Downton Abbey Christmas Special: Did it live up to the hype?

Downton Abbey returned to screens last night, but was it a Christmas triumph or a festive flop?

The Downton Abbey Christmas Special was heralded to be the highlight of Christmas Day television but with so much riding on the interlude between series three and four was Marie Claire bowled over by household’s crisis, charisma and festive cheer?

SPOILER ALERT!

Although we’d previously reported Dan Stevens who plays Matthew Crawley was leaving the show and the Christmas special would be his last Downton Abbey appearance, we couldn’t help but bite our nails the entire time until his tragic end.

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And tragic it most certainly was, as the twist saw cousin Matthew killed in a car accident literally minutes after meeting his newborn son and heir. The show may have left us reaching for the tissues, but aside from the death of a much-loved character we actually relished the warmly predictable plots that were neatly tied up throughout the two-hour long episode.

While the Granthams headed to Scotland to visit their cousins the real drama happened back at Downton – Jimmy Kent and Thomas Barrow reluctantly formed a new friendship. As the staff went to the local fair, Jimmy was (in Downton speak) a bit squiffy and was almost mugged until Thomas took the beating for him. Such a selfless act saw the duo finally become friends, all together now: ‘awww’.

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Mrs Patmore had a flirtation with a local supplier who turned out to be more interested in womanizing and finding a good cook – but instead of tears, along with Mrs Hughes they simply laughed about the brief fling.

Romance was on the cards for Doctor Clarkson and Isobel Crawley but it appeared to be one-sided, although we very much hope this storyline continues with the next series. While Mr and Mrs Bates were blissfully, but not nauseatingly, in love.

Happiness was also on the cards for Lady Rose who we first met in the season three finale, will be a permanent fixture as she will now live at Downton, away from her sparring parents and cruel mother.

Although in true Downton form, we couldn’t help but get misty eyed over the mention of Lady Sybil. The most heart-wrenching moment for us was when Tom Branson broke down after a maid tried to seduce him. He simply said how much he missed his wife – and we still do too.

Bring on series four!

What did you make of the first episode of Downton Abbey? Was it everything you hoped? Or were you a little disappointed? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below.

Watch the Downton Abbey cast talk about how they protect story lines below:

DOWNTON ABBEY’S JIMMY KENT SPEAKS TO MARIE CLAIRE

DOWNTON ABBEY CAST’S RED CARPET HITS

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