Who can forget the fateful Christmas episode which saw Matthew Crawley’s life come to a premature end when he was killed in a car crash? Well it appears neither us or Lady Mary Crawley can in the first episode of the new series of Downton Abbey.
With the first episode picking up six months after Matthew’s death in 1922, we are introduced to a new sound in Downton abbey, the sound of a baby crying. That sound is of baby George – the son of Lady Mary and Matthew. Lady Mary is also introduced but in a more sombre way wearing black, the death of Matthew still a raw concept in her mind.
Whilst viewers are given an idea of Lady Mary’s turmoil, the downstairs staff are also left in turmoil over O’Brien quitting her job. Having not stayed to say her goodbyes, Lord Grantham comments that her exit was like “sneaking of like a thief in the night”. As the episode continues, Lady Mary’s grief continues to be a main theme in the episode with the black clothes and the blank expressions to her parents and her siblings, as well as Tom Branson who tries his best to get Lady Mary to move on.
Downton Abbey has returned to our screens (ITV Pictures)
But as Downton deals with Lady Mary’s continued grief, there is love in the air for Lady Edith who is seen heading down to London on numerous occasions to meet a married publisher who is eager to get divorced so they can be together. Oh the scandal!
Meanwhile, the Dowager Countess is back to give her views whether it’s having a tender moment with her granddaughter, Lady Mary or offering a few kind words to Matthew’s mum. One classic being: “It is the job of the grandmother to interfere" which she says in response to Matthew’s mum’s reluctance to see George.
The show also sees the return of an old face who decides to return to the Abbey when she sees the advertisement for the ladies maid. Edna Braithwaite.
Best moment: Downton Abbey will never disappoint on the classic and chuckle inducing one liners such as: "You what? She mistook you for a servant?" – Mr Bates to Rob James Collier's Thomas Barrow when he complained about the way Nanny West spoke to him.
Random moment: The confusion over who sent who Valentines Day cards between Alfred and co Downstairs.
Verdict: Downton Abbey has kept to the promise to continue to offer the best there is in British drama.