Two

A year ago it was all so different. Lady Mary gave birth and on his way home from the delivery suite Cousin Matthew steered his vintage soft-top into a tree trunk. There's rather less to report from Downton Abbey (***) this Christmas and the Daily...

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Downton Abbey, Series 4 Finale, ITV

So, another series down and what do we know? First up, until this final episode no one had died either by contractual agreement or Fellowesian godlike decree. We’ve had a rape, an unwanted pregnancy, a near abortion, a mysterious disappearance and a...

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Downton Abbey Series 4, ITV / By Any Means, BBC One

"The price of great love is great misery when one of you dies," intoned the Earl of Grantham lugubriously in this fourth-season opener [****], and the death of Matthew Crawley hovered heavily over the household. His widow Lady Mary haunted the...

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Opinion: How soon is too soon for plot spoilers?

Last November, for the 25,000th time on the stage, the actor playing Sergeant Trotter in The Mousetrap stepped forward during the curtain call and asked members of the audience not to reveal the play's surprise ending to others. To do so would, by...

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Downton Abbey, Series 3 Christmas Special, ITV1

I was going to make a strenuous effort not to give away the ending, but since it's all over the front pages of the newspapers there's not much point. This rambling Downton special spent two hours going nowhere in particular, albeit very charmingly,...

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Downton Abbey, Series 3 Finale, ITV1

Julian Fellowes has often seemed to treat Downton Abbey as a speed-writing contest, with momentous events and the tide of history whirling past like roof tiles in a typhoon. Happily, as series three has developed, the pace has evened out a bit,...

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Downton Abbey, ITV1: Death of Lady Sybil

You suspected she was a goner the moment the doctors started to front up like King Kong and Godzilla. Having given birth to a girl, the rebellious bluestocking Lady Sybil got her marching orders last night on Downton Abbey and Jessica Brown Findlay’...

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