Unbelievable but unmissable!
Published 02/11/2011 | 08:00
In one scene Matthew, left in a wheelchair after being caught in a blast in the war, suddenly springs to his feet. A doctor, it seems, has made a mistake. He will walk again. The rest of the dead and injured from the Great War sadly did not have Julian Fellowes as a scriptwriter.
Then there is the upstairs downstairs romance, or rather the upstairs, er, garage romance - Sybil is having a relationship with someone who is never in the house. She has to go out to meet him in the garage, where he sits smoking and reading newspapers.
Never mind the very idea of a devoted husband like the Earl of Grantham suddenly making a pass at a woman from the lower orders!
Next, another servant bursts into the dining room, clutching the illegitimate grandchild of two guests. A wronged woman choosing the critical moment between the soup and the fish dish to demand justice for the bairn.
The sisters of the runaway girl break into the bedroom of the eloping couple "before any damage is done" and take all of 35 seconds to persuade her to return to the house.
While last week the apparent heir to the estate, thought to have gone down with Titanic, returned terribly disfigured, but could not convince them of his rightful claim. He stormed off and hasn't been mentioned since.
Unhistorical, implausible, unbelievable, cliche-ridden, predictable, melodramatic ... and brilliant. That's Downton Abbey.