It’s gone all very ‘Gosford Park’, (a 2001 film also written by Julian Fellowes but actually decent, it features Helen Mirren as the Mrs Hughes of the piece, and Maggie Smith as ‘the Maggie Smith character’.) – “You remember Anthony Foyle.. sorry I mean your clearly sign-posted new love interest with a handsome yet forgettable face…” – “Not everyone can be Oscar Wilde”, “Thank goodness”.

Line of the week has come in early from The Dowager.

– Here’s Branson having that awkward ‘how have you been since I ignored you following that fling? Any bets that the ‘aunt’ she was minding was in fact a secret baby she had with the sporadically-republican Irishman?


– Oh there’s the much-hyped hired singer Nellie Melba, from the way they’re talking I presume she was the Adele of her day.

Not sure if she’s a household name in your house but I had to Google to find out that she is indeed a real person. – Love Mr Carson’s knowing appreciation of the opera, he’s a man of the arts you know. – Oh there’s a horribly disturbing rape scene downstairs while everyone is nodding away to the singer upstairs. The odd bit of clunky dialogue aside, almost every storyline made sense for once.

You wouldn’t want to be stuck behind Bates and Anna at the cinema would you? Downton just got DARK and (unusually for this drama) dramatic. I always wondered how Gosford and Downton could possibly come from the same pen, this episode was the first to show a glimmer of the former’s glory.

New love-interests, Mrs Patmore’s belly-ache and a very dodgy ex-Eastenders star. “Expect violent scenes that some viewers may find upsetting” I knew that electric mixer was trouble.

This week’s Downton Abbey was certainly action-packed – though some papers reckon it was far too dark for the show’s usual ‘nice biscuits and tea’ audience. – Oh there’s Dennis Rickman (Nigel Harman) from Eastenders in a bowler hat.

In his previous incarnation he hooked up with his adoptive sister Sharon, was stabbed to death in the Square and luckily avoided seeing his son grow into a blonde irritant.– Lots of cars arriving, hustle, bustle, random footmen everywhere, introductions downstairs and withering comments from The Dowager upstairs.Couldn’t he have resolved that back in season 3 when it would have been relevant? Fingers crossed for international man of mystery, dancing chimney sweep, personal burlesque dancer to Mrs Hughes, and gangster rapper in the weeks ahead.– Mary’s trotting about the estate with her new fancy-fella.He’s getting married but is clearly intrigued by her, as a frisson of flirtation buzzes through the air she decides it’s just the right moment to … – Mary was having a jittery jig with her new man until the sight of her deceased husband’s gramophone set her fleeing upstairs.She blatantly just realised that she’s got the dance-moves of a caffeinated goat and used old dead Matthew as a handy excuse to get out of there.

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