Tue Jul 16, 2019 London
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EDITORIAL

Editorial comment from Matthew Steeples Our editor tells it like it is and he rarely minces his words

A Robin Reliant of a drama

Our view on the Christmas episode of Downton Abbey

 

Christmas Day is meant to be a time for celebration and joy. After feasting likes kings, many of us sat down to a cheery cartoon or drama. With that in mind, watching Downton Abbey seemed like a good option.

 

Joy and celebration for Matthew Crawley and his family was what viewers wanted to see
Joy and celebration for Matthew Crawley and his family was what viewers wanted to see
But this was a step too far
But this was a step too far

 

8.1 million Brits viewed the ITV1 show this time last year and though the audience was down to 6.8 million, there was utterly no need for the ending created by Julian Fellowes.

 

During the two-hour programme, we found the majority of it tolerable despite the countless social inaccuracies but the way in which the main character, Matthew Crawley, played by Dan Stevens, was killed off was tasteless in the extreme.

 

After celebrating the arrival of an heir, Fellowes had the pivotal character crash an open top roadster. Blood poured from his head as he died and then they cut to Maggie Smith as The Dowager Countess of Grantham who stated: “We don’t always get our just deserts”.

 

This truly was a lowbrow piece of melodrama and we were disappointed that Fellowes didn’t use his dramatic licence a little better. It was, in fact, lazy writing and viewers have rightly reacted with horror in the hours since. Many have complained on Twitter that if they wanted this kind of action they’d be watching Eastenders or Coronation Street and one went as far as to say Downton Abbey is now “a Robin Reliant of a drama”.

 

Downton has been dumbed down enough. We imagine many of our readers will join us in pressing the off button when it returns in the New Year.

Comments

7 comments on “A Robin Reliant of a drama”

  1. The actor wanted out – and there has been enough drama surrounding this couple so an ordinary end like that of a car crash seems fitting and believable. Bloodless death would not have sent the right signal. It was harsh and brash, and in stark contrast to the happy birth and (finally!) acceptance of Matthew’s plan to keep Downton sustainable for future generations. I thought the juxtaposition with the drawing room conversation was well done. I read a spoiler (for those of us in the US) that came via the Telegraph, so I had time to adjust. Not so for all those who had this episode aired at Christmas.

  2. “8.1 million Brits viewed the ITV1 show this time last year and though the audience was down to 6.8 million, there was utterly no need for the ending created by Julian Fellowes.”

    That is very interesting

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