Mrs Patmore struggles with an electric whisk in Downton Abbey’s season four opener…
This review contains spoilers.
The nights are closing in, which makes it time for the gates to Downton Abbey’s theme park of escapist wealth, posh frocks and Maggie Smith doing all the good bits to squeak ceremonially open and admit us twenty-first century oiks. ‘Look, a tiny spoon just for hazelnuts! How darling’ we gasp. ‘And look! Unjust social divisions, casual racism and a patriarchy that keeps women in check.’ Isn’t it elegant.
Unlike its series three counterpart, which had a glossy wedding and Shirley Maclaine to recommend it, this opening episode is a bleak affair. The Abbey is still mourning Cousin Matthew’s shock death from the Christmas misery special (“I can’t believe it’s time for the stone already” the Dowager Countess told Mr Molesley at the graveside.