“I knew at once I wanted to do it.”
Doctor Thorne is Julian Fellowes’ first screen project since Downton Abbey said its UK farewell last Christmas Day.
A deliciously comedic world adapted from the Anthony Trollope novel.
Starring Tom Hollander in the title role with a superb cast including Rebecca Front, Ian McShane, Phoebe Nicholls, Richard McCabe and Alison Brie.
With newcomers Stefanie Martini (Mary) and Harry Richardson (Frank) making a big impression at the start of what are set to be notable acting careers.
Starting on ITV at 9pm this Sunday (March 6) Doctor Thorne is a glorious three part treat.
Filmed in some of the most striking locations England has to offer.
“IF I could stop history in its tracks maybe I would.
“But I can’t, Carson.
“Nor you nor I can hold back time.”
Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) in the opening episode of the sixth and final series of Downton Abbey, which begins early in 1925.
Setting the scene for what is to come.
I attended the London premiere of Downton Abbey 6.1 yesterday.
Followed by two press conferences and then the usual afternoon of embargoed round table interviews with the cast.
THE naked truth about the changing world around Downton Abbey is revealed in tonight’s episode. (Sunday October 19)
There are racy headlines in the library as Lady Rose (Lily James) reads out a magazine article about the opening of a “nudist colony” in Essex.
With writer Julian Fellowes making reference to the real life Moonella Group in Wickford, which in 1924 became the first naturist club in Britain with an established home.
“I’LL be dandy…”
It’s farewell to footman Jimmy (Ed Speleers) in this Sunday’s second episode of Downton Abbey series five (ITV, 9pm).
And hello to Richard E. Grant as art expert Simon Bricker.
I’ve now seen the first four episodes of the new series with plenty for Downton fans to look forward to in the weeks ahead.
Including Lady Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) trip to Liverpool, the latest developments involving the late Mr Green and a surprising turn of events for Violet (Maggie Smith).
THE opening titles and theme music remain reassuringly unchanged.
Unlike the world around Downton Abbey.
It’s 1924 with a Labour government in Britain for the first time in history.
Lord Granthan (Hugh Bonneville) is convinced this threatens the Downton way of life as never before with that modern world continuing to encroach on the family.
I attended the London launch today of Downton Abbey series five – eight episodes plus a Christmas special, all written by Julian Fellowes.
Due on screen in the UK next month and in the USA in January.
THE big house is in pitch black gloomy darkness.
Aside from one solitary light in a top floor window.
Downton Abbey series four, episode one.
It is 1922 and six months on from the death of Matthew Crawley (Dan Stevens).
His baby son George is crying in the nursery.
Somewhere else in the house Lady Mary (Michelle Dockery) lies awake in bed.
Night turns to day and an early morning mist cloaks the trees on the Downton estate.
As a specially composed variation of Downton Abbey’s opening titles music heralds the new 2013 series.
Or the 2014 season – from January 5 – if you’re watching in America.
“I’m looking forward to all sorts of things,” exclaims Matthew Crawley.
He’s talking to his wife-to-be Lady Mary in the first episode of Downton Abbey series three.
I’m guessing you’re also looking forward to all sorts of Downton fun in the coming weeks.
So you will find only the mildest of spoilers below.
Will Matthew (Dan Stevens) and Mary’s (Michelle Dockery) wedding go ahead without a hitch?
Or will there be last minute complications?
Can Downton be saved in the face of a financial crisis?
And how long before Mr Bates (Brendan Coyle) hits his cell mate?
I saw the 90 minute opening episode and highlights from the rest of the series at the London press launch way back in July.
The verdict of the massed ranks of Her Majesty’s Press?
Julian Fellowes’ Downton is very much back on top form.
I know Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville) and co have their critics.
But, frankly, I could watch Mr Carson (Jim Carter) saying, “That treacle tart just hit the spot,” all night long.