A marriage proposal, fisticuffs by the fire, courtroom drama and jeopardy for Isis the dog – what more could you ask for on Christmas Day?
This really was a return to form following a somewhat lacklustre second series. And before any diehard Downtonites cry foul over my opinion of the sophomore season, just remember the scene where Matthew Crawley leapt out of his wheelchair without any sign of muscle wastage or physiotherapy. See! Q, E and, indeed, D.
Thankfully, there was no such nonsense in this two-hour special. Well, OK, there was the Ouija board subplot, but at least this allowed for some well-performed scorn from Sharon Small whose character ended up in cahoots with caddish Lord Hepworth (Nigel Havers proving once again that he’s the go-to man when it comes to roguish conmen).
The main spectacle though – apart from the oversized tree in the hallway – was Matthew declaring his love for Lady Mary. With Richard Carlisle banished forever and the Mr Pamuk scandal defused (thank goodness - too much like Fawlty Towers’s Kipper and the Corpse, in my opinion), it looks like we now have a wedding to look forward to in series three.
Let’s hope that there are no further complications on the way to the altar or the Dowager Countess could well be finding a new use for those nutcrackers!
So, did Downton make your Christmas and what hopes do you have for its two latest lovebirds? Let us know below: