Tuesday 12 December 2017

Downtonites unite – it's back!

By Deirdre Reynolds

Weekend? As the Dowager Countess of Grantham might quip: "What is a 'weekend'?"

Better find out, because Downton Abbey returns to the small screen this Sunday night.

The upstairs/downstairs drama created by Julian Fellowes has wooed 120 million viewers worldwide.

Here are just some of the reasons we'll be staying in on Sunday nights between now and Christmas.

THE THEME TUNE

Do, do, do, do, do, do, do, do, doooo ... It starts with the tinkling of ivories and swells to an orchestral crescendo, and now Downton's instantly recognisable theme tune is sure to be stuck in fans' heads for the next three months.

Scottish composer John Lunn, who won an Emmy for his work on the series, reveals he got his inspiration from the "rhythm, speed and energy" of a train arriving at the big house".

THE ONE-LINERS

Manners, be damned! Downton is worth watching for the Dowager Countess's withering put-downs alone.

Not even the dead escape. The death of Turkish diplomat Mr Pamuk at Downton during one episode caused granny to grumble: "No Englishman would dream of dying in someone else's house – especially somebody they didn't even know."

THE TEA-DRINKING

Go on, go on, go on. As a nation of tea lovers, we knock back around 300 litres of the stuff per person per year. But no one guzzles more of the other black stuff than the denizens of Downton Abbey.

From the sinking of the Titanic to Lady Sybil's shock death, in times of crises, the Crawleys keep calm and ring for butler Carson.

THE VINTAGE FASHION

Whether it's Lady Sybil wearing harem pants or Lady Mary's 45-carat diamond wedding tiara, Gown-ton Abbey never disappoints in the style stakes.

As the period drama enters the Roaring Twenties, season four is sure to be no different. A total of 44 evening gowns were required for just two episodes of the period drama.

THE LOVE AFFAIRS

Widowed Lady Mary and brother-in-law Tom are both back on the market, and judging by the steamy season-four trailer, they've got no shortage of suitors.

Below stairs are at it, too, with kitchen maid Ivy (Cara Theobold) and footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers) still flirting away, not to mention the ongoing frisson between Carson and housekeeper Mrs Hughes.

After being jilted at the altar last year, however, it's unlucky-in-love Lady Edith (Laura Carmichael) who viewers will be rooting for this time.

THE IRISH CONNECTION

Despite being the most quintessentially British thing on the box, Downton is surprisingly Irish. For one thing, chauffeur-turned estate manager Tom Branson is played by Dubliner Allen Leech (see left).

Off-screen, it seems Lady Mary has also fallen for the charms of an Irish man, after actress Michelle Dockery was snapped getting cosy with Cork PR man John Dineen.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Entertainment Newsletter

Going out? Staying in? From great gigs to film reviews and listings, entertainment has you covered.

Promoted Links

Editors Choice

Also in Entertainment