Leading article: Dramatic pause that could turn into a crisis for Abbey worshippers

Oh, what is one to do with a Sunday evening without the televised feuds of Ladies Mary, Edith and Sybil to entertain one, not to mention the lesser dramas surrounding Mrs Patmore and the bisexual ex-footman-turned war-profiteer with the strange accent?

What other diversion can replace Downton Abbey as winter draws on: cards, backgammon, sing-songs round the piano? Fans can take comfort in a Christmas special and the prospect of series three in due course. Judging by the breathless pace of series two, the next one will pack in a similar quantity of "relevant" themes, though in the absence of hard information it's a guess what they may be. Presumably someone, though surely not the countess or Mrs Patmore, will get involved with the Bloomsbury Group, the general strike and the rise of fascism – all in one episode, possibly. One can't wait.