Jessica Fellowes offers behind-the-scenes access to the world of Downton Abbey, from the cast to the castle, like no one else. Now, Fellowes shares her insights into the most explosive and dramatic moments from Downton Abbey, Season 3. Find out what Fellowes has to say about Episode 6. (Note: The following contains plot spoilers for Downton Abbey, Season 3, Episode 6.)
back, Mr Bates. I’ve waited a long time to say that.” Haven’t we all, Mr
Carson, haven’t we all.
the "Free Bates" rallies and t-shirts worked – John Bates has recovered
his freedom and reunited with his wife, Anna, to set up home in a cottage on
the estate, of which the best that could be said of it was that “it doesn’t
smell damp." But they’re together, so they’re happy.
fact, now that Sybil’s death is further in the past, there seemed to be a
little more happiness all round. Edith announced that there is now a journalist
in the family (“as we have a country solicitor and car mechanic, it was only a
matter of time,” said her grandmother). Matthew and Mary are talking about
making babies and kissing at every opportunity. Robert is at his most
purposeful since the Boer War, fretting and cajoling anyone with two legs to
take part in the cricket match. Tom finds the aristocrat within, handling his
loutish brother with authority and asking to live in the house. And who
couldn’t enjoy the naughty Lady Rose, skiving off to the Blue Dragon nightclub
on Greek Street to dance to jazz. Most of all – weren’t the costumes simply ravishing this episode?
the atmosphere like a wet flannel is, of course, O’Brien, with her pathological
desire to ruin Thomas’s life (frankly, anyone will do – it just happens to
be Mr Barrow’s moment.)
the end, much to all our surprise, we found ourselves actually feeling sorry
for him. That tiny space between a rock and a hard place where Thomas lives was
suddenly exposed for all to see: “You have been twisted by nature into
something foul,” said the head butler. Thomas summoned all his courage and the
line fissured my heart: “I am not foul, Mr Carson.”
me, though, it was the small details in the script that I relished this week,
revealing as they did a myriad of fascinating things about the period. The
10:30pm cinema showing “for the local servants." Edith’s column about the poor
treatment meted out to the former soldiers of the First World War. Robert’s
conviction that a certain Charles Ponzi promises a huge return on investments.
The fact that it was impossible to divorce someone committed to a mental
asylum.The revelation that we think parenting is difficult now but back then
they had to see their children for an hour every
day. We even found out what people did before Google – they rang the Daily Telegraph Information Desk.
simply cannot resist repeating some of Violet’s words of wisdom because, as
ever, they seem to me to come straight from the heart of the creator and writer
– and my uncle – Julian Fellowes: “The thing is to keep smiling and
never look as if you disapprove.” “Just scrape me down and get a spare napkin.”
Matthew delivered us another maxim: “Married men who wish to seduce young women
always have horried wives.”
ended the episode with an idyllic cricket scene – Jim Carter, who plays
Carson, is a huge fan of the game in real life and I imagine nothing gave him
more pleasure than to walk to the crease in his whites on a working day. Blue
skies, howzats and an earl fobbing the police off with the excuse that a member
of his staff must have been a bit “squiffy”. Some things never change, you
Jessica Fellowes is the bestselling author of The Chronicles of Downton Abbey, The World of Downton Abbey, and Mud and the City: Dos and Don'ts for Townies in the Country. Buy books by Jessica Fellowes at ShopPBS.org.