Downton Christmas


I hope you all had a lovely Christmas – I didn’t really as I managed to be horribly ill for the second year in a row which meant lying on the sofa weeping and feeling very VERY sorry for myself. The boys had a lovely time though with the six year old spending the whole day building a Lego Hogwarts Castle (photos to come) and the three year old generally running about and being excitable.

I did manage to watch the Downton Abbey Christmas episode though and rather enjoyed it. What did you think? I know some of you haven’t seen it yet so will keep the spoilers to a minimum (if you really can’t bear the suspense then ask questions in the comments!).

Anyway, key things about Downton at Christmas:

1. They had a lovely twinkly lit up tree, which provoked a slurry of ‘Did they have Christmas tree lights during the second Georgian period?’

2. There was indeed, as Dan Stevens informed me on Twitter when I asked for just one spoiler clue, Christmas pudding.

3. There was snow. Lots and lots and lots of snow.

4. There were cads. Okay maybe just one but maybe three depending on your definition of ‘cads’. The one I am thinking of was very caddish indeed. And also a bounder.

5. There were tearful prison scenes. I’m a bit fed up with Mr Bates and his expression of saintly woe now so rolled my eyes a lot during these.

6. There was a BIG confession. Or two.

7. Someone did something narsty involving a wood shed.

8. Lady Mary got a new dress! In fact, she got a few! In fact all the Downton ladies were fetching very fetching gauzy and beaded shorter dresses.

9. There was awkward dancing. I think Thomas and The Dowager should run away together (I know, I know) as she had a definite twinkle in her eye as he whisked her off into the waltz.

10. There was sad standing around and praying in a rainswept cemetery.

11. There was a ouija board! Lawks!

12. There was a brief and rather embarrassing bout of fisticuffs that was vaguely reminiscent of that scene in Bridget Jones’ Diary. It was all floppy hair, inept headlocks and girly kicking over of vases.

13. There was happy news for one sister! And er rather less happy news for another.

14. O’Brien and Edith continue to be my favourite characters.

15. There was dignified tremblings of parvenu upper lips as they left Downton for the last time ever. ‘Do you promise?’ – the Dowager still gets all the best lines.

16. It all ended on a very good note indeed, which I am not going to spoil but led to timeline full of ‘AT LONG BLOODY LAST’ on Twitter.

17. There were also some notable absences, so let’s have a moment of silence please for Branston Pickle the political chauffeur, Lady Sibyl and the maid (Edith?) that got knocked up with gigantababy (my youngest was 10lb 5oz at birth so I know whereof I speak). Lavvy-Poo, Cousin Matthew’s ill fated fiancĂ©e, on the other hand, managed to make an appearance…

So what did you think of it all?

They had the trailer for the new series of Whitechapel in the advert breaks and it looks like they are starting with a modern re-enactment of the Radcliffe Highway murders, which I totally guessed they would do! Can’t wait to see it.

Did anyone see the Christmas Doctor Who? I watched it under duress and quite liked it but I’m troubled by the fate of the missing airmen…


7 thoughts on “Downton Christmas

  • Michelle Peeples (@ZedShowgirl)

    I hope you’re starting to feel better.

    Would it be horrible of me to say that my enthusiasm level for Downton is dwindling? It’s due to air here (season two) in NYC the first week of January I believe. I enjoyed the first series but wasn’t blown away. I enjoyed the reboot of Upstairs, Downstairs much more. I’m not saying I won’t watch it (big fan of Maggie Smith, Penelope Wilton, Brendan Coyle and Iain Glen) but I’m not quite as taken with the series as I had expected to be.

    What did interest me was hearing about the third series of Whitechapel. That I truly can’t wait to see.

    Best wishes to you and your family for the holidays.

  • Andrea

    I told my children the airmen were just waiting in the plane until the Daddy said hi to his family and then he’d invite them in for breakfast.
    Going to watch Christmas Downton tonight, was going to watch it yesterday but decided to watch pt 2 of Return to Cranford instead.

  • Carole

    Hi! I’m a new follower! I am loving your blog! It’s so cute! Marie Antoinette is one of my favorite historical figures (besides for Anne Boleyn, who is my favorite)

  • Evangeline Holland

    LOL! I love your recap of the Xmas episode.

    At the risk of stepping in spoiler territory, I will say that I am disappointed that Mary isn’t going to see Grandmama, and that Edith (my favorite character as well) has yet to be settled. I did love the Henry Jamesian scheming of two new characters in the special–that was the one element that I was genuinely delighted by. All in all, though I do love S2 more than S1, the panache and flair of S1 that was missing in S2 was back in spades in the Christmas special.

    • Madame Guillotine Post author

      I was sort of looking forward to a bit of Whartonesque New York glamour so Mary’s news did kind of disappoint me too in that respect.

      The Christmas episode definitely made up for a somewhat disappointing series two. Hope this means three will be amazing again! :)

  • suarezpix

    I’m so glad you think series two was kind of flat and I agree about Mary’s news. I would have loved to see her fending off some overly enthusiastic American suitor in a Newport mansion.

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