Will they or won’t they?

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - DEB­BIE SCHIPP

IT’S a Christ­mas spe­cial, but in name only, Down­ton Abbey cre­ator Ju­lian Fel­lowes in­sists.

It sim­ply wraps up sea­son two of the hit pe­riod drama but the two hours truly is a gift. You will laugh, cringe, wince and reach for the tis­sues.

It’s Christ­mas, 1919. The war is over, but there is still a war of hearts, minds, emo­tion and ri­valry rag­ing be­neath the gen­teel con­fines of Down­ton.

The Gran­thams are host­ing a lav­ish Christ­mas party, but Bates ( Bren­dan Coyle) be­ing on trial for the murder of his for­mer wife, has cast a pall over fes­tiv­i­ties.

Mean­while Lady Mary ( Michelle Dock­ery) and her dodgy fi­ance ´ Sir Richard ( Iain Glen) aren’t ex­actly love- crossed sweet­hearts. She’s dodg­ing set­ting a date for the nup­tials and he’s threat­en­ing to ex­pose her se­crets.

The re­turn of Matthew ( Dan Stevens) makes the prospect even more re­mote. The ro­man­tics among us wish Matthew would stop moan­ing about not de­serv­ing to be happy and just sweep her up and take her away from all this.

There’s a pheas­ant shoot, a brawl in the li­brary, a seance, and a cad in­fil­trat­ing the party.

Now that’s a fi­nale. DOWN­TON ABBEY CHRIST­MAS SPE­CIAL, South­ern Cross, tonight 8.30

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