Once the Baileys had been poured and the mince pies eaten, I sat down to what I had eagerly awaited all week; the Downton Abbey Christmas special – and it definitely did not disappoint.
The finale of the previous series had left us in intentional suspense. After the death of the delectable Miss Lavinia Swire, would Captain Crawley do what we all wanted and confess his obvious love for the viewers’ favourite, Lady Mary. Also, what was the fate of Mr Bates? He was facing death after being set up for the death of his poisonous ex-wife. And where was Lady Sybil after leaving Downton for the family driver; much to her elders’ dismay. All of these stories, and more, were the reason I simply could not wait for nine o’clock on the big day.
From the opening credits, I quickly remembered the absorbing and endearing representation of Britain’s elite in 1919. With the fabulous costume design, adventurous camera angles, and sinister looks, the two hour Christmas special was everything I had hoped for.
Knowing the producers enjoyment in keeping the viewer in constant anticipation, I am not afraid to admit that I let out a yelp of disbelief when Mr Bates’ fate was read out to him; death. Similarly, and equally as honest, I also cried with tears of compassion and thankfulness that the shows most eligible bachelor was finally going to marry the delightfully beautiful, eldest daughter, Mary. To top off this happiness, Mr Bates’ wife Anna, was ecstatic to understand that her husbands’ journey was not over yet; although it was still life-imprisonment, it was still ‘life’ after all.
However, not all loose ends were tied up. After receiving rejection and humiliation, was Sir Robert going to expose Lady Mary’s mistakes in order to sabotage her happiness with Matthew? And will Lord Grantham finally see footman Thomas for what he is? Conniving, sly and full of his own ambition. All of these will hopefully be answered in the following series to hit our screens in 2012.
The only disappointment I felt with the return of Downton Abbey was when it finished and the credits rolled. I will now have to wait months for Maggie Smith’s brilliant wit, and the hate, love and lust pouring from our screens through this outstanding representation of our countries aristocracy.