Changing one's Mind

Back in September 2013, I was not too keen on the new series of Downton Abbey. 

Highclere Castle, Downton Abbey“the first episode was very close to boring. The most exciting thing to happen was O'Brian disappearing into the night leaving only two notes behind on the mantelpiece. Not that she's a loss, really. I never liked her, and she is the one who spoilt the Granthams’ last chance of producing an heir.” But the programme didn't sparkle. Perhaps it is hard to sparkle when there are widows and relatives in black all over the house and neighbourhood. Lord Grantham is being absurdly dictatorial and instead of giving stick-thin Mary a shake or two, he continually urges everyone to let her be; let her grieve in peace. Silly man.”

Since then, would you believe, I have bought all the CDs and watched every episode so many times I have lost count. My perceptions have changed, and not only because the episodes have filled many an hour of winter television where the programmes on offer were too gory for me to enjoy.

 I understand the characters better now than I did in 2013, and even if Robert is too kind to bereaved Mary, he is consistently kind to everyone throughout – except perhaps to Barrow. Carson is not kind to him either; I was drawn into Barrow’s story this winter and had a lot of sympathy for him. His transformation through the series was well done and so, surprisingly was Edith's. I cheered when Bertie Pelham became the Marquess of Hexham and Edith  told the family "That's the thing. He is the Marquess." Robert's delight, Mary's horror, and Cora's aside to Mary - "Anyone would think your were jealous, dear, and we wouldn't want that, would we?"

I shall be watching the CDs again, whenever there is a dearth of good programmes to be had on live tv.


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