Dowa­ger quick with rapier wit

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

A WHIFF of scan­dal up­stairs, more rum­bles of dis­con­tent down­stairs and a sto­ry­line that will bring you to the verge of tears as Bates ( Bren­dan Coyle) sto­ically and painfully tries to cure his limp – Down­ton Abbey picks up the pace and the in­trigue.

All eyes – es­pe­cially Lady Mary’s ( El­iz­a­beth McGovern) – are on dash­ing Turk­ish diplo­mat Ke­mal Pa­muk ( Theo James, pic­tured) when he ar­rives as a guest at Down­ton.

Their ro­mance is cut sur­pris­ingly short, but the flow-on ef­fect from it will res­onate un­easily through the rest of the se­ries – think how the words ‘‘ ru­ined’’ and ‘‘ no­to­ri­ous’’ might af­fect a rep­u­ta­tion in the Down­ton days.

The scan­dalous sce­nario does give Dowa­ger Count­ess Vi­o­let ( Maggie Smith) one of the most de­li­ciously comic lines of the night about what is proper and what isn’t.

Smith de­liv­ers it with just the right mix of in­dig­na­tion, aplomb and con­tempt.

Down­ton Abbey, South­ern Cross, Sun­day, 8.30pm

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