DVD & Blu-ray review: Downton Abbey, Series 4

Julian Fellowes, DVD

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The Independent Culture

Julian Fellowes’s prettier, more vacuous version of Upstairs, Downstairs continues to irritate in a gazillion ways, notably with its daft script and absurd plotlines.

However, the acting from Hugh Bonneville, Michelle Dockery and Maggie Smith’s toffs, and Jim Carter and Joanne Froggatt’s lower orders, remains from the top drawer. Particularly Froggatt, whose endlessly noble head housemaid Anna is at the centre of Downton’s most controversial and unpleasant storyline thus far.

Meanwhile the rest is as frothy and compulsive as Dallas – and as comforting, of a cold winter’s evening, as a cup of Tetley’s tea.